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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 28, 2009

Former super, Myra Dorman, runs for second term

By Zach Simeone

RENSSELAERVILLE — Republican Myra Dorman, former supervisor and two-time town councilwoman, is running for supervisor again this year.

“My party has selected me to run, but we have not had a caucus,” Dorman told The Enterprise. “But no one else is interested in the slot, so the caucus will probably not be for another month or so. We’re planning one for next month,” she said.

The town board is currently made up of two Republicans and three Democrats who hold frequently volatile meetings, in a town where more than half of the residents are Democrats, about one fifth are Republicans, and about one third are enrolled with a small party or no party.

The town’s Republican Party met last week, but did not officially decide to endorse any other candidates, Supervisor Jost Nickelsberg said this week. Nickelsberg, who is stepping down after a four-year term as supervisor, is also on the Republican Party’s executive committee.

“We had a couple of outstanding issues relative to getting endorsement from the Independence Party,” Nickelsberg told The Enterprise. “What we have to do is figure out if there’s room for somebody from our group on the Independence and Conservative lines. But we’ve talked about Myra running, and endorsed her, so we’ve made that decision.”

Originally from Staten Island, Dorman has lived in Rensselaerville for more than 40 years and worked as a professor. She is married and has five children.

She was supervisor in 1994 and 1995, when Rensselaerville supervisors held two-year terms. She later served a two-year term and a four-year term as a town councilwoman. She ran again for a seat on the town board in 2007, but lost.

Dorman is running on a platform of “honesty in government, serving the people’s needs, and identifying the overcharges in the current government,” she said.

“It’s my belief that we’re paying far too much for the services we’re receiving,” said Dorman. “I think I’ll wait until we go to caucus to get into the specifics,” she said.

“She’s running in a very unique way,” Nickelsberg said. “She’ll literally have a cabinet: a budget expert, a state liaison and lobbying expert, and a local emergency expert,” he said.

Dorman is also seeking endorsement from Albany County’s Independence and Conservative parties in her run for supervisor, though Conservative Party Chairman Richard Stack said last week that the Conservatives would not be endorsing any candidates for supervisor in Rensselaerville this year.

“We hope to endorse their candidates as well,” Dorman said of the Independence and Conservative parties.

The Republicans are looking to get Dorman on all three lines this fall to bring in a wide range of voters, Nickelsberg said.

“We think that, if you’re on those three lines, you have your maximum chance of getting those votes,” Nickelsberg said, “and many Democrats side with Conservative leanings or Independence leanings out here.”

Rensselaerville’s Democratic Party has not chosen its candidates yet, nor has a caucus been scheduled.

“We had a meeting, but it wasn’t really conclusive,” said John Kudlack, the Democratic chairman in Rensselaerville.

There have been numerous public debates at town board meetings over the years — surrounding the Chase family — with regard to nepotism. Last year, Councilman Gary Chase voted on how much his mother would make as clerk to the highway superintendent; his father, G. Jon Chase, is the highway superintendent.

“Myra is someone who is absolutely behind total transparency, total integrity, total ethics, total lack of conflict of interest, and absolutely against nepotism,” Nickelsberg said.

Regarding conflicts of interest and nepotism, Dorman said in 2007, “Conflict of interest is a serious matter, but doesn’t always stop progress if it’s taken care of properly, and managed properly by the individuals. Nepotism should be on the head of those people involved, and personal judgment should come first, with consideration for how it reflects on the whole town,” she said.

“If you have an undue advantage to get a job,” said Nickelsberg, “it’s unfair — that’s the answer.”

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