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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 29, 2011

New Scotland elections
Four vie for two town board seats, super unopposed

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — Varied issues face New Scotland as the country trundles through another year of recession, but the issue of development still looms large.  It was the defining issue in the last election, delivering a slate of candidates to the town board who advocated for a cap on the allowable size of retail development.  Commercial development and its future is still undefined and a candidate’s position on it is still key — the two incumbent Democrats on the board whose terms are up fell out of favor with the party because of their previous stance in favor of larger sizes for shopping centers.  The Democratic committee instead backed two candidates who support a 50,000-square-foot cap on retail stores, and a 100,000-square-foot cap on shopping centers for this election.

Four candidates are running for the two seats — Tim Danz and Tim Stanton on the Republican line and Patricia Snyder and William Hennessey on the Democratic line.  Each seat carries a four-year term.

Incumbent Democratic Supervisor Thomas Dolin is running for a third two-year term — he is unopposed.

Each candidate answered the same six questions regarding issues that are facing the town or may soon face the town:

Tax cap: All towns statewide will have to conform their budgets to fit the state’s newly established 2-percent cap on the tax levy, starting next year.  How should New Scotland’s budget process be handled?  Where should there be cuts?

Highway garage: The highway department has outgrown its space in the current garage and the town board for 10 years has been discussing either an addition or a new building.  This year, it took steps towards making a final decision — What do you think is the best route to take?

Wind turbines: Shell Wind Energy approached landowners on the Helderberg escarpment in 2008 about citing turbines on their property — it later backed off, but others have been interested.  How should New Scotland zone for either industrial-scale or residential-scale wind turbines?

Hydraulic fracturing: Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation has pitted those who want to access the fuel against those who are concerned about the effect of drilling and the associated chemicals on groundwater — Where do you stand on the issue?  (For background, go to www.AltamontEnterprise.com and click on “Archives” for July 28, 2011 and Aug. 18, 2011)

Size cap: The prospect of large-scale commercial development came to the town three years ago when Cazenovia-based Sphere Development planned to build a Target-anchored shopping center on the old Bender melon farm, which led many in the community to call for a cap on the allowable size of retail development.  Where do you stand on that issue, and what is your vision for future development in town?

Board’s role: How do you see the role of board members?  Should they act according to the will of the majority or seek out the minority?  How should the two groups be balanced?

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