A GOP clean sweep would sweep women out of office

To the Editor:

Perhaps you, too, have noticed that the Republicans are fielding only men for all seven town of Guilderland positions to be filled this year while the Democrats are fielding four women, a majority of its candidates. A clean sweep by the Republican men would result in sweeping all elected women out of office, leaving half of our citizens without a representative who best understands their needs.

In his campaign flyer, candidate for supervisor, Mark Grimm, states that a single town tax jumped 111 percent in 2013, cleverly not identifying what single tax he is talking about, and that the town budget did not list the supervisor’s salary.

In fact, the town tax is reduced 4 percent this year and every salary including the supervisor’s is listed in the budget. A schedule of salaries must be included to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles — GAAP.

Mr. Grimm’s campaign includes buzzwords like New Energy, Transparency, Taxpayer Advocacy, Time for a Real Change, A Grass Roots Leader with a Passion for People, ad nauseam but leaves the reader unsuccessfully seeking specifics. He then reminds us of his time on the town board when he and Warren Redlich partnered for four years, a very long four years for us residents while they mucked up government pretty badly.

Given Mr. Grimm’s expertise as a news media strategist, I suppose “spin” is part of the package. He includes more “spin” with his remarks in The Altamont Enterprise of Oct. 17, stating that Ken Runion is a career politician. In fact, Ken Runion is a lawyer who had his own law practice with a large business and individual client base.

Recent Guilderland business openings and/or improvements during the Runion administration include The Great American Cookie Store, the Tractor Supply Company, Hamilton Square, the Recovery Room, Metro Movers, fin- your fishmonger, Sleepys, Karner Plaza, Mill Hollow — an 86-unit senior condominium at the site of the former Bavarian Chalet, and The 20 West subdivision across the street from Town Hall.

To compare Mr. Grimm’s college class on news media strategy with Supervisor Runion’s many years of business involvement is absurd.

On water quality, in The Altamont Enterprise article, Mr. Grimm also states that he would sit down with Watervliet and ask them how we could work together. The town already has agreements with the cities of Watervliet and Albany, the village of Voorheesville, and the town of Bethlehem successfully protecting and sharing our mutual water supply. Mr. Grimm, the train has already left the station.

As for the Democrats, Ken Runion and his team have superbly guided the town through a most turbulent fiscal period and at the same time, maintained a quality of life in Guilderland admired by other Capital Region municipalities.

Guilderland has a strong credit rating and solid financial reserves. A recent report from the New York State Comptroller’s Office indicated that Guilderland’s finances evidence zero fiscal stress, the best possible score in the comptroller’s rating system. Guilderland has the lowest town tax rate in Albany County, new soccer fields at DiCaprio, town ownership of Western Turnpike Golf Course paid for with only golf-course revenue, improvement in all town parks including new playground equipment for our children, upgraded water and sewer infrastructure, many new miles of sidewalks paid mostly with grant funds, etc.

No wonder Ken Runion for supervisor, and Patricia Slavick and Paul Pastore for the town board, Jean Cataldo for town clerk, Lynne Buchanan for receiver of taxes, and Denise Randall and Richard Sherwood for town justices are supported by all three major political parties. Each occupy the position or have years of related town government experience.

Folks, the future of Guilderland is in our hands. Neglecting to vote, in essence, results in a vote for candidates and a Republican party mired in outdated traditions better left in the past. Ken Runion and his team will continue to provide the skills and energy needed.

Please consider giving them your vote on Nov. 5.

Gerard Houser
Community Gardens Coordinator

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