There are four candidates running for two four-year term seats on the New Paltz Town Board this November. The two candidates who secured the Republican nomination are Ray Lunati and Randall Leverette, and the two who secured the Democratic ballot are Jean Gallucci and Kevin Barry.
Lunati, who has been a regular attendee and participant in Town Board meetings, Planning Board meetings, Police Commission meetings and other town commissions for the past several years, said that his decision to run for office “came from years of witnessing poor decisions and repressive laws that negatively affect landowners and taxpayers throughout New Paltz.”
“Only five residents of the town make decisions; I would like to be one of them,” he added. “I’m not influenced by political parties, but by the voices of the New Paltz taxpayers.”
If elected, he said that his top two priorities would be to help ensure that the Town Planning Board “simplifies and streamlines their process,” claiming that business, industry and residential developers “avoid New Paltz due to the cost, excessive timeline,” and that in his estimation the Planning Board “typically scrutinize[s] applicants for the reason of denying approval.”
As a staunch opponent and a party to the lawsuit against the town (which was upheld in court) on its Floodplain Zoning Law, as well as its proposed Wetlands Law, Lunati said that his second priority would be opposing the “amount of new laws presented and approved,” as they are, in his estimation “very costly with little benefit, if any. I’ve been to enough public hearings where the taxpayers objected to a proposed law, have given a petition stating so, and the board still passes the law…this is a waste of time and money that could be instead channeled into something that positively enhances New Paltz.”
Like most candidates who are running for Town Board, Lunati would like to see taxes lowered. “With state mandates, foreclosures, unpaid taxes, contractual salary increases, [president Barack] Obama healthcare, failing sewer districts, social help programs requiring more funding and taxpayers requiring services, taxes will not be lowered unless we find ways to provide services more efficiently, increase revenue, bring in more industry, rather than depending on the working families and seniors.” He said that one approach to this end would be to “encourage and increase volunteerism from our youth and from our college students.”
The candidate also said that in his opinion, the town needs a new facility that could combine the Town Hall, Fire Department, Justice Courts, Police Department and Recreation, noting how woefully inadequate the New Paltz Fire Department station house was and how much repair the Town Hall needed. “How about one big town campus for all departments?”
Lunati, who has been in business for 21 years, “managing employees, finances, satisfying customers, [having] successful partnerships with other companies to tackle large jobs, as well as working for the Town Highway Department as a young lad,” said that while he likes to be “humble with my abilities,” he feels adequately prepared for the post that he’s seeking.