Been bouncing this thing around and about, who to endorse for these town offices and the royal We finds that it’s easy to lean both ways. This has been a most excellent election campaign and there are surely many pluses and a few minuses to each of the candidates for town supervisor and town board.
Woodstock has a fine contrast in the race for town supervisor. The job itself can be a bear. There is enough to do to keep you working 24 hours a day, every week, every year. There are details on top of details, minutiae pile up to engulf the larger concepts one has espoused. Political traps line the roadways. Every action you take alienates someone, but doing nothing alienates everyone. Your supporters want ten out of ten, nine isn’t enough. Your detractors are pleasantly surprised when they get one out of ten.
Yet, with hard work, extraordinary patience in dealing with an incredibly diverse constituency close up and some political savvy, you can accomplish a great deal that benefits the citizens.
So Jeremy Wilber has done the job for eight years. He has a great command of the tasks ahead, a grasp of the detail, has developed methods of operation that have worked before. He has a track record that we can all see, and makes a case that these fiscal times are so difficult that his expertise in handling it, and hitting the ground running outweighs the learning curve that Lorin Rose would have to experience. But eight years in office also brings along opponents who have finely honed bones to pick with his record.
Lorin Rose has shown that he’s an engaged, astute candidate, with a gruffly friendly manner that, coupled with his business success, gives you an easy confidence that he’s up to the task. His debate performance picked off a few targets that hadn’t been mentioned heretofore, letting you know that he’s given more than a cursory look at things. He hasn’t angered anyone…yet. But is his skin thick enough, will he have the patience for tedious processes that must be followed, for the constant probing and questioning?
Do you pick the engaging, intriguing new face with great promise, or the experienced guy who has already piloted the vessel through the waters? Neither candidate has espoused views with which we have serious disagreements.
We’ve written reams of copy on this race, and the candidates have appeared forthrightly and visibly. So we leave it to you to decide. Woodstock should thrive either way.
For town board, Ken Panza has earned your serious consideration. His hard work in attending vast numbers of meetings and assimilating copious amounts of information has made him an intriguing candidate. He will occasionally miss the point, but is willing to listen and easy access to information should make him a solid board member.
Jay Wenk and Peter Cross are both committed environmentalists. That’s a plus. Jay can list his accomplishments easily, but his admitted confusion over budgetary matters is troubling. Peter Cross’s background as a land surveyor and as wetlands inspector is important, but he’s advocated for zoning changes and building code changes and hasn’t said what provisions he’d change. His budget expertise is unknown.
So there it is again. You choose.
And here’s two things we of which we don’t approve — extending the terms of town clerk and highway superintendent. We like elections. We recomment you reject these proposition.
For the county legislature, Don Gregorius is our clear pick for the new 23rd district comprising Woodstock and West Hurley. James Monserrate, Gregorius’ opponent, has been largely unavailable, as has Jack Jordan in the new 22nd district, running against Democrat John Parete.
In Shandaken’s supervisor race, Republican Rob Stanley’s performance during the storm crisis and in bringing in a budget without a tax increase makes him the choice, despite Kathy Nolan’s excellent credentials. On the basis of our interviews, all the town board candidates have similar positions regarding the proposed Phoenicia sewer system. Michael Koegel of Mama’s Boy Market and Café is a thoughtful fresh face and make a compelling case, as does Alfie Higley.
We’ll leave the three way race for town clerk to the residents to choose.
In Olive, Berndt Leifeld is seeking his 12th (is that all?) term, with Cindy Johansen opposing him for the third time for the supervisor’s post. Maybe it’s time.
There’s an important race for Ulster County District Attorney. Holley Carnright is seeking reelection on his record highlighted by convictions in a high profile gang-related murder case from the streets of Kingston. Jonathan Sennett is seeking election on the case that Carnright is soft on white collar corruption and crime. We’ve not been able to shake our belief that Carnright let the old boys slide on the jail, conveniently shutting the book on it with but one measly, easily disposed of indictment, and on several other lower profile matters. And Carnright should surely recuse himself in the Matthews case. But Sennett has run a dismal, unlikable campaign, inspiring less confidence. Carnright, by a flicker. ++