Voters in New Paltz will have a packed ballot on Nov. 5. Supervisor Susan Zimet is facing off against Republican challenger Randall Leverette for the town’s top office. Three men will compete for two open Town Board seats. Voters will be asked to choose between Jonathan Katz and Richard LaRose for town justice and Chris Marx and Fred Vitarius for highway superintendent. Also, New Paltzians will have to decide if Elting Memorial Library deserves more money.
Incumbent Susan Zimet, a Democrat, is known for her advocacy against fracking and her work with property tax reform. Having been supervisor in the late 1990s, Zimet won the supervisor’s seat again in 2011. She promised to correct municipal finance mistakes created by her predecessor Toni Hokanson — a process Zimet says is ongoing.
As a strong advocate of a town-village merger, Zimet and her allies made a large push last year to enact government consolidation — only to stall out in the summer after learning that New Paltz’s proposed consolidation plan wasn’t allowed under state law.
She’s endorsed by the Democratic, Independence and Working Families parties.
Leverette, her opponent, is the chairman of the New Paltz Police Commission. He’s not necessarily against consolidation, but Leverette believes the current administration bungled the process and turned off the public in the way it handled the matter. He’d like to return the focus of New Paltz town government to basic services and governance.
Leverette sees himself as a moderate and founded a “Republicans for Obama” group. He’s endorsed by the GOP and is running on the Common Ground line.
Councilman Jeff Logan is the sole incumbent running for re-election in 2013 for a Town Board seat. That’s because the Democrat’s board colleague, Kitty Brown, decided not to run for another term.
In Brown’s place, Democrats have nominated former New Paltz Board of Education member Daniel Torres to run for Town Board.
Together, Torres and Logan are the Democratic Party’s candidates for the two open Town Board seats.
Republicans nominated Ray Lunati, who was formerly a GOP member before becoming a Democrat in 2012.