Candidates may be lining up to run in a presidential election that’s still over a year away, but locally, parties are just gearing up the campaign machinery for this November. Lloyd Republicans held their caucus on Monday in St. Augustine’s Church school and picked who they wanted to represent the party in town races for supervisor, highway superintendent, justice and two town council seats. The 81 people who voted preferred incumbents in the two contests which actually required a vote. Supervisor Paul Hansut and justice Eugene Rizzo had no challengers at the caucus and were accepted by acclaim. Leonard Auchmoody will make his third attempt to become highway superintendent, and sitting council member Mike Horodyski will be joined on the ticket by Planning Board member Dave Plavchak.
“I take this job very, very seriously,” said Hansut, “and I don’t let the parties influence what I do. It’s not all me, though,” he added, saying that the town council “works very well as a team.” He also reminded the attendees that the Town Board is doing what it can to rein in expenses. “Taxes are too high, but it’s not town taxes. Outside of the water district, taxes are down,” while those who are in it are still paying off necessary plant improvements.
Horodyski received 62 votes, and Plavchak 54, to gain the GOP line over Fred Pizzuto, who received the support of 31 party members. Pizzuto is also a Planning Board member who has previously served on the Town Board, as well as the Dutchess County Legislature. Horodyski, the CEO of Wallkill Valley Savings & Loan, is chairman of the Ulster County Development Agency and a board member for the Walkway Over the Hudson. Plavchak hopes to bring his budgetary management and shared services experience from IBM to bear for the town. Both of the winners emphasized the need for balanced growth in the Town of Lloyd, increasing ratables to keep taxes down while simultaneously preserving farms and open space. Taking better advantage of the Walkway and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to attract tourism dollars is another point they each touched on.
Rizzo, who noted that when he started his career as a justice 31 years ago, he was the youngest tenured judge in the state, said that, “with humility, gratitude and honor, I accept the nomination. I’m not a politician, I do this because I love this community.”
Scott Ford, who lost the nomination to Auchmoody 56-23, said that he intends on being part of the town “for at least 25 years,” and planned on drawing from the experience of running his own landscaping business to control costs in the highway department. Auchmoody garnered a substantial majority in part because of his impassioned remarks prior to the vote.
“I’m running because it’s not healthy for anyone to run unopposed,” he said. “It’s time for a change.” Part of that change must be to the snow-plowing practices, for which incumbent Richard Klotz has received criticism at Town Board meetings. “I’ve been around equipment my entire life, and I own all my own equipment,” Auchmoody went on, so “I can take care of maintenance problems. I will look after your money as if it was my own,” he promised, and his phone number will be public should he win. Mindful that it’s challenging for residents to know which layer of government is responsible for any particular stretch of road, he also promised, “You will never hear, ‘that’s not my problem.’ I will work with you to find a way to fix it.” He also predicted he would have no problems getting along with the highway department employees, and said that winning isn’t everything: “I wish my opponent the best of luck, and will help him [in the general election] if he wins.”
Town Democrats have not yet selected candidates for the general election, which will be held on November 3.