Meet the Town Board candidates: Dan Ellsworth

ellsworthParty: Conservative Party

If elected, what would be your top priority?

Prioritize the budget and spending. Just because it sounds like a good idea and you can pay for it does not mean you should. Unbridled spend and tax has got to stop. Saugerties has one of the highest number of tax foreclosures in Ulster County. Our neighbors are being taxed out of their homes at an alarming rate. The New York Comptroller’s office says Saugerties is fiscally stressed. Why? We spend too much. The incumbents have been in office over 12 years. Their policies caused the problem. It’s time to try someone new.

Poll: Who’s your pick for Saugerties Town Board?

Public safety: Saugerties is cut in half by the railroad. There has been a huge increase in train traffic. All Saugerties crossings are blocked for three to eight minutes at a time, sometimes several times an hour. We need to have ambulance and police permanently on the west side of the tracks. The manpower and equipment is already available. Those of us who live on the west side of the tracks pay the same property and ambulance tax, we deserve the same service. If you or a loved one is having a heart attack or stroke three to eight minutes is a very long time.

What experience do you have that would make you an effective Town Board member?


The best answer is “none.” Saugerties needs a fresh way of doing things. I can’t quite answer “none.” I have served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Advisory Committee and as a commissioner of the Centerville Fire District. I have spent most of my life self-employed, raising a family and owning a home in Saugerties. I figured out how to successfully do business and prosper for the past 40 years. Remember Jimmy Carter and 18 percent home mortgages. I will bring a fresh set of eyes and thoughts to our towns’ finances and administration.

What should voters know about you?

Tough question to answer! I think two things voters should know about me: First, my ability to look at things without emotion is important and second, I say what is on my mind. These are both my best and worst qualities.

On the best side, voters will never wonder what I’m thinking or doing on their behalf. I will be telling them. Town government needs to be an open book. I usually look at a situation as either good or bad, right or wrong. I have the ability to separate out the “wouldn’t this be nice” or “that’s cool, we need this” emotions from the process. Saying yes to every wish list presented to the board must stop. Nice things make a “town full of people” a “community.” Nice things are no longer nice when paying for them taxes you or your neighbors out of your homes. We need a careful balance.

On the worst side, sometimes I will seem cold and uncaring or unfriendly. Nothing could be further from the truth. You just need to get to know me.