Paul Hansut faces one opponent intent on unseating the incumbent as Lloyd town supervisor this year, Fred Pizzuto.
Hansut is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Lloyd 21st Century party lines.
Why did you decide to run for this office this year?
I decided to seek reelection based on the sole reason I enjoy serving the residents of Lloyd. I have spent the majority of my adult life serving the public, first in my career in law enforcement which started in the Town of Lloyd police department, Ulster County Legislature, community events, recreation commission, fundraising organizations and assisting in youth programs. I feel my common-sense approach and non-political stance has served our community well. I am proud of my record in public service, which always has had the best interest of those I represent in mind.
Do you have a vision for the town?
My vision for Lloyd is continuing to “Move Lloyd Forward” in a smart, well-planned, fiscally responsible manner. I believe with the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park, a state-of-the-art Highland Library and a hamlet filled with growing businesses just to mention a few as our town’s major tourism and educational facilities; our future is bright.
What skills, experiences, or qualifications do you have that make you the best choice for town supervisor?
My life experiences in dealing with the public in all types of situations has given me the ability to listen to concerns and issues and address each one of them to come to a favorable solution. In my career in law enforcement, I developed the skill of being a problem solver and conflict manager striving for positive outcomes. I served as majority leader in the Ulster County Legislature, and there I gained the experience of bringing both sides of the political aisle to agreement on a variety of issues. I have gained the skill of networking with other agencies of government and other elected officials to bring the best of results.
What are the top three challenges facing the town of Lloyd right now?
The top challenges are generally always the same each year: providing quality services, a safe environment, recreational activities, smart and a well-thought-out development, helping our small businesses grow and sustain, assisting our seniors, veterans and youth, all while keeping taxes affordable and under the state tax cap, which I have done for five budget cycles.
What would be your top three priorities when you begin as supervisor in January?
My priorities for 2018 are looking at infrastructure such as sidewalks and finding funding sources to replace and repair where needed. We are currently witnessing a great deal of pedestrian and bike traffic in and around our community. That is a good thing to help our businesses, but we also must make sure those who enjoy the experience of seeing our community and the children walking to and from school can do so safely.
Pizzuto is running on the Democrat party line.
Why did you decide to run for this office for this year?
I have been on the planning board for several years. I am also now on the revolving loan fund. I am concerned about keeping the quality of life in the town while it continues to grow with new projects coming up. Over the past year, people started asking me why I didn’t run for office as a town board member. I grew up here. I served on the town board years ago, and I am proud to say we accomplished a lot in my tenure. There is a lot of tension on this town board and right now, I think the politics keeps them from doing the actual work that should be getting accomplished. I am enrolled in the Independence Party, but have a reputation of being able to work with anyone and everyone. So, I guess the answer is, I got excited about taking on even a bigger role!
Do you have a vision for the town?
This town has a powerful role to play in the next few years. We need to continue to work with developers coming forward to make sure we always work towards smart growth. Although we did a master plan, there are parts of the zoning code that were not updated to match the master plan. That has to be done. Otherwise, the planning board cannot require applicants with projects that might jeopardize property or residents to make those concessions. We have a considerable amount of property lining Route 9W. We need to make sure that we are ready for new projects because that is the main way to increase our tax base and hopefully stay under that tax cap. And then we have new construction and some older neighborhoods. I would like the newcomers to become more actively involved in town activities. I am hoping to bring all the different “factions” in the town together — some of these disconnects go back — way back. I know it sounds näive, but I really hope to make all residents (and store and business owners as well) — understand they all have a stake in the town’s success moving forward.
What skills, experiences or qualifications do you have that make you the best choice for supervisor?
First of all, I am retired, my son is out on his own. I live alone and am quite excited to make this my “full-time” part-time job. I have the opportunity to be at the town hall every day; and I really mean it when I say I will have an open-door policy. When I think about my qualifications, I guess I have been preparing myself for this all my life. I was not only a councilman here, but also served for a time as an Ulster County Legislator. I then moved to Dutchess County and was the chair of the City of Poughkeepsie Planning Board before I became a D.C. legislator for four terms. While on that legislature, I was chair of the budget and finance committee and then personnel committee. I served as deputy comptroller for four years.
I served in the Army, am an exempt member of the Highland Hose Co., officer in the American Legion Post 193 and a member of the Lloyd Historical Committee and the Adonai Lodge 718. I am a member of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association, member and past president of the Hudson Valley Mortgage Bankers Association, member and past president of the Association of Senior Citizens, member and past president of Dutchess Community College Alumni Foundation.
I am a certified mortgage banker with a certification as a financial planner from Marist College.
So, I think this shows that I am uniquely qualified to serve as supervisor. I am very proud to say that no one else has a background as extensive as I have in obviously the financial side of things, but public administration and personnel management, as well.
What are the top three challenges facing the town right now?
1. We need to become pro-active in updating our zoning code so that we can continue the high quality of life we all want.
2. The town has such a large number of employees between the town hall, courts, highway, police…..not even adding in all the volunteers. There needs to be a cohesive connection with all of these people and acknowledge that they are really the ones keeping this town running.
3. We need to get and keep a better handle on the fiscal constraints, while making sure we are keeping up with road maintenance, sewer and water properties, etc.
What would be your top three priorities when you begin as Supervisor in January?
The obvious answer is to look at my answer to: What are the top three challenges facing the town right now? I am hoping that all the people I have been talking to at their door will give me the opportunity to sit in the supervisor’s chair. And I can make this a sincere promise. I will listen…..And then, hopefully, we can solve anything that needs solving together.