Five candidates seek two seats on Lloyd Town Board

With neither incumbent seeking a new term, five Lloyd residents have stepped up to seek one of the two four-year seats up for grabs on the town board.

Claire Winslow

Claire Winslow is running on the Democrat and Working Families party lines.

Why did you decide to run for office, and what experience would you bring to the job?

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I decided a couple of years ago to get involved. I was unhappy with the fact that development in the town was moving forward without any real plan. The town officials pushed forward housing developments that did not pay their way as far as taxes and were insensitive to our own small town heritage.

Experience: I have run a successful business in this town for over 25 years. I grew up in this town and I believe I have a reputation for involvement and candor. I have worked with many local individuals and organizations over the years and have always been willing to give and ready to listen.

What are the top three challenges facing the town right now? How would you like to see them addressed?

Planning: we need a master plan that doesn’t sit ignored in a drawer, and that reflects the desires of the entire community, while protecting the small town traditions and values of the town we all love.

Taxes: developments that require more in services then they generate in taxes just increase the burden on our taxpayers. We need smart growth that seeks to decrease the tax burden, and programs to bring down the cost of required services.

Open and responsive government: we need to end dysfunction on the town board and bring local government out of the back rooms, for the benefit of all, not a select few.

If elected, what liaison positions would best suit your strengths when you begin your term in January?

The water department and other infrastructure-related departments.

What’s going well in the town, and how would you build upon that success?

We have incredible resources in Lloyd: the walkway, rail trail and our tremendous parks. People come here from throughout the world, and we need to develop the services, facilities and infrastructure to take advantage of these amazing assets.

Leonard Auchmoody

Leonard Auchmoody is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Lloyd 21st Century party lines.

Why did you decide to run for office, and what experience would you bring to the job?

I have been regularly attending the town board meetings and have a good perspective of what the issues are facing the town moving forward. I was appointed as project manager of the Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park in 2016. I became active in not only the park, but the grant process and budgets, showing that I have the ability to work with others to get the job done. I was born and reared in Highland — raising my family, serving my country in the United States Army, operating my own business, and volunteering for numerous community events, offering not only financial support but many hours of equipment and labor.

What are the top three challenges facing the town right now? How would you like to see them addressed?

The first challenge I see is unifying the town board, with politics and personal agendas left at the door.

The second challenge is the forward movement of the town, using our location filled with beautiful parks, rail trails, the Walkway Over the Hudson to bring economic development to our community to keep our taxes manageable.

The third challenge is a serious look at, and putting together, a five-year plan to address the infrastructure in our town. The increasing foot traffic in the hamlet from the rail trail and Walkway shows a need to fix the sidewalks. The aging water and sewer lines also need to be reviewed and studied in a timely manner before a failure occurs.

If elected, what liaison positions would best suit your strengths when you begin your term in January?

I am currently a member of the Water, Sewer and Drainage Committee; that would be my first preference. [I am also interested in] the town safety committee, and I would like to see the recreation committee renewed.

What’s going well in the town, and how would you build upon that success?

I believe that under the current leadership in the town, the financial conditions are very good and well-managed; I would continue with the responsibility of keeping a handle on spending, [and] looking out for the seniors, veterans and youth of our community.

I will work hard for and with the residents of the Town of Lloyd to make this town a place to work, live and raise a family. God bless.

Christina DeMaio

Christina DeMaio’s name will be on the Conservative and Independence party lines.

Why did you decide to run for office, and what experience would you bring to the job?

I decided to run for office because I truly love my community, and my father always taught me to put in more to our community than I take out. I am born and raised here, and all sides of my family have been here for four, five and even six generations! I am already involved in our Town of Lloyd events committee and our Highland Business Association, as well as [being] an honorary member of Highland Hose Company #1. I am vested in our community and have built very solid roots here. I am 31 and single, so I have the time now to devote to our town board. The experience I would bring to the table is my ability to work with many different people to get the best job done, together with my previous experience working for five years in a high-stress, fast-paced reputable divorce and family law firm where planning strategy was key. Being part of our Town of Lloyd family business for the past several years I am also great at budgeting and understanding what it takes to deal with all types of people.

What are the top three challenges facing the town right now? How would you like to see them addressed?

I believe the top three challenges facing our town right now are:

1. The need for commercial development on the 299/9W corridor, which ties into

2. keeping the taxes affordable for our residents to reside in our community, and

3. The heroin epidemic which is killing young adults in our own back yard.

I would like to see the commercial development addressed because building these businesses will put them on our tax rolls, as well as encourage locals and even tourism in Lloyd to add to the many wonderful assets of our current businesses and parks, which we already have so people can enjoy even spending an entire day here to see all that Lloyd has to offer and put the money back into our community. As far as the heroin epidemic, I truly believe it starts with education in our schools and our community so that these young children will understand the severe danger, and never even touch [heroin] in the first place. Great work has been recently started in our community by a group of parents who have lost their children to this disease, together with our Town of Lloyd police and also education and awareness from our senators.

If elected, what liaison positions would best suit your strengths when you begin your term in January?

If elected, the liaison position that would best suit my strength would be the town fire/police/justice, since I already am very familiar with several members of our fire and police departments, and work together with them for our fire department barbecues and our town events.

What’s going well in the town, and how would you build upon that success?

What is going well with our town is the flourishing hamlet and several new booming businesses downtown and throughout the Town of Lloyd that are being created by the newest generation whom are living in our town, building families and investing in businesses here. I would build upon that by encouraging more businesses to come to our already fantastic village and what’s surrounding it so that we can continue to grow. We have a wonderful community to live, work and enjoy in and need to keep moving forward in a positive direction together, and I truly know I will be a strong voice for all residents.

Scott McCarthy

Scott McCarthy is running on both the Democrat and Working Families party lines. He was provided the same questions as other candidates, but responded in a more free-form manner.

My decision to run for office started when I noticed the constant dysfunction in our local government. One item kept coming up on the agenda, and after two years is still not resolved, when all that needed to be done at that time was to make everyone accountable by following the laws and making sure the laws were enforced. After seeing so much time being focused one this one issue when clearly there are other things that need to be addressed to benefit all community members.

The experience that I would bring to the board is my ability to make decisions that would address the needs of everyone. The many years that I have working as a general foreman in the IBEW managing large jobs and large groups of people for a common end result could prove to be very beneficial for all community members.

Accountability, divisiveness and economic growth are things the town needs to address; the first thing I see is certain department leaders could be more accountable for their responsibilities. Second, the divisiveness among community leaders if we could all realize that we work for all the people of Lloyd, not a political party. I would welcome any good idea (from anyone, any party) to push Lloyd into the future.

We are at an all-time high in residential growth since 1986; with that type of growth, changes need to happen, starting with economic growth. Businesses need to develop, and more need to come into town. Good paying wages to help people live spend and grow here.

Also the drug issue in our community is just crazy, being the center in the tri-city route to drug trafficking; this needs to be addressed. Let’s make examples of those that are caught here so others think twice before coming through or setting up shop in our town. This is a community problem we all need to address; the police department has done a great job having workshops to teach people what to look for in heroin addiction, but we have to do more. We have lost too many people in the last six years.

I have many years of construction under my belt; I would bring my knowledge and abilities of understanding blueprints and visualizing the end product and recognizing issues that may occur beforehand, but any position that was asked of me I would be happy to help.

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With the Town of Lloyd being the jewel of the Hudson Valley, I think one of the most priceless gems we have is the Walkway Over the Hudson. We have to try to harness all it has to offer. With over 500,000 visitors coming to our doorway, we need to open the door, install new sidewalks, bring them downtown and let the small businesses become larger and develop areas to open a new a variety of stores, offices, restaurants and community buildings while maintaining the constant charm of the village and its people launching us into the future of prosperity and development.

David Plavchak

David Plavchak is running on the Republican and Lloyd 21st Century party lines.

Why did you decide to run for office, and what experience would you bring to the job? 

I have been a resident of the Highland area for approximately 40 years. I have been employed by IBM since February 1977 and held numerous senior leadership positions throughout my career. My wife Darlene taught in the school district for 34 years. We have raised our families here and both of us have been involved in community activities. I coached sports in the area and stayed involved in numerous other community activities. I was appointed to the Lloyd Zoning Board in 2009 and moved to the Lloyd Planning Board in 2010. I am currently the chairman of the Town of Lloyd Planning Board, a position I have held since January 2016. As I plan to retire from IBM in early 2018, I decided to run for the town board where I can have additional influence on the town.

In my role as planning board chairman, I have been very active in interpreting the town zoning code and working with applicants, land owners, engineers and builders to make sure projects in the town conform to the code and adhere to the state/county regulations and are in line with the town’s comprehensive plan. In performing this role, I had to chair many sessions with all parties and come to agreements with all parties involved. This included chairing public hearings and resolving issues in the best interest of the residents, the applicants and the town. Some of the decisions were amicable and some were contentious, but I always made sure I was being fair to both sides and “doing the right thing” based on facts and not emotion or grandeur. During my chairmanship, we re-wrote four sections of the town code and worked with the town board to get the new code implemented.

I have gained numerous skills from my career at IBM that will be beneficial in my role on the town board. I am known as a problem solver and someone who gets the job done. My skills in fiscal management, project and program management, organizational leadership, analytics and process management will serve me well on the town board. I have setup and managed shared services, a skill and role that local government can also gain from. During my career at IBM, I have worked with and managed diverse teams around the globe to come to a common objectives and results. These skills will benefit me and the town in my role as a councilman.

I have regularly attended and participated in town board meetings for the past four years and have a very good understanding of where our town is, how the residents view our town, the issues we face how we can improve.

 What are the top three challenges facing the town right now? How would you like to see them addressed? 

1. Keeping it affordable to live in the Town of Lloyd and maintaining our aging infrastructure and services to the residents.

It is key to remain within the 2% tax cap and enable residents to qualify for their state rebate checks. I will use my fiscal management skills to influence budget and investment decisions to make sure our residents are getting the best deal for their tax dollars. With my knowledge of how shared services work, I will look for opportunities for the town to engage in shared services with other localities and entities. Our town also needs to let investors know we are open for business and try to increase our commercial base and tax rateables to lessen the burden on the residential taxpayers. I will also make sure we invest in our infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, buildings, etc) to keep our services viable while maintaining our fiscal responsibilities.

2. Keeping the Town of Lloyd a safe place to live.

Another key priority for me is also to keep our town a safe and respectable place to live and work to lower crime. This is a tough job in our town since we are in between Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Kingston and we get traffic from each direction that can influence crime in our town. I have spent time with members and officers from the town police force to understand what they face and what tools they require to fight crime in our area. My pledge is to work with the law enforcement teams and make sure they are all getting the tools, training and support they need from the town board and other agencies.

3. How do we manage to grow our commercial base with minimal impact to our residents?

A challenge Lloyd has along with other small towns in the Hudson Valley is figuring out how to grow the commercial base with minimal impact to our residents and homeowners. We need to grow this commercial base while maintaining the rural and neighborhood feel that residents are used to and desire. Key to accomplishing this is being transparent in decision making and getting input from the residents on new projects and zoning changes. There will be times when the answer is controversial to some, but in the best interest of the entire town, and we need to make these decisions based on facts and input from the residents. Within the commercial zones, there are currently properties that are vacant, and finding investors for these properties needs to be a priority.  I will work with local economic development teams at all levels and work to sell Lloyd for new investment opportunities. I believe my experiences on the planning board and my skills in development and investment decision making will set me apart from other candidates in this space.

If elected, what liaison positions would best suit your strengths when you begin your term in January?

The obvious liaison position for me would be with the planning or zoning boards. However, I would accept any of the roles. I personally believe with my background, I can be effective in any of the liaison roles and would accept the challenge and learning experiences.

What’s going well in the town, and how would you build upon that success? 

Currently our town has gained in overall involvement throughout the town. We are getting visitors from out of town coming in to support our local businesses, most of the storefronts in the Hamlet remain filled and there appears to be a good social interaction amongst our residents. I have noticed our residents getting and staying involved and volunteering for projects and committees and attending town and committee meetings. The police force has been very good with community relations and promote projects to help build the relationship with the community. I would build upon this success by being a visible and active participant within the community. I would expand the town’s partnerships with the Walkway, rail trail community and the local business community. I would ask each of these entities to regularly update the town board and exchange ideas that we could jointly assess to continually improve. I will look at other successful communities and benchmark us against them to determine how we can learn and improve our town further. ++

To learn about the Town of Lloyd supervisor candidates, visit www.hudsonvalleyone.com.

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