Stanley, Steen, Booth top Shandaken GOP caucus

Rob Stanley, Ken Booth and Kyle Steen. (Photos by Violet Snow)

Shandaken Republicans filled the town hall almost to capacity on June 24, as they designated Supervisor Rob Stanley to run for reelection and two candidates, Kyle Steen and Ken Booth, for the two town council seats that will be open. In the November election, Stanley will compete with Democrat Brian Powers, while the council hopefuls will face two Democrats, incumbent Peter DiSclafani and Vivian Welton.

Powers received a nomination by Republicans but was defeated by Stanley, 64 to 16. In a three-way contest with Ken Anello, Steen received 61 votes to Booth’s 51 and Anello’s 25. Ken Berryann, Jr., who lost to Republican Highway Superintendent Eric Hofmeister at the Democratic caucus twelve days earlier, again went down, 51 to 27.

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Town clerk Joyce Grant, a Democrat, is unopposed for reelection and was endorsed at both caucuses. Assessor Janet Klugiewicz likewise was nominated by both parties, while Democratic Assessor Dave Channon received a Democratic nod but was not put up by the Republicans. The two incumbents are currently unopposed for the two assessor seats up for election.

Flood preparation

John Blydenburgh nominated Stanley, saying they had grown up in the town together and praising his “strong sense of community since he was little, in the Boy Scouts and the Shandaken theater. He’s keeping Shandaken ahead of the curve on the flood problems. He does a good job with the parks and created a board that keeps them in good shape. He’s been working with the city water supply and Catskill Park. And he got my septic pumped,” by the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

Stanley emphasized his role in responding to past flooding in the town and preparing for future floods by building relationships with government agencies. Having been certified as a floodplain manager, he said, “I learned the lingo to communicate with FEMA so we can get things done without spending a lot of money. Our longest period without a flood is 10 years, and we’re hitting nine now, so we need to be prepared for it.”

Matt Persons said Powers, former publisher of the Phoenicia Times, helped build the Tanbark Trail in Phoenicia and is known for “level-headedness and the willingness to work for others.”

Powers said he’s been in the community for 30 years, worked in television, and ran small businesses. “I’ve been involved in Shandaken issues since the early 90s. I fought for fair representation in the Memorandum of Agreement with New York City, I worked on the Mount Tremper fire tower and in the Phoenicia visioning process. I’m not running because I think Rob’s done a bad job, but I think we can do better under new leadership. Things are changing. We’re growing into an increasingly desirable residential community. By working together, Shandaken’s Democrats and Republicans can make change happen.”

Adam Steen nominated his son, Kyle, for town council, saying, “You won’t find a more polite, reasonable, outspoken, professional person. He’s held a job in town since he was 14, and he excelled because of who he is.”

Kyle said while growing up in town for 30 years, “I’ve always felt like a representative of Shandaken because I love the place. I’d like the opportunity to be an official representative as councilman. Hopefully I can bridge some gaps and get some stuff done.”

Dale Van Etten described Ken Booth as a “dedicated, honest, hard-working man, who loves the Town of Shandaken.”

Booth said he has lived in the area since marrying a local girl in 1984. His volunteer efforts include working with the Cub Scouts and serving on the emergency squad. Now that he’s retired from his job, he’s looking to work for the town, which he feels is on the upswing with successful businesses such as Woodstock Brewing, Phoenicia Diner, and Belleayre Ski Center. “If we work the right way, we can attract more people. We don’t have enough volunteers for fire and ambulance departments.” 

Roads and bridges

Alfred Peavy nominated Eric Hofmeister to keep his job as highway superintendent, saying he’s “well-experienced and well-respected.”

Hofmeister commented, “There’s a lot to running the highway department besides doing road maintenance. That’s 30 percent, and the rest is dealing with regulatory organizations. I got four bridges re-done with FEMA funding. They said it couldn’t be done, and I fought for it. I’m a certified floodplain manager. Materials are expensive, there are new environmental rules that make things cost more, and health insurance eats up budget increases. I do a lot of work myself to save us money.”

Joyce Grant, looking at her third term as town clerk, was praised by Helen Morelli, who remarked, “She has brought the town together, and she treats everyone with respect.”

Grant said she loves her job and still has “energy and a positive attitude.” Among the projects she wants to undertake, she mentioned cataloguing the town’s 34 cemeteries so people can find their ancestors. She concluded, “You couldn’t ask for a better town to work for.”

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