This coming Election Day, in addition to the names of candidates seeking reelection, Town of Rosendale voters will be faced with a ballot question: a referendum on whether or not the terms of office for the town supervisor and superintendent of highways should be increased from two years to four. If approved, the change would take effect January 1, 2020 – the next terms for the incumbents in both posts, who are running unopposed.
“I believe anyone running for supervisor can do a better job by having a four-year term, to ensure enough time to complete projects and other work they have committed to. The building of the new pool, the James Street project, the shared Town Hall are all examples of projects that took more than two years to complete. Taxpayer money can be wasted if projects are started and the next person in office chooses to not go forward with that investment. If grant money is awarded, it will take several years to process those funds to needed projects,” says town supervisor Jeanne Walsh in defense of the ballot proposition. “I also think a two-year term is limiting, in that a newly elected supervisor will spread time learning the job in the first year and spend the second year focused on the next campaign. I am thankful to the Rosendale residents for supporting me as I enter my fifth term, and plan to use the extra time to get more done for our town.”
“The term of four years is already in place for most of the 20 towns in Ulster County,” points out highway superintendent Bob Gallagher. “When I took over, I spent the first six months prioritizing the roads to be repaired, and also drainage issues that needed to be taken care of. There was also equipment that needed to be upgraded and equipment to be purchased to make our work more efficient. With plans in place for capital road work and equipment in place, you are now into your second year of your two-year term. Then you have to start campaigning again for the position. Since this is the third term I am running for the position of highway superintendent with cross-endorsements, it makes it easier to concentrate on getting the work done without worrying about having to campaign for the position every two years.”
Will Rosendale voters show their faith in their current elected officials’ performance by extending their terms of office, or use the ballot box to express their frustration with politicians in general, manifested in a desire for more term limits? We’ll find out on Tuesday, November 5.
To learn more about the candidates in Rosendale running for election on November 5, visit www.hudsonvalleyone.com.