When I decided two years ago to stand for election, I did my due diligence and understood our Town faced some serious issues. Our bond rating had been reduced, increasing interest expense, our water infrastructure was continuing to deteriorate, the Town had to face reduced revenue from outside sources including Modern and CWM, and contract negotiations with our unions had to be re-negotiated.
These problems and others, though difficult, I felt were manageable if I could provide the ingredient that had been missing but most essential: Leadership. I asked myself at the time, “Am I up to this challenge?” After thoughtful consideration, I answered “yes”.
Your Town Board was immediately faced with the untimely death of our newly re-elected Highway Superintendent, Doug Janese. And what did we do? We appointed Dave Trane, a Democrat. I hope you heard that. A majority Republican Town Board hired a Democrat! We did this in the best interests of the citizens, the taxpayers of Lewiston. We picked the best qualified guy available… not the best “Republican.” Similarly, our Budget Director, Marty Blazick, an appointee from the previous administration, was asked to remain in her critically important position. Once again, we chose her qualifications over “politics as usual”!
This has set the transparent, Open Government tone of my administration. “Do the right thing.” And, if you study the record, more than 90% of the votes taken by the Town Board are unanimous, 5-0; that should tell you that this Town Board has serious people who are serving the public and not afraid to face our issues.
We have been very fiscally responsible. Among my first actions was to engage the services of a new auditing firm. They have given us a fresh outlook. We did find it necessary to impose a Town tax but have proposed no increase in 2018. Budget Director Marty Blazick has developed a bare bones budget that preserves services and cuts expenses. We have renegotiated the union contracts for three of our unions. No fanfare, no public arguing; just common sense on both sides.
I have been very fortunate to serve with some great people in Town government. The Town staff has been uniformly excellent. Our Department heads are knowledgeable and cooperate with each other like never before. The tone at Town Hall is calm and friendly, with everyone pulling in the same direction. The days of public acrimony are past. Our Board lost the services of Beth Ceretto, an Independent, who is retiring. She will be missed. I am recommending that lifelong resident of Lewiston, Vic Eydt be elected to fill that open seat. My recommendation is always going to be to select the most qualified person. Please consider Vic Eydt’s vast government experience and knowledge base when you cast your ballot.
Councilman Al Bax is on the ballot again this year for his 4th term serving the Town. Please return him to office. Al is our longest sitting Councilman and an essential part of our team. His knowledge is an extremely important asset to the Town and the Board. He has earned your vote for his contributions to our Town. Like myself, Al Bax has vision and bases his votes on the long range fiscal stability of the Town and preserving the great quality of life in Lewiston.
As I ask for your vote on November 7th for another term as your Supervisor, I am optimistic about our future. However, new challenges await. The pace of development has increased and must be carefully considered. Legislation must be written to manage wind power and solar power projects. Financial issues will never go away, infrastructure needs will continue, budgets must be defended and at the same time, our primary goal that must always be foremost in our minds is to protect the taxpayers and the quality of life that make Lewiston so special.
Thank you for your faith in me. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 7th.