Friday, July 31, 2009

Stammel seeks re-election

TROY – A Rensselaer County Legislator who currently represents the city of Rensselaer will seek re-election this fall in an effort to continue maintaining quality of life and revitalization efforts.

Legislator Mike Stammel, a Republican who represents District 6, said he was urged to seek another term in the office by residents from multiple political parties who appreciated his work in addressing constituent issues, working to stabilize county property taxes, supporting a county budget that did not raise the tax rate, and opposing tax and fee increases approved by the state Legislature.

Stammel serves as an assistant fire chief and has worked for years with Rensselaer’s volunteer fire department and ambulance service. He has also coached a number of youth sports, served as a board member of the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club.

“I love Rensselaer. I have so many friends and family across the city, and I am honored to serve as a Rensselaer’s County Legislator,” said Stammel. “I am excited about the opportunities we have in Rensselaer and look forward to helping continue the revitalization of our city.”

“As county legislator, I have helped keep county taxes stable and protected needed services for seniors, veterans and youths,” he continued. “I have been there when residents need help, and I pledge to continue to be there when residents call.”

Stammel also noted that he worked around the clock to help assist residents and property owners, including damage to the Rensselaer Little League facility, during the 2008 flood

He has been recognized for his ongoing community service with the Donald Leahey Award from the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club, along with a local government award from the Pelletier County Government Institute.

Additionally, Stammel currently serves as a representative on the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and on the Capital District Transportation Committee.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mirch running for re-election

TROY – The man recently voted as the Capital Region’s best garbage man by a local news weekly is running for re-election to the Rensselaer County Legislature this fall on his reputation of being "the man who gets things done."

Legislative Majority Leader Bob Mirch, who was given the title by Metroland last week for his work as Troy’s commissioner of public works, his legal battles, and the questions surrounding the shuttering of a controversial art exhibit in 2008, is seeking re-election with hopes to continue serving the city that he loves.

Mirch, who is seeking re-election in District 1, has also earned a reputation for constituent service in his public works position by directing proper responses to snowstorms, floods, fires, and other emergencies, in addition to his work with code enforcement, rehabilitation, and management of abandoned properties.

In his capacity as majority leader, Mirch helped to stabilize property taxes, protect county services for seniors, veterans and youths, and joined other legislators to oppose tax and fee increases approved by the state this year. He also worked to make the Legislature more accountable and accessible to constituents with the monthly broadcast of meetings, maintenance of a legislative Web site and working to keep legislative operating costs down.

Mirch said that he took pride in his ability to respond to the needs of local residents and was seeking re-election to continue to be there for them.

"I love Troy and it has been an honor to serve the residents of Troy. I genuinely enjoy handling calls from residents and making sure the job gets done right," said Mirch, who said that constituent service would continue to be his focus. "Policy and procedure are important, but too many elected officials forget about handling the little things. Being able to help get a street repaired, trash removed or have a code enforcement issue be resolved is just as important to me."

Mirch, who is a lifelong city resident, lives with his wife, Cecile in Lansingburgh and learned about public service from his father, John, a former City Court judge.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Schofield for City Council

TROY – Former school board president Jason Schofield is seeking a seat on the City Council this fall.

Schofield, a Republican, hopes to represent District 6 in November and said he will use his experience working cooperatively in public service to keep Troy’s rebirth on track by focusing on quality of life issues.

Scofield was re-elected to the Enlarged City School District of Troy’s Board of Education in May after leading the body as president for the past two years.

"As a member of the Board of Education, I worked to create responsible budgets but also made tough decisions that addressed the financial realities," said Schofield. "Those experiences fighting for the school district’s taxpayers will serve the constituents of the sixth district well when I’m elected their City Councilperson."

Schofield, who is also endorsed by the Independence and Conservative parties, said that while serving as school board president he helped to structure five budgets in a row which were adopted by school district voters and had been a vocal opponent of a restructuring plan of the previous district administration which cost roughly $1 million. He also believed that plan led the district to make difficult choices and ultimately to the defeat of the most recently proposed budget.

"Schools are just one factor of what makes a great community. In the larger picture people move to an area because it’s safe, it has great schools, and the people care about their neighborhood," said Schofield. "Working with the council majority to address quality of life issues and others – like property tax relief – I believe we can move Troy forward together."

Schofield also serves as president of the Emerald Athletic Club, a member of the C.R.A.B. and Polish-American clubs, a parishioner of St. Anthony’s Shrine Catholic Church and has worked as the treasurer for the city’s Flag Day Parade Committee for the past 10 years.

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Dunn for Family Court

TROY – Amid a clash of three potential Democratic candidates, a Republican lawyer hopes to emerge this fall as a Rensselaer County Family Court Judge.

Arthur Dunn, a local attorney who has worked a member of the county Law Guardian Panel for the last 13 years and as an assistant public defender in family court, said he hoped to do a lot of good families of the county if elected to the position.

In November, Dunn will face the winner of a three-way primary between incumbent Richard Hanft, the Democratic candidate whose appointment was confirmed by the state Senate Wednesday, Working Families Party candidate Geri Pomerantz, and Beth Walsh, a Democratic who is running without formal party support. The seat became vacant when Judge Linda Griffin retired earlier this year.

"I have substantial family law experience and for many years I have shown my commitment to the families and children of Rensselaer County," said Dunn. "In my capacity as a law guardian I have acted as attorney for thousands of children in every type of proceeding including neglect, custody and visitation cases, juvenile delinquency, and persons in need of supervision, PINS, cases."

Dunn also noted that since the judgeship comes with a 10-year-term, it was very important to make sure the right person was selected for the job.

"I know that as judge, my extensive experience helping parents and children through the legal system will allow me to make a difference for the families who enter the Rensselaer County Family Court," said Dunn.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Danaher for District 2

A town board member known for his community service will seek a seat on the Rensselaer County Legislature this fall.

Phil Danaher, a Republican, said he would like to improve constituent services in District 2, strengthen services for seniors, veterans, and youths, and to pursue shared services agreements between local governments.

Known for spreading the motto of “people, not politics,” Danaher said he plans to pursue common-sense solutions as a member of the Legislature.

“We have to put people before politics, and work together to reduce the burden on county taxpayers, grow our county and protect our quality of life,” said Danaher. “I want to improve the communication between residents in District 2 and county residents, and strengthen the services we provide for seniors and youths, along with ensuring veterans receive support.”

Danaher was first elected to the Town Board in 2003, where he has been known for pursuing bi-partisan solutions, and helped make town government more accessible to residents with the launch of a town website that allows residents to stay in touch with their local government from the comfort of their own home.

Danaher, who operates his own private law practice, previously worked as an attorney for the Town of Nassau as well as the Village of Castleton, and used his legal experience to negotiate contracts for the town police and dispatcher unions.

“Working as counsel to different municipalities has given me a great understanding of how to handle contracts, property transactions and liability issues,” Danaher. “Owning my own business has made me very aware of the pressures facing businesses in our state, and ways to create new jobs and opportunity.”

He has also been active in the community as a basketball coach at Holy Spirit School in East Greenbush as well as a local tennis instructor.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown gets union endorsement

TROY – An incumbent candidate for City Council has received the support of local builders.

Councilman John Brown, D-At Large, who is seeking re-election this fall, was recently endorsed by the Greater Capital Region Building Trades Council and the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union Local 2.

“I am truly honored to have the support of the men and women of organized labor as I seek re-election this year,” said Brown. “They are the backbone of our economy and our communities.”

Bob Mantello, president of the Bricklayers and Building Trades council, which represents more than 12,000 unionized construction families, said that Brown has shown he is willing to fight for working men and women and good government at the same time.

“His support of the Police and Fire Department staffing levels in Troy, as well as for additional code enforcement officers in the city, prove John Brown is a friend to organized labor and a hard worker for his constituents,” said Mantello.

Brown added that he has continued to work for open and responsive government that works for the taxpayers of the city.

“Since I took office, I have attended many, many neighborhood group meetings, I have issued a bi-annual newsletter to keep residents informed, and this (Democratic) council majority lengthened the public comment portion of council meetings,” said Brown. “I hope I am fortunate enough to continue to serve the people of Troy for two more years.”

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Manny for Legislature

TROY – A retired firefighter is looking to represent the city as a member of the Rensselaer County Legislature.

Edward Manny, who retired from the Troy Fire Department in 2006 after serving 28 years, is running as a Democratic candidate for District 1 in November.

As a member of the Troy Professional Firefighters Union who served as chairman of the Public Relations Committee, Manny was a frequent speaker who addressed students in all city schools, as well as local businesses and organizations, on fire safety. He also worked with city and state officials on various fire safety issues.

“We are all dismayed by the failures we are seeing in government at the state level, while problems grow for the ordinary citizen,” said Manny. “I want something better than tha for the people of Rensselaer County.”

Manny is known throughout the city as president of the Troy Flag Day Parade, the largest parade of its kind in the country, where his duties over the last 30 years have included meeting with local businesses and organizations for sponsorships and organizing committee meetings.

A graduate of Catholic Central High School, Manny is a current member of the Troy Retired Firefighters Association and a member of the Friends of 112th Street. He has been married for 38 years and has three children and six grandchildren.

“When elected, I will bring to the legislature high ethical standards and professionalism,” said Manny. “As a candidate, I will represent everyone.”

Vandenburgh running in District 1

Kay Biski Vandenburgh is running for the District 1 seat on the Rensselaer County Legislature.
The Republican said the perspective of a businesswoman and mother would be useful assets on the Legislature.
"I have experience managing a business, making payrolls and planning and growing a business. At the same time, I have the perspective of a mother who is involved in the community and who wants to have quality services provided," said Vandenburgh.
For the past decade, she has helped manage Pip’s tavern with her husband Kevin.
Along with her business and private sector experience, Vandenburgh said she would draw on her past work at a group home caring for adults with special needs in ensuring seniors, veterans and youths receive needed services.
"I am not running as a politician. I am a mother and a businesswoman who wants to make a difference in the community and believe I can make that difference in the county Legislature," said Vandenburgh.
Born and raised in Troy, she has helped organize fundraising events for the Lansingburgh Boys and Club and is also involved in youth baseball and Pop Warner in Lansingburgh. Pip’s is a sponsor in the Lansingburgh Independent Baseball League and basketball league at St. Augustine’s.
"Kay has great experience as a businesswoman, and knows the difficulties facing taxpayers and private business in the state. We are very excited about having her join the County Legislature and making Rensselaer County and Troy a better place to live and work," said Chairman of the Legislature Neil J. Kelleher.
Kay and her husband Kevin live on Ninth Avenue and are the parents of three sons.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mechanicville Dems pick their slate

The Mechanicville Democrats have endorsed incumbent Mayor Anthony Sylvester in his bid for a second two-year term.
“I want to continue the work we’ve been doing. Getting grants and improving the city’s look and infrastructure.” said the mayor. “I’m having fun. I enjoy the job.”
He points to a $1.2 million grant to fix the sewer line and money to fix up Rte. 67, a gateway into the city and an ongoing study to improve the look and infrastructure of Central Avenue. Also, the city got a $236,000 grant to improve the boat dock.
Looking ahead he said the city “needs to be the downtown for AMD.
“We need to be the cash register,” he said. “We want people to come enjoy the restaurants and boutiques and the more they spend the more sales tax we get.”
His opponent for the $9,000 a year job is Daniel Mark Pickett, who Sylvester called a “friend for years.”
To read about the GOP slate click here.The Democrats also endorsed Timothy Hipwell for commissioner of public safety, David Higgins for commissioner of public works and Peter Chauvin as commissioner of finance.
“Our candidates will provide the residents of Mechanicville continued leadership in community revitalization, fiscal responsibility and public services,” said party Chairwoman Susan Peluso.
Republicans are backing Kevin Roberts for commissioner of public safety, Michael Coleman for commissioner of public works and Michelle Duell for commissioner of finance.
Each of the positions carries a four year term.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bodnar for council

TROY – A Sycaway resident is hoping to preserve the integrity of city neighborhoods as a member of the City Council.

Dean Bondar, who has served on the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals for the past two years, is looking to represent District 3 as a member of the legislative body this fall.

“Troy’s neighborhoods have seen much progress in recent years. As a longtime resident of the city, it’s great to be a part of its revitalization,” said Bodnar, who noted that was a strong proponent of a “down-zoning” initiative to preserve residential neighborhoods. “There is always more work to be done. As a member of the City Council, I promise to continue the advances our city is already experiencing.”

Bodnar said his extensive history of participation in community activities, including work with the Our Lady of Victory parish council, serving as president of the school board there, and working as a volunteer with the Rensselaer County STOP DWI program, was one of the reasons he was qualified for the job.

He also noted his excitement about the Republicans’ chance to recapture the City Council majority and said their platform of financial integrity and accountability combined with continued economic development would address the concerns of city residents.

However, Bodnar pointed out that as a member of the City Council, he would also be part of a team restoring the legislative body to a productive governing partner rather than a partisan sparring opponent.

“Trojans are tired of having petty political infighting keep this city from realizing its potential,” said Bodnar. “I look forward to making the case why I am the best person to end the gridlock and keep Troy on the right track.”

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