On November 3 Essex voters will have a choice between five candidates contending for two openings on the Essex Town Council. All five candidates have been given an opportunity to explain their interests, qualifications and vision so that you can decide which deserve your vote.
This post is a follow-up to Pete DeMola’s September 9 article in the Sun Community News, “Meet the Essex Town Council Candidates“. For variety and balance we have reversed the order of candidates (reverse alphabetical order). And, instead of asking everyone to respond to the same questions, we have invited the candidates to address whichever issues they consider most relevant. We believe the following position statements submitted by each candidate will complement DeMola’s article and amplify the community’s perspective and understanding. Please take the time to read and contact the candidates with your questions and feedback.
It is important that our local government play an active, dynamic role in preserving the best parts our community while encouraging responsible and sustainable development to strengthen our tax base.
My wife Sarah and I love Essex! Not only is it our home but we also own two businesses here which are related to the new agricultural entrepreneurism that is emerging in our region. Essex is one of the most unique communities in the Adirondack Park and it is important that our local government play an active, dynamic role in preserving the best parts our community while encouraging responsible and sustainable development to strengthen our tax base. That is why I am promoting:
- Stewardship: Respect Essex history, people, and natural resources.
- Partnership: Partner with stakeholders to develop shared services and promote investment in our community.
- Entrepreneurship: Support and promote innovative businesses (existing and new) who are cultivating new opportunities here in Essex.
A strong Town Board must:
- Identify a safe and affordable source of water for the hamlet.
- Create a strong and sustainable tax base.
- Develop Essex into a thriving year-round community.
- Establish better financial oversight over taxpayer money.
I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in local government and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. As a previous school administrator and school board chair, I crafted budgets, negotiated contracts, and supervised staff. Currently, I serve as Chairman of the Board of Assessment Review and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Essex and serve as President of the Board of Directors for the Cornell Cooperative Extension for Essex County.
I believe the town government has an obligation to do everything possible to help all [its] people succeed.
At one time, Essex was the sparkling jewel on Lake Champlain and I feel strongly that Essex is ready to rebound and reclaim that title.
I think the town needs to focus on several issues: providing potable water for the hamlet, promoting and encouraging business, making the town safe and welcoming for visitors, providing internet access for everyone and I think, most importantly, establishing and publicizing a list of goals for the town.
One of those goals, I think, should be providing more access to the lake to both citizens and visitors. With access to the lake, quality of life improves and business opportunities appear. Second, we are surrounded by the beauty of the meadows, forests and farms. We have an incredible network of farms and hard working citizens that we need to promote and protect.
I want Essex to be vibrant. My family and I spent many summers in town and we decided 3 years ago to move here full time. I quickly realized that the town needs its citizens to be involved. Without any consideration for this political campaign I immersed myself in the community and have met a diverse group of people. I drive the ambulance for the EMS, I am vice-chair of the Essex Planning Board, I am active with Essex Initiatives and am a board member of the Essex Community Fund.
I don’t have any agenda other than to help make Essex vibrant. We have many hardworking citizens, entrepreneurs and families moving to the Champlain Valley and I believe the town government has an obligation to do everything possible to help all those people succeed.
I see and directly experience the need to create sustainable futures for our businesses and residents, while still respecting the historical character that makes this town unique.
I first came to Essex in 2002 and fell in love with the town—and with my now-husband, Essex native Todd Goff (who has served in the military for 20 years). We live in the same home Todd’s grandparents once did. While raising our son Alexander, teaching journalism at SUNY Plattsburgh, and working for a variety of magazines, I have over the years volunteered in various capacities—including as a board member of our library, as a coordinator for a series of writing/photo contests for CATS to promote the region, and as a current member of the Grange’s kitchen committee. I’m also proud to say that the bulk of our family’s food is grown right here in Essex, as we’ve been CSA members of a local farm for nearly 8 years.
These are some of the issues important to me:
- I am one of just two incumbents and/or candidates that still has children who live with us fulltime and therefore I place great value in fostering resources and opportunities for young families and children. The costs to maintain our home have doubled in the past 10 years. I want to ensure Essex remains a livable and affordable place for families.
- I want to uphold a culture of full transparency and openness across all town board activities. And we need to encourage more public involvement and discourse.
- The sewage/water project has grown unnecessarily expensive and drawn-out. I will be keeping my eyes wide open, closely monitoring that this project is completed efficiently and ecologically. My graduate-level education in science will help me decipher the technical reports.
- The farm/local food world here is booming. This needs to be capitalized. As a professional journalist, I helped get a story published that recently ran in a national magazine about Essex as a major food hub. I’d like us to do more to promote the resources our home has to offer.
- I am a resident of the hamlet. Therefore, I see and directly experience the need to create sustainable futures for our businesses and residents, while still respecting the historical character that makes this town unique. I’ve witnessed firsthand some of the hurdles businesses are put through—businesses that do not impact the historical integrity of Essex. I’d like to see the town be more supportive of the businesses and organizations that make Essex such a great place to live.
I am running as a write-in candidate. I welcome your thoughts: Gretel.email@example.com.
I believe an affordable water and sewer system is critical to the village.
I am a candidate for town council because of the potential upcoming water project. I believe an affordable water and sewer system is critical to the village. As an owner/operator of a construction business, I would like to offer my knowledge and experience to the town board.
The key to a successful Town government is to make sure that there is continuous interaction between the Town Board, elected officials, employees and our citizens.
Working together we can focus on returning Essex to being a mighty fine place in which to live!
In the case of Essex this interaction is especially important to compensate for being one of the smallest towns with one of the smallest budget in Essex County. However small, no other town can match the talents and volunteer power found in Essex. Therefore it is logical that we continue to build a group of team players made up of our elected officials and our talented citizens. Such a combination will easily overcome our limited budget. So, in this forthcoming election, the job of Essex citizens is to elect to the Town Board citizens with a belief in this team player approach. The Town Board’s most important job? Why simply to involve our citizens in as many ways as possible in our decision making process, all the while never forgetting that there is more than one section in our Town and not one is more important than another. Essex needs team players not negative self proclaimed experts telling us what is wrong with us and Essex. Working together we can focus on returning Essex to being a mighty fine place in which to live!