Todd Kusnierz is now in his fourth four-year term on the Moreau Town Board. He also has worked for state Sen. Patty Ritchie since 2011 in various capacities, including as her chief of staff. He knows politics and he knows the issues, both on a state and local level. That practical knowledge is the primary reason the board was persuaded to endorse him.
Mike Linehan, a mason and union leader, made some good points to the board about problems with Moreau’s politics. First, important projects, such as the need to provide sewer service along Route 9 down to Exit 17, haven’t gotten done.
Second, the board has been volatile and dysfunctional, with meetings degenerating too often into tense confrontations and, even, shouting matches. The biggest share of blame for this unfortunate state of affairs goes to Supervisor Gardner Congdon, whose testy leadership style has not served the best interests of Moreau residents.
But Kusnierz has not been a calming influence. It’s fair for Linehan to call him out as having been part of the problem with civility on the board. We believe, however, that as supervisor, Kusnierz can be part of the solution, by concentrating on practical problems and practical solutions and putting personality differences aside.
Although Linehan would bring knowledge of the construction industry and labor issues to the job, he is not well-versed in town political issues — he has not been attending Town Board meetings — and it would take him some time to familiarize himself with the board and its work.
Kusnierz can get to work right away, and we expect he would. He has pledged to resign his job in Albany if elected as supervisor.
To make it affordable, the sewer project may need to be done in stages, Kusnierz said, starting near the village and working toward Exit 17. Although he embraces the characterization of Moreau as a “bedroom community,” the zoning code may need tweaking, particularly in regards to the way housing developments are laid out, he said.
Kusnierz mentioned Moreau’s “enormous potential” and said commercial developers interested in sites in town are “waiting in the wings” for a change of administration. He pointed out development has exploded south of Moreau — at exits 16 and 15 — and is now picking up north of Moreau — at exits 18 and 19. All that is needed is a town administration that can demonstrate stability and make progress on running a sewer line down Route 9 for similar progress to occur around Exit 17, too.
We appreciate the civic spirit and moxie of Mike Linehan, whose candidacy demonstrates how difficult it can be for a working person to run for local office. Linehan works long days, which leave little time for politics.
But Kusnierz’s experience and contacts could be exactly what Moreau needs, and they will be, as long as he avoids the negativity that has plagued the board in recent years. He is the right choice for supervisor.