John Strough is a hard-working supervisor who occasionally fails to keep his fellow board members as informed as he should.
Rachel Seeber is a hard-charging candidate who is too political by half.
The choice is an easy one: Strough has led the town through a prosperous four years and prepared it for many more. He deserves a third term.
Seeber is too cozy with local Republican officials who have resorted to the dirty-tricks style of national political parties, and she demonstrated that by the way she responded when the subject was raised.
Asked about a maneuver Republican Party officials discussed in emails that were recently made public, Seeber at first said she didn’t know the details of the affair, although she soon was discussing it in precise and lengthy detail.
That maneuver, much-discussed in recent days, involved running a candidate in Ward 1 — Hal Bain — who no longer wanted the job, in the hopes that he could get elected, then resign, and the Republican-dominated board could pick his successor.
Seeber tried to blame the affair on Bain, saying it was his decision whether to let people know he didn’t want to run anymore, even though it was Republican officials who came up with the plan to keep that quiet.
She insisted that John Aspland, the town attorney and, at the time, the vice chairman of the town Republican Committee, had done nothing wrong — “nothing illegal” — by endorsing the plan.
She pointed out that she wasn’t included in the emails and said she had nothing to do with the plan.
Queensbury isn’t so big that Seeber, running for the town’s top political job, can credibly distance herself from the campaign strategies of the town’s Republican Party leaders.
Her closeness to the action became clear when, in the middle of Wednesday’s editorial board meeting, she produced a letter from Aspland — dated for Monday but not previously made public — resigning from the town Republican Committee.
Seeber’s refusal to condemn the political maneuvering in Ward 1 and defense of having a political partisan for town attorney fall short of the ethical standards town voters should be seeking.
Fortunately, the incumbent supervisor, Strough, is a capable, fair-minded, knowledgeable public servant with a wealth of experience. That is why, in a town where Republicans hold a big advantage, Strough, a Democrat, has been elected and re-elected.
Now approaching the end of his second term as supervisor, he served for 10 years (five terms) on the Town Board from Ward 3. Before that, he was on the Planning Board for three years, and before that, he was advocating as a private citizen for development that took homeowner concerns into account.
As supervisor, he has presided over a successful redesign of the Exit 18 corridor, which is beginning to boom with new development.
He has instituted safety programs that have cut the cost of workers compensation, pushed for vehicle management and replacement programs to keep the town’s fleet running and avoid crisis expenditures, outsourced some town services to save money and kept taxes down.
The town tax is being reduced in this year’s budget, but he advocates keeping a modest town tax in place, rather than eliminating it and then being forced by shortfalls to bring it back.
Under his leadership, the town has come up with a three-phase plan for improving the traffic flow in front of the school complex, with the first phase starting this fall.
He opposed the switch from the town’s former law firm but was outvoted. We’ve seen how that turned out.
Seeber has, with justification, criticized the way Strough handled an audit from the state comptroller that showed problems with the way state grants were being handled by a contractor, Dave Decker, who worked for a coalition of municipalities, including Queensbury.
Strough failed to alert the rest of the Town Board to the serious issues being raised by the audit, and Decker has subsequently been charged with fraud.
Strough is not implicated in any malfeasance — the audit concerned a time before he took office as supervisor — but, as he has admitted, he should have kept the board informed.
“This job is an administrative job,” Strough said, and he’s right.
He has shown himself, with this one exception, to be a very good administrator, and we believe, in the future, he will be better when it comes to communicating with board members.
He isn’t perfect, but with John Strough in office, we are confident the supervisor will always put the interests of the town first.
Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Rob Forcey, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle, Controller/Operations Director Brian Corcoran and citizen representatives Dan Gealt, George Nelson and Connie Bosse.