Over more than a month, The Post-Star editorial board has been meeting with candidates from across the region who are seeking its endorsement.
There were 39 meetings in all, taking up an estimated 20 hours of time.
We didn’t get to talk about every issue, but our 30 minutes with each candidate provided insights into their qualifications, intelligence, leadership and character that few voters will have the opportunity to experience.
We don’t expect any voter to use our endorsement as the sole reason for their choice. We hope it is just one of the tools they use before going into the voting booth.
In Saturday’s newspaper, The Post-Star provided voters with an Election Guide that included capsules of information that provided biographical information and what candidates believe are the most important issues facing their communities. All in their own words.
Most importantly, voter turnout is notoriously low in local elections.
Do your homework and go to the polls.
Cassie Fedler vs. Beaver Watkins
As the current supervisor, Cassie Fedler has struggled to keep the budget under the tax cap, but considering the economic challenges in the town, Fedler’s save-for-a-rainy-day approach is the best way forward to keep taxpayers from being even harder hit when the town needs expensive new equipment.
ENDORSEMENT: Cassie Fedler
Phil Nicholas vs. Dan Shaw
The infectious personality of Phil Nicholas and his insistence that he can bring more interest into town government and the community make him an attractive candidate. Shaw has done a competent job keeping Easton on sound financial footing while getting state money to renovate Burton Hall. But Nicholas sold us that he could take Easton to the next level.
ENDORSEMENT: Phil Nicholas
Glens Falls mayor
Candidates: Dan Hall, Rich Cirino, Tim Guy
In this three-man race to be the next mayor, it was clear that Dan Hall, Glens Falls’ councilman at large for the past nine years, has been groomed for the position and is the most qualified to continue the good work done by Mayor Jack Diamond. We were further impressed by Hall’s ongoing preparation so he can do the best job possible for city residents. Both Tim Guy and Rich Cirino are lacking in the experience needed to lead a city the size of Glens Falls.
ENDORSEMENT: Dan Hall
councilman at large
Jane Reid vs. Robin Barkenhagen
Jane Reid and her opponent, Robin Barkenhagen, mostly agree on what the issues are in Glens Falls and on what should be done about them. Aging infrastructure needs to be replaced, derelict housing addressed, taxes kept in check. The difference between the candidates comes in their public sector experience and record of getting things done. Barkenhagen is a downtown merchant with no political experience. Reid is a lawyer who has served on the Glens Falls school board and Planning Board and has been the 3rd Ward councilwoman since 2013. Her long engagement in the civic and political life of the community makes her the best choice for councilor at large.
ENDORSEMENT: Jane Reid
Glens Falls Common Council, Ward 1
Jim Campinell vs. Phillip Underwood
Phillip Underwood’s career as a contractor and now as a development manager for a landscape supply company should be useful on the Common Council, particularly in dealing with one of the biggest problems in the city’s neighborhoods, derelict housing. Underwood is running against Jim Campinell, who is finishing his first term on the council. Campinell is running as part of a “unity slate” of three Republicans and three Democrats, looking to get re-elected on the basis of progress the city has made over the past few years. We’d prefer to see some fresh faces and fresh energy on the board and think Underwood can provide that.
ENDORSEMENT: Phillip Underwood
Glens Falls Common Council, Ward 3
Rachel Murray vs. Diana Palmer
Third-Ward voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices to represent them on the Common Council. Both are young professionals who should bring lots of energy to the job. Ultimately, the choice came down to Murray having more experience on the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. Both of these positions provide outstanding experience for working in municipal government and, while we believe both would do a good job, Murray is better prepared and would have less of a learning curve.
ENDORSEMENT: Rachel Murray
Glens Falls Common Council, Ward 4
Candidates: Steve Baratta, Scott Endieveri, Ben Lapham
Ben Lapham is skeptical of the conventional wisdom. He criticized Common Council meetings as perfunctory affairs and suggested citizens would be better off if decisions were being more thoroughly questioned in public. Scott Endieveri, the incumbent councilman, emphasized the progress downtown has made over the past four years, particularly in public infrastructure. Steve Baratta, the third candidate in the three-way race, offered some creative ideas, such as development of upper floors in downtown buildings as collaborative workspaces, but seems unprepared for a job as councilman. Lapham raised pertinent questions that we’d like to see being asked by a member of the Common Council.
ENDORSEMENT: Ben Lapham
Glens Falls Ward 1 supervisor
Jack Diamond vs. Nancy Underwood
As the current mayor in the city, Jack Diamond brings close to two decades of experience to local government. It is hard to argue with those credentials. Still, our editorial board struggled with its decision. Part of that reason was that Nancy Underwood has outstanding credentials as well, and could be someone who will provide new ideas to the county Board of Supervisors. Ultimately, the board decided unanimously that as long as Diamond was engaged and motivated, he was probably the better choice to represent the 1st ward in Warren County.
ENDORSEMENT: Jack Diamond
Andrea Hogan vs. Peter Olesheski
Johnsburg is fortunate to have two committed and well-qualified candidates seeking the job of supervisor. As director of Adirondack Community Outreach Center, Andrea Hogan coordinates a large group of volunteers to provide various services to local people in need. Peter Olesheski has been working for the county for years and is now in his second term on the Town Board. Olesheski has the knowledge to be an effective advocate for the town at the county and the experience to do a good job as supervisor.
ENDORSEMENT: Peter Olesheski
Lake George supervisor
Dennis Dickinson vs. Dan Hurley
Dennis Dickinson has the right skill set to handle the complexity of issues facing the town of Lake George, from invasive species and home septic systems to figuring out the right way to market the economic tourist engine of the region. Dickinson has also been a champion of consolidation in working with the village to get things done.
ENDORSEMENT: Dennis Dickinson
Glens Falls Ward 4 supervisor
Karen Judd vs. Bill Loeb
Karen Judd, a lawyer who serves as the deputy city attorney for Glens Falls, brings an impressive resume to her campaign to represent the city’s 4th Ward on the Warren County Board of Supervisors. Before going to law school, she had a career in social services and served as the director of services in Schoharie County. Her administrative experience as the head of an important county department will be an invaluable asset on the county board. We respect the public service of her opponent, Bill Loeb, who has served both as a city councilman and as a county supervisor from the 4th Ward. But we’re impressed by Judd’s qualifications and think she can add to the small group of supervisors bringing a fresh approach to the county board.
ENDORSEMENT: Karen Judd
Todd Kusnierz vs. Mike Linehan
Todd Kusnierz is a longtime Town Board member and a staffer for state Sen. Patty Richie. He has the knowledge and experience to be the supervisor Moreau needs to catch up with its neighbors to the south in Wilton and the north in Queensbury. Mike Linehan is sincere, has some creative ideas and is a hard worker, but has never served in public office. If Kusnierz steers away from the confrontations that have dominated the board in recent years, he should be able to accomplish good things in Moreau.
ENDORSEMENT: Todd Kusnierz
Queensbury Town Board, Ward 1
Hal Bain vs. Tony Metivier
Hal Bain announced a couple of weeks ago that he was not running and was not seeking the board’s endorsement. Considering the Republican hi-jinks, in which Republican leaders plotted to have another candidate appointed if Bain won the election, it was all for the best. Metivier, a Republican who has been targeted by other Republicans in the town over a vote on the town’s law firm, has the experience and, most importantly, moral scruples to continue to represent his ward.
ENDORSEMENT: Tony Metivier
Queensbury Town Board, Ward 2
Catherine Atherden vs. Brian Clements
Brian Clements, the incumbent, had little new to say to the editorial board, and worse, he defended an underhanded political maneuver Republican officials had tried in Ward 1. He also defended the town attorney, while his opponent, Catherine Atherden, sensibly called for replacing the town attorney because of his partisan political activity. Atherden has broad employment experience and is active in local environmental organizations. She is thoughtful and independent and will bring a fresh viewpoint to a board that needs it.
ENDORSEMENT: Catherine Atherden
Queensbury Town Board, Ward 4
Tim Brewer vs. Jennifer Switzer
Ward 4 has two great choices with the experienced Brewer and the accomplished Switzer. We opted for Switzer, who has lost twice before, because of her plan for a multi-year financial plan that could put the town on good footing for years to come and because of her years of experience in municipal finance.
ENDORSEMENT: Jennifer Switzer
Rachel Seeber vs. John Strough
John Strough is a hard-working, effective public servant. For two terms he has presided over a prosperous Queensbury and deserves a third term. Seeber has failed to distance herself from dirty politics being practiced by Republican Party leaders in town. Strough needs to start delegating work to Town Board members, and we believe he has learned from his mistakes in holding back a bad audit from other Town Board members. Ultimately, he has gotten a lot done and shows no sign of running out of energy.
ENDORSEMENT: John Strough
Sue Clary vs. Bruce Ferguson
We believe Sue Clary’s vision for the future trumps Bruce Ferguson’s vast experience as a previous longtime supervisor. Clary has worked on boards in both the village and town and has positioned herself to help finish the recent consolidation. But more importantly, she wants to see improvements that will help Salem grow and become an attractive place to live for another generation. The board was sold that she could deliver on that promise.
ENDORSEMENT: Sue Clary
Cynthia Hyde vs. Susan Shepler
Susan Shepler has experience from her job with a school district in handling financial accounts and dealing with budgets that her opponent, incumbent Supervisor Cynthia Hyde, lacks. Shepler also has the steady disposition and results-oriented approach to keep the Town Board on an even keel amid sometimes-contentious town politics. Paying for necessary infrastructure and services in small, remote towns like Thurman is difficult, and Shepler is best equipped for the challenge.
ENDORSEMENT: Susan Shepler
John Rozell vs. Pete Telisky
Pete Telisky has a wealth of experience serving the village as a trustee and mayor and six years as town supervisor when he rose to chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors. But the board was taken with the low-key approach of current Town Board member John Rozell, who promised to keep a strict philosophy of fiscal conservatism. Whitehall might not change much, but Rozell can keep the taxes low.
ENDORSEMENT: John Rozell