DRESDEN — In the 2017 Dresden supervisor’s race, Republican Paul Ferguson unseated then-Supervisor George Gang. Now, the two men are facing off again, as Gang tries to win back his seat next week.
“It’s been a lot of fun learning the job and the business side of things,” Ferguson said on Wednesday. “And I can’t wait for another two years.”
Incumbent Ferguson, running on the Republican line and an independent party line — Adirondack Fairness — campaigned on a more sensible approach to the town’s finances in the 2017 election.
“I lowered taxes last year, and this year we are at a low percentage and under the tax cap,” he said.
Gang said he is running again because he does not think his opponent has the financial knowledge necessary for the job.
“My main goal is to get the books up to date,” Gang said on Wednesday, adding that Ferguson has been consistently late in presenting the town financials to the community. “There hasn’t been a correct financial since he’s been in office … we don’t have any idea where we stand and he hasn’t presented the budget yet. But there is a budget meeting tonight.”
Ferguson said that he will meet the Nov. 20 budget deadline and the public hearing on the town’s tentative budget was scheduled for Wednesday night.
“My whole point for running was to stop privileged spending,” Ferguson said, regarding his initial run. “I believed the town could get by with spending less, and we are getting it down.”
Gang, running on the Democratic line and an independent party line — Dresden United — served as Dresden supervisor for two terms from 2014 through 2017, before losing his seat to Ferguson.
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“When I was supervisor, we knew exactly where we stood,” Gang said.
If elected, Gang will work toward setting medium- and short-term goals for the town and putting money aside for equipment and highways.
“The equipment is fairly decent right now,” he said. “But we still need a formal program.”
The way Gang sees it, the most important job of the supervisor is communicating between the residents and the county and keeping the town’s finances in good shape. Additionally, he said, it’s important to be involved with the county.
“I have been going to the finance meetings,” Gang said. “It’s very important because what they do affects the town.”
Ferguson agrees the town’s finances are important, but he said there are other pressing issues.
“We have terrible internet and low phone service,” Ferguson said. “The town is in need of cable lines and internet. Schoolchildren need access to the internet.”
Last week, Ferguson said, he wrote letters to New York Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, and Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, about the issue.
“The town is in dire need of some communication,” he said. “These are safety issues. Some houses sold here and Verizon won’t hook up a landline. That shouldn’t be happening, its nearly 2020.”