QUEENSBURY — The Town Board is operating far better this year than it has in the past, board member Tony Metivier told The Post-Star editorial board Monday.
The board is interviewing all candidates running in primaries on June 25. Metivier petitioned to run against lawyer Paul Ryan, who was endorsed by the Republican Committee. Metivier, a Republican, has been supported by the Democrats since 2017 and chose not to ask for the Republican endorsement this year. He was first elected in 2008.
In that time, “This board’s probably one of the best boards,” Metivier said. “In 2016, (Supervisor) John Strough did not know how to delegate. He did everything himself. Now in 2019, we all have projects and we are all held accountable.”
Metivier’s project is digital signs. After looking at sign laws in other towns, he presented a draft that he said would handle every concern the board had, but the board wasn’t enthusiastic. Earlier this year, the board agreed to allow digital signs outside the mall and in a small area that includes Great Escape and West Mountain.
“We’re going to try it in a few zones and see what happens,” he said. “I think that it makes sense — if we can replace two billboards with one and make it not as obnoxious.”
Metivier also worked on the new law that requires waterfront homeowners to get their septic system tested before a property sale. He’s proud of the requirement, but he said more needs to be done to tweak the law as issues crop up.
One owner’s distribution box was buried in such a way that it could not be dug up. It eventually cost $7,000, and inspectors found the entire system was working properly.
“They could have done it with video-cameraing, but the law states it has to be uncovered,” Metivier said. “Once we get this under our belt, we will extend this to the entire town.”
If re-elected, Metivier wants to broach the topic of reassessing Glens Falls, using the Queensbury assessment department.
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“The city has said for years that it can’t afford a reval,” Metivier said.
But the town assessor could do it, and the town should help the city get back to full market value assessments, he said.
He does not support eliminating the town tax, but said he would be open to reducing it. When the town last eliminated it, he said, property owners were confused, with some thinking their entire property tax bill would be gone. When he was on the board that restored the tax during the recession, he said, owners panicked, thinking their entire tax bill would quadruple.
“It’s only about $130,” he said of the average tax bill.
On clean energy, he supports the Town Board’s efforts, which include replacing most light bulbs in town with LEDs, installing solar panels and buying two hybrid cars.
“Are hybrid vehicles the answer? I don’t know, especially when they’re not driven that far,” he said. “We all need to start somewhere.”
As for whether the town should “lead the charge” on climate change locally, he said the town may be in the financial position to do it.
“Glens Falls is less fortunate. Hybrids versus a regular car — they can’t have these discussions. We can,” he said. “Because we can lead the charge, maybe we should.”
His opponent, Ryan, has said he does not believe in climate change.