GLENS FALLS — Matthew Brown, the Republican candidate for Ward 2 county supervisor, has made term limits for county supervisors one of his campaign issues.
Brown said he doesn’t believe the county should allow supervisors to serve indefinitely, and he believes eight years (which amounts to four of the two-year terms Glens Falls supervisors serve) should be the maximum.
“I don’t think it’s good to let people go forever. People get complacent,” he said.
Brown has challenged Peter McDevitt, who has the Democrat and Conservative parties lines, as McDevitt seeks a sixth two-year term.
Brown, who will have the GOP and Independence Party lines in November’s general election, said he knows it takes a bit of experience to understand the county Board of Supervisors’ issues. But he said staying too long can be detrimental.
“I think eight years is good,” he said.
McDevitt said Friday that he, too, was in favor of term limits.
He said the Glens Falls city charter at one point specified eight-year term limits for county supervisors from Glens Falls, which was not enforced. But the Common Council did away with the law after McDevitt, then a member of the council, sued over the lack of enforcement
“They basically changed the charter to say term limits are not in effect for supervisors from the city of Glens Falls,” he said.
Brown also said he would push for a reworking of the county’s formula to distribute sales tax proceeds, as he said a system that factors in population in some way should be in place over one that rewards the money based on property values.
The county board has been involved in a debate on-and-off for years among supervisors who believe that towns with more valuable waterfront property are getting more than their share of sales tax, over towns with higher population.
Brown attended a recent meeting on the issue and said it was clear the Board of Supervisors was divided on the issue.
“Some towns are struggling,” he said. “I think there at least has to be a conversation about it.”
Brown said he has also found that many residents of his ward don’t understand what county supervisors do, who their supervisor is and the difference between county supervisors and Glens Falls Common Council members. (The county board oversees county government and services, which includes setting a county budget that is paid for in part by property taxes.)
Brown is a 1989 graduate of Glens Falls High School who has worked in restaurant management for 25 years, currently working as director of operations for The Grill at Martha’s in Queensbury. He is making his first run for public office.