Tony Metivier has been the Ward 1 councilman in Queensbury for 12 years, but the last couple of years has been especially challenging, as local Republican Party leaders have abandoned him, because in a matter involving the hiring of a law firm, he stood on principle and refused to toe the party line. As a result, in the last election and the current one, the Warren County Republican Committee, under the chairmanship of Michael Grasso, has endorsed someone other than Metivier. He has persevered, nonetheless, and continued to do his best for all his constituents, regardless of party, which should be the guiding principle of all politicians.
During the past two years, Metivier has been part of a hard-working and effective Town Board, which has made progress on green initiatives, passed a septic inspections law for waterfront properties and made progress on a digital sign ordinance. They changed providers for animal control, saving about $100,000. They have kept Queensbury in the black while keeping taxes low.
Metivier suggested the town tax could be reduced but should not be eliminated, while Ryan said it should be “minimized.” The town tax makes up a small part of a town property owner’s local tax bill; property taxes account for the lion’s share. Both candidates suggested a sensible policy of keeping the town tax at a low but consistent level, without risking a slide into debt.
Both candidates support green, energy-saving initiatives that also save money for the town. Within the larger context of global climate change, Metivier endorsed Queensbury doing its own small part to prevent the growing climate catastrophe from getting worse. Ryan, while supporting green initiatives with a “tangible, local benefit,” said he is “not a believer in manmade global warming” and does not consider carbon dioxide a pollutant.
In terms of town policy, the difference between these two positions is minimal. It does give us pause, however, to hear a candidate for public office deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, an issue that is having a profound effect on the lives of every person in every town in the United States.
Ryan, a lawyer, said his knowledge of the law would be an asset on the board, and we’re sure it would be. But it isn’t critical — the board pays lawyers when it needs legal advice, and that will continue, no matter who gets elected.
Ryan pointed out the stretch of Route 149 by the outlet malls is a traffic nightmare. We agree. But it’s not a nightmare that has been ignored — the situation has been studied and fixes proposed, but all have been either too expensive or impractical or both. Ryan had no new proposals to make. Likewise, he said the trash plant should be phased out, because of the pollution it emits, but didn’t suggest what would replace it.
We’re glad candidates are coming forward to challenge incumbents and keep them honest, but we see no reason to replace a hard-working, effective and experienced Town Board member. We urge voters to support Tony Metivier in the Republican primary.