This Year’s Election (2017)
By The Gazette Editorial Committee
From Issue 36: Fall 2017
Statements from the Parties
The 2017 Republican Party Platform
This slate of candidates is diversified and includes representatives from the Republican, Democratic, Conservative and the People for Gardiner (P4G) parties. These individuals are not hung up on party affiliation and they welcome the opportunity to work together for what is good for Gardiner. They all agree that Gardiner needs a local government to focus on the priorities of the entire town and to manage the town within its means.
After witnessing the dysfunctionality of a national government struggling to do right for people while being restrained by political party affiliation, we have decided to put party affiliation aside and support individuals based on their strength and commitment to the Town of Gardiner. We need a local government to focus on the priorities of the entire town and to manage the town within its means. We plan to work with the townspeople to develop a list of priorities that best benefit the town and then responsibly manage the activities and funds available to accomplish these goals. We feel this is the best team of individuals who will bring UNITY back to the Town of Gardiner. We proudly support Marybeth Majestic for Town Supervisor, Michelle Mosher for Town Clerk, Bob Rich for Town Justice, Brian Stiscia for Superintendent of Highways, Jack Hayes for Town Council and Kathy Miller for Ulster County Legislator.
Thank you and please remember to vote on November 7th, 2017.
The 2017 Democratic Party Platform
MAINTAIN AND IMPROVE THE TOWN
- Invest wisely in the town’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and buildings such as the Clove Road Bridge and the pole barn in Majestic Park.
- Improve Gardiner’s recreational opportunities for families, including facilities and programs such as Majestic Park maintenance and upgrades and improvements to the Rail Trail.
- Preserve and protect drinking water and wetlands including the aquifer that towns residents rely on.
- Support of the library as the town’s social and cultural center.
- Address the problems of Dusinberre Road.
EXERCISE FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE
- Develop responsible budgets based on the needs of the community.
- Limit the tax burden on Gardiner property owners.
- Employ expert resources to secure grants and donations to help fund important programs.
- Encourage business development in the hamlet and in the industrial park to increase the revenue base.
PRESERVE GARDINER’S CHARACTER AND OPEN SPACE
- Preserve the small town nature of Gardiner and support the goals of the 2004 Master Plan.
- Advance Gardiner’s Open Space Plan.
- Support established policies that protect the Shawangunk Ridge as a natural and community resource.
- Respect sensitive ecological systems.
CONTINUE AND ENHANCE EFFICIENT, GOOD GOVERNMANT
- Continue to ensure open, inclusive government by encouraging participation by all members of the Gardiner community in town meetings and activities.
- Encourage the community to serve on town organizations, including the town board, the Planning Board, the ZBA, the ECC, and the Open Space Commission.
- Promote a greater balance on the Planning Board between development and conservation interests.
- Encourage the development of Task Forces to address community needs, such as Earth Day cleanup.
SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC VALUES
- Support the values of the national Democratic Party including sanctuary cities, women’s equality, LGBTQ issues, support for Planned Parenthood and single-payer health care.
Getting to know the candidates
Candidates were asked to respond to the following question in a maximum of 150 words. Responses were not edited.
“What do you see as the most important issue facing Gardiner, and what are your constructive ideas concerning this issue?”
Party affiliations (as supplied by candidates): Rep (R); Dem (D); Working Families (WF); Women’s Equality (WE); Conservative (C); People for Gardiner (P4G); Independent (I)
Candidates for Town Supervisor:
Lisa Lindsley (D, WF, WE): Our town is at a critical point, and elected officials must foster responsible economic development while preserving our rural character. I want to ensure that our water, wildlife, land and the natural resources that make Gardiner unique are not exploited by predatory financial interests that are not part of our community.
The institutions, policies, processes and professionals that govern land use no longer serve the long-term interests of Gardiner residents. I will work for more effective implementation of Gardiner’s master and open space plans, and an update of town laws to be consistent with these plans. I will initiate a process to review, get community input, and update these plans – each over a decade old – in light of the trends of development in Gardiner.
The boards and committees that influence development in Gardiner – planning, zoning, open space, environmental – require dedicated impartial volunteers. Recruiting and training those volunteers will be a priority.
Marybeth Majestic (R, C, P4G) incumbent: One of the biggest challenges facing Gardiner today is the issue of balance. How do you balance the aesthetic and recreational concerns of residents, while respecting property owner rights? Processes to obtain this balance are critical. These are zoning laws, master plans and open space plans. It is no coincidence that last year tourism in Ulster County increased twenty-one million dollars. The beauty of our town and county cannot be ignored. Now that this is a widespread fact, everyone wants to experience the beauty we are fortunate to live with every day.
As your Supervisor, I seek to find balance by gathering information, and allowing full disclosure by offering residents on both sides of an issue the opportunity to speak at public meetings. I also fully implement decisions made by the board even if they don’t go the way I hoped. Balance; the biggest challenge facing the wonderful town of Gardiner.
Candidates For Town Board:
Jack Hayes (R, C, P4G): The Gardiner Town Board is experiencing a good deal of community concern about a number of development projects. Coupled with the concerns are calls for a moratorium and a complete review of the town’s Master Plan. The last time extensive zoning law changes occurred in Gardiner many property owners lost control and use of their property. The “five acre zoning” in particular excluded many young people from home ownership in our town. A number of seniors who had relied on their real estate to help fund their retirement found the new law restricted their property use and actually reduced its value.
As a member of the Town Board I will fight to preserve property rights. I will strive to make Gardiner an affordable place to live for all Gardiner residents especially the young and the old. I will work to bring “Farmers” back to our Town Boards and Committees.
David Dukler (D, WF, WE – incumbent): The recent increase in building projects highlights the need to review the Master Plan and zoning code for revisions and additions as needed. This should be done by the Town Board in conjunction with the Planning Board, the ZBA and other parties.
We need to insure that our plan is giving us what we want. By including all stakeholders, we should explore issues like housing affordability, tax implications, increasing demands on town government, infrastructure implications, and the development of an economic base to create additional revenues while crafting our community vision. We also need to address present infrastructure needs. We must redouble our efforts to address our assets—pole barn, rail trail, and Clove Road Bridge. I commit myself to focusing our efforts on these issues as a priority.
Warren Wiegand (D, WF, WE): The most important issue facing Gardiner is making sure that we work together to make our town a better place to live and raise our families. We’re all too aware of the dysfunction and chaos in Washington and Albany, where political partisanship and extreme self-interest get in the way of progress. Protests take the place of serious discussions. It’s about winning, not about what’s best for the community.
We can do better in Gardiner. How? By talking and listening. By respecting each other. By considering each other’s ideas. By being willing to compromise. By doing what’s best for the community. It’s not about individual wins and losses. It’s what’s best for all of Gardiner’s residents. I promise to always listen to what’s on your mind. Contact me at email@example.com.
Pam O’Dell (C): I believe the most important issue facing the people of Gardiner are found in two fatal flaws in the current zoning law. First, it was previously possible to subdivide a large property multiple times over years, chipping off small lots for children or sale. Under current law for small developments a property owner may only subdivide one time. This encourages development of the property to the fullest extent possible which has the maximum negative impact on schools and services.
The second flaw is that property owners of land in the two top tiers of the ridge must seek permission in getting a special permit in order to build one single family home, where in all other zones, owners have a “use by right” for a single home, without special permission. I believe this is against the 5th Amendment. Both of these flaws should be repealed in the zoning law.
The Ulster County Legislature
The candidates were asked the following question and given 150 words in which to reply. Their responses were not edited:
“What are the most pressing issues currently facing Ulster County?”
Tracey Bartels (D, WF, WE – incumbent): The most pressing issue facing residents of Ulster County continues to be property taxes. As your representative, I am working hard to provide relief. Since my return to the Legislature, we contained costs and provided cuts to your County property taxes. We also assumed several costly programs, thereby reducing the town tax burden. Ulster County is a leader in fiscal accountability, responsible budgeting and reform. We have also repeatedly been recognized for our environmental leadership and initiatives, resulting in budget savings and environmental protection. I am proud to be a part of the solution, but the work continues. More than 100% of all County property tax dollars pay for state mandated programs. I am committed to continuing to look for efficiencies and to demand savings. Gardiner is a special place to call home. I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent you and to work on your behalf.
Brian Stiscia (D, R, C, Incumbent): Brian Stiscia, Democrat, a lifelong resident of Gardiner, employed with the Town for 24 years. Running unopposed and endorsed by all political parties. I would like to thank the Tax Payers of Gardiner for their continue support and trust in me with running your Highway Department. My Team and I will continue with the high level dedication of service the Tax Payers have come to enjoy.
There’s Still Time To Register To Vote
For residents of Gardiner, the Ulster County Board of Elections website (ulstercountyny.gov/elections) tells you all you need to know to register to vote.
You must be a U.S. citizen; be 18 years old by the date of the election in which you wish to vote or by December 31st of that year; live at your present address for at least 30 days before the election; not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction; and not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
If you haven’t registered when you obtained or renewed your license, call the Board of Elections at 845-334-5470 and request an application or download one from the website. You can also get an application from your local post office, library or city or town clerk’s office. Finally, you can apply in person at 285 Wall St., Kingston.
As soon as your application arrives at the Board of Elections Office, it will be reviewed by two people who must sign off on it. Once the application is approved, the applicant’s name is immediately added to the voting roles and a registration card is mailed out.
If you have any concerns about filling out the form, it’s worth driving up to Kingston where an election clerk will assist you.