T hree candidates, one of whom has more than a decade of experience on the Granville Board of Education and two who are relative newcomers to the political scene, are vying for two open seats on the Hampton Town Council.
Tamme Taran who was appointed to board earlier this summer will run against fellow Republican David Jensen and Utilitarian Party candidate Thomas Edwards for one of two open seats on the town council.
A longtime resident of Hampton, Taran served on the Granville School Board for more than 12 years and was appointed to serve on the town council in July after William Lawrence stepped down citing health reasons.
His term expires at the end of the year and Taran has decided to pursue a new four year term.
“I enjoy helping Hampton anyway I can. I’ve been an active member of the community for many years and served as the Hampton Health officers for several years,” Taran said. “I was attending meeting for about a year before I was appointed, so this is something I’ve wanted to pursue for awhile.”
Taran, the school nurse at the Granville Elementary School, said she was approached several years about running but her commitment to the Granville School Board didn’t leave her enough time to properly devote her time.
A proponent of farming, one of Taran’s goals is to promote Hampton’s rich tradition of agri-business and continue to keep taxes low.
“My main goal is to keep taxes as low as possible while providing the town with everything it needs,” she said.
Also running on the Republican ticket is David Jensen who moved to Hampton from Colorado about four years ago.
Jensen, who holds a degree in agriculture and whose wife is a partner at the Granville Large Animal Hospital, said one of his main concerns is keeping the tax burden affordable so local families can continue to live in the area.
“I’ve spoke with my neighbors and some other people in the community who are concerned they are being priced out of New York,” Jensen said. “My goal is to keep property taxes as low as possible and keep the budget in check.”
Jensen he got interested in running when the town council had discussed changing the highway superintendent position from an elected position to an appointed position (an idea that eventually voted down) and has been attending meetings since earlier this fall.
“I’m excited to run. Hopefully I can win and meet more people and receive their input,” he said. “I think a big part of the job is listening.”
Running against Taran and Jensen is Utilitarian candidate Thomas Edwards, a former Washington County Highway Department employees and resident of Hampton for more than 25 years.
A self described “rebel without a cause,” Edwards said he entered the race because candidates are constantly running unopposed and he’s sick of political apathy.
“People don’t care about what goes on in government. It’s always the status quo. Officials have no contact with the public and I want to change that.”
Thomas said he is running on a platform of unification and working together.
He said he would like to get more funding and more grants to help finance local government.
“There’s a lot that can be done, we just need the input,” he said.
Also running for office is current highway superintendent Frank Baker. He is being opposed by write-in candidate Matt Thomas.
Thomas, who grew up in Castleton and graduated from Fair Haven Union High School, owns Thomas construction in Hampton.
He said outgoing town council member John Mashak approached him about running and the write-in campaign has been catching momentum ever since.
“I’m proud of our little town. I’m happy with the taxes and happy with the way the highways are maintained and want to continue that tradition,” he said.
Thomas said he has experience operating road graders and other equipment and maintains private roadways.
He said that experience and the fact that he’s familiar with new products and different pricing would help him in the position.
“My only agenda is to keep taxes low and keep the roads in good shape,” Thomas said.
Hampton resident will also elect a new supervisor, although the race doesn’t carry much intrigue.
Longtime supervisor Don Sady made the decision not to run again and Dave O’Brien is running for the position unopposed.
O’Brien is a former Granville village board member and has already begun attending County meetings to make his transition of office a smooth one.
Local residents can votes from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at the Hampton Town Hall on Route 22.