B y Derek Liebig
Justice, two seats on town council also contested
Election Day will be a busy one in the Town of Dresden where all four positions on the ballot will be contested.
The positions of Supervisor, town council (two seats) and town justice all feature a full slate of candidates.
Incumbent and Republican Bob Banks will be opposed by Democratic nominee George Gang for town supervisor.
The election will be the first time Banks has been challenged in the general election since 2007, when he defeated Dresden United candidate Bernadette Perrone (Arthur Borin and Stiling Knight each combined for a total of five votes as write-in candidates in 2011, but neither were officially on the ballot).
Banks is the longest tenured supervisor in the history of Dresden, having served in the role for the past 20 years.
He is a former Senior Chief Gunners Mate in the Naval Reserve, having retired in 2008 with more than 38 years of service.
Banks was a member of the town board when it established Sewer District #1 and supervisor when the new system was constructed.
Earlier this year, he and John LaPointe, supervisor for the Town of Putnam, spearheaded an effort at the county to make the transport of aquatic invasive species illegal.
As supervisor, he serves on the county human services, public safety and public works committees.
He has also served on the board of directors of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, represents Washington County on the Inter-county Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks and serves on the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, the Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 Open Space Committee, and the DEC Region 5 Fish and Wildlife Management Board.
The state comptroller’s office was critical of Banks in an audit released earlier this year claiming that the town’s financial records were incomplete under his tenure. The audit also found that the town failed to audit financial records and did not file a 2012 tax computation, which resulted in the town exceeding the cap limit by approximately $11,800.
State officials said there was no evidence of corruption or criminal malfeasance, but several laws relating to the submission of financial records were violated.
Banks said at the time of the audit he was hospitalized and unable to provide all the records when the state asked, but did eventually submit everything requested to the comptroller.
Gang has lived in Dresden for the past 35 years. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and holds degrees in both business administration (bachelor’s) and public administration (master’s). He has owned two businesses and worked in the medical device manufacturing industry as a senior buyer. For the past eight years he has worked part-time for H&R Block.
Gang has previously run for town council, most recently in 2009. He has also run for town justice.
He said he chose to run for supervisor to improve communication between the supervisor, town council and local residents.
Gang will appear on the Democratic line on Tuesday’s ballot while Banks is running on the Republican and Adirondack Fairness lines.
Tuesday’s election also features three candidates for two seats on town council. Carl Sobeck is running on the Democratic ticket and Donald Greenough and Edwin Raymond are running on the Republican and Adirondack Fairness party lines.
Greenough is a lifelong resident of Dresden and worked for nearly three decades in the town’s highway department.
He is a former member of the town council and has been involved in town politics in one form or another for 20 years. He also served in the U.S. Army and is currently a member of the Whitehall American Legion and Whitehall Elks.
Like Greenough, Raymond also served in the U.S. Army and has lived in Dresden for more than 50 years. He works for General Electric in Rutland, Vt., owned and operated Route 22 Sales and Service and was a bus driver for the Whitehall Central School District. He is also a member of the Dresden Volunteer Fire Department and has been active in the Whitehall Youth League.
Sobeck is the vice president of the Huletts Landing Volunteer Fire Department, a volunteer at the Skene Manor and a 40-year member of the Sheriff’s Association.
He holds an associate’s degree in business management and has previously run for town board.
Voters will also have the opportunity to select a town justice from two candidates: Helenmarie Sunkenberg and Jared Eggleston.
Sunkenberg is an ordained Presbyterian minister who most recently served as pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian Church. She holds degrees in chemistry and mathematics and worked in pharmaceutical research until pursing a master’s of divinity degree.
She has lived in Dresden for nearly 40 years.
Eggleston currently serves as one of two justices in Dresden (his father, Jack is the other) and is a production leader at General Electric in Rutland, Vt.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and has lived in Dresden his entire life.
Sunkenberg will appear on the Democratic ticket and Eggleson will appear on the Republican and Adirondack Fairness ballot lines.
The polling location for residents of Dresden is the town hall at 102 Clemons Center Road.