Mayoral candidates state their cases


By Derek Liebig

Village taxes, the state of the armory, and consolidation of services were just a few of the issues discussed by candidates during last Thursday’s mayoral forum held at the Whitehall Central School.

More than two dozen residents showed up on a wet and gloomy evening to watch mayoral candidates Kenneth Bartholomew, Peter Telisky and William Rathbun square off on a number of issues facing Whitehall.

Bethe Reynolds, president of the Chamber of Commerce, welcomed those in attendance before handing the floor over moderator Fred Capron who introduced the candidates and set forth the ground rules for the evening’s discussion.

Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce themselves and explain why they were running for mayor before they began to field questions written on index cards by those in attendance.

Some common themes began to emerge from the outset. Each of the candidates agreed on the need to enforce the parking ban on village sidewalks and shared the opinion that although taxes were high, there was little that could be done to alleviate the burden.

“I don’t know where you cut right now, we are cut to the bone,” Telisky replied. “Can we cut taxes; I unequivocally say ‘No.’ Will I work to cut taxes, ‘Yes.’ Do I think it’s feasible? ‘No.’ ”

Batholomew echoed that sentiment. “I don’t possible see how we could possibly reduce taxes and it’s too bad.”

All the candidates said the village is hamstrung by unfunded state mandates and there was little that could be done.

Rathbun, who joked that everyone would vote for him if he said he could reduce taxes by 20 percent, suggested that residents could spend more of their own money in Whitehall to reduce the tax burden.

“If you buy a car in Whitehall, some money stays here; you buy car in Glens Falls and the money stays there.”

The candidates also agreed on the need to clean up Whitehall. Rathbun said if something wasn’t done several buildings were going to fall in the street within the next ten years.

Telisky also expressed his belief that one of the keys to economic recovery in the village would be its beatification. He said the village should take advantage of some its assets such as the canal, Main Street, Skene Manor and the natural beauty of the area to promote tourism. “We need to clean up, first impressions are important,” he said.

Although the candidates were on the same page on several issues, they also held some fundamentally different ideas on issues such as the armory and the consolidation of services within the community.

Although Rathbun didn’t think the armory was a bad investment, calling it a “beautiful building,” he also didn’t think the village should get involved with it.

Bartholomew on the other hand, was in favor of selling the building, citing his belief that the roof needed work and would be costly to repair.

“It’d be nice to have but it’s like a car. It’s nice to buy the Audi, but you end up going home with a Fiesta,” he said.

Telisky, however, shared a very different view. “I think we have to look at it. Is it viable, I don’t know? I know it’s expensive. But what if the community shared that building?”

Telsiky suggested that perhaps the building could house the town, the village, the library and event the police and fire departments.

He went on to say the community needs to look at consolidation of services. “Do we need two boards, there’s 4,000 people in town; ‘no’ we don’t need two boards,” he said. “We can’t turn our back on anything. It’s not working the way it is. It’s surviving, but it’s not working well.”

“Will it work, I don’t know. But I want to look at it and see if it could save us money,” Telsiky said.

Bartholomew was of a different opinion believing “there’s a few problems with consolidation.” He said he believes it would create more boards and more government and could create more expense for citizens as a result. He did say that it may be a good idea to share office space with the town and fire department to save money.

Rathbun agreed with Bartholomew that consolidation would create more boards but believed it should be looked at to see if it could create some savings.

 

Comments

comments


Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

ReMIND, ReWIND – Sizzling rom-cons

weekMay31_ReMIND_BonnieandClyde

Do you ice her? Do you marry her? What should a con with a devil-may-care, devoted dame do? By Robert […]

Teacher’s union president weighs in on school budget

gcs

To the editor: Last week, the final reduction in force notifications for Granville Central School went out, and three teachers […]

Obituary: Daniel B. Roberts

Roberts obit photo

On Saturday May 23 2020, Daniel B. Roberts, 69 of Granville, NY lost his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, a disease […]

Obituary: Warren A. McFarren

McFarren obit photo

Granville, NY – Warren Anthony McFarren passed away on May 24, 2020. Warren was born on December 10, 1936 in […]

Obituary: Francis George Norton

Francis Norton obit photo

Whitehall-Francis George Norton, 80, of Lafayette Street passed away on May 31, 2020, at the Rutland Regional Medical Center, with […]

Supervisors change county budget officer

The Washington County Board of Supervisors

By PJ Ferguson This morning’s special Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting was wrapped in under 10 minutes, however, with […]

Obituary: Gladys M. Monger

Monger obit photo

West Pawlet, VT – Gladys Monger, 90 years old, passed away on May 25, 2020. She was born in Granville, […]

Obituary: Ruth A. Beckett

Ruth A Beckett obit photo

Ruth A. Beckett, 93, went to be with the Lord on May 21, 2020. She is survived by a daughter, Joan […]

State budget shortfalls will have minimal impact on village, town

granville

By Matthew Saari While public schools across the state sweat and ponder how much state money they will receive for […]

Canal to open – but not here, Lock 12 shut down till August

Canal Open

By PJ Ferguson The New York State Canal Corporation is targeting to open all locks along the Champlain Canal on […]

Boat memorial restored

Boat memorial

By PJ Ferguson Members of American Legion Post 83 helped to rebuild the boat memorial that stands on the corner […]

Tax deadline extended for village residents

granville

By Matthew Saari Residents of the village of Granville will have an additional three weeks to submit their annual property […]