Goodspeed launches bid to succeed Thomas

JOHNSBURG Sterling Goodspeed announced his candidacy for Johnsburg town supervisor on Monday, a quest that if successful, would see him succeed his mentor and long-time friend, Bill Thomas. Im gonna run, Goodspeed said as he sat in the dining room of the Route 28 home that he grew up in. Bill has done a wonderful job and he deserves a lot of credit. As he departs, were facing one of the most challenging times in the towns history. That challenge comes largely from proposed development in the town, Goodspeed said, particularly in North Creek. Its an overwhelming issue, Goodspeed said. How do we retain our sense of community and yet benefit from what development can do for our tax base? Goodspeed said as supervisor, he would try to strike a balance between growth and preservation. One key to accomplishing that goal is to be certain developers are made to bear the costs of development that the town is forced to incur, costs for items such as attorney fees and engineering fees made necessary as the town does its due diligence in the project approval process. The Johnsburg Town Board, of which Goodspeed is a member, has taken steps in recent months to force developers to do just that. They will potentially profit from these developments and they should pay their own way, Goodspeed said. Development is potentially the towns greatest asset and biggest curse, Goodspeed said. Whether youre pro or anti-development, in some measure development is going to happen, Goodspeed said. I have no problem going toe to toe with developers to reach conclusions that are fair to our taxpayers. He pointed to the Front Street project as an example. Front Street planned buildings that exceeded the towns ability to protect from fire because of the buildings height. Goodspeed and the Town Board pushed Front Street to agree to purchase a ladder truck for the town. Goodspeed said as town supervisor, he would open the budget process up to the general public by convening a panel of residents to look at the budget and suggest ways to reduce costs or increase revenues. I want to put some other eyes and brains on the budget, Goodspeed said. I would be as aggressive as humanly possible to control spending. ...Sometimes a tax increase is the difference between being able to buy groceries and going hungry or being able to buy medicine or going untreated. Weve got to help the average citizen get a fair shake. Goodspeed, 44, a private practice attorney and deputy district attorney for Hamilton County, has been active in government for nearly two decades. A 1984 graduate of Saint Lawrence University and a 1987 graduate of Albany Law School, Goodspeed served as deputy Warren County Attorney before running successfully for Warren County District in 1993. He served two terms as district attorney before deciding in 2000 not to seek a third term. Goodspeed returned to Warren County government two years later on a contract basis as a public defender, a role he served in for 18 months. Goodspeed lives in North Creek with his wife Susan and their two sons.

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