Merrihew, Martin face-off in E-town

ELIZABETHTOWN Two experienced Elizabethtown politicians are seeking to lead the town. Incumbent Noel Merrihew III (R, I) will face current town board member Joseph Martin (D, I) for the town supervisor's seat on election day. Merrihew says town is on the right track
Merrihew is seeking another term as town supervisor since it's something he enjoys doing. "I enjoy the job. I like working with people and feel I have been effective at solving problems at this local level of government," said Merrihew. "All in all, Elizabethtown is a great little community that seems to be on the right track. My board is always interested in improvements and programs that will benefit the town and has shown its ability to implement necessary changes," said Merrihew. Merrihew said the chief issues facing the community were maintaining property taxes at a reasonable level in light of increasing costs of services. Merrihew said the town had been successful so far in balancing cost and revenues. Merrihew said that there were several projects he wished to continue to develop, including the Deep Hollow boardwalk-nature trail, wastewater treatment project and numerous boards the town was trying to activate. Merrihew said his record on property taxes showed he was doing his job. He said that from 2005, there had been a nine percent decrease in the general fund tax levy, and a 47 percent decrease in the general fund tax rate since 2004. Merrihew currently serves as the chairman of the Essex County board of supervisors. He served as town assessor for 12 years, and worked in the private sector for 17 years, gaining experience in finance, budgets and personnel. A Vietnam veteran, he is currently a member of American Legion Post 551. "I feel voters should objectively ask themselves if the town has improved during my tenure. We have successfully completed numerous projects that have benefitted the people and we have delivered these projects at reasonable cost with the help of grant funding," said Merrihew. Martin offers voters a choice in leadership
Martin has longed desired to be Elizabethtown supervisor, and said he felt the time to run had come. "My family has grown, my wife and I discussed it, and we felt if I was to run for the position, now is the time. We felt people should have a choice, politicians needs to be challenged to keep the political scene active. I have the want and the ability to run town government efficiently and effectively placing less demand on the taxpayer," said Martin. Martin said the main issues facing the town was waste management, including the town's need for a sewer system. Martin explained that future development for senior housing, assisted living and infirmed care services, low and middle class housing units and employment opportunities depended on the ability to improve the town's infrastructure. He said the property tax reform was a key concern, and he wants to encourage more community involvement. "What I would like to see is more community involvement - this is your town, get involved, run for office, attend meetings, volunteer, make a difference," said Martin. Martin has been an Elizabethtown councilman for 19 years, gaining experience in working with budgets, personnel, purchasing and town laws. A business major in high school, he attended management training programs through Verizon, and served as president of several civic organizations. He worked in the service industry for 31 years before retiring in 2003. "I love this town, I have the want, I have the know-how. I'm not afraid of a challenge. I believe in honest, straightforward government and I have the time to commit to public service. I give you 'the freedom of choice,'" said Martin.

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