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Former supervisor says he's running again

WARRENSBURG Former Town Supervisor Maynard Baker said Tuesday hes seeking to reclaim his position at the helm of local government. A familiar face in town, Baker, 77, founded the Maynard D. Baker in Queensbury in 2000 -- where he now works with his daughter Starr -- after operating a similar enterprise in Warrensburg for 17 years. Baker said Tuesday he wants to change the direction of town government, focusing on cutting spending to provide relief to taxpayers. Hed be running in 2009. Baker said the existing town government, lead by Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, isnt as frugal as it should be. Kevin spends money like a drunken sailor, he said. Ive got ideas to save tax dollars -- youve got to run the town like a business, and if you dont you go under. Tuesday, Geraghty defended his record and his town boards decision-making. Hes been in office since 2006. Ive proven to be conservative with taxpayers money, he said. Geraghty said that the only unusual recent expenditures have been purchase of computer equipment and software -- totaling about $25,000 -- which was needed to boost efficiency of town personnel. Sometimes you have to spend a little money to make money, he said. Baker was also critical of the towns management of the sewer treatment system, which includes two open lagoons that allow sludge to settle out. Kevins not set aside one dime to clean out the lagoons, he said. Now one-third of the treatment system is filled with residue. Garaghty countered that hes the first supervisor who has addressed the problem and he has plans in place for a cleanup and expansion of the system of settling ponds. Baker gained notoriety in the 1980s and 1990s for his advocacy of property rights. In the mi-1980s, he formed the Adirondack Freedom Fighters, which battled for the rights of Adirondack residents to determine their own future. Later, he helped form the Adirondackers for Access, which fought restrictions on access to state-owned land by motorized vehicles, including snowmobiles, airplanes, automobiles and watercraft. Tuesday, he said the rights of Adirondackers and their opportunities for employment are continually being eroded, as the state continues to enact more restrictions. The new stringent laws and restrictions are chasing away not only decent work, but they are destroying the fabric of life in Adirondack communities, he said. The people who dream up these regulations have a brain disease, he said, noting that over the last two decades, the state has increased their ownership of land in the Adirondacks from 40 percent to 60 percent. If he elected supervisor, he would use his position to fight for a rollback of these restrictions and to halt the state acquisition of private land. If things keep going the way they are, well all be either basket weavers or trail guides, he said.

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