Ware to challenge Connell for town post

Ware will likely face off against another Republican who has thrown his hat into the ring: Bruce Dunning. Ware plans to circulate petitions as an independent candidate and will also seek the endorsement of the Conservative party.

"I have a lot of respect for Dan Connell," Ware added, "but I take exception to the direction the town is going. I think the people want a change."

Now in his fourth term, Connell, 64, has put in his bid for re-election and is looking to continue managing some of the major projects that he's undertaken for the town.

"Basically, I'm running on my record," said Connell, "a record that I think shows a lot of leadership in Westport."

During Connell's administration, more than $10 million in grants and low-interest loans have been secured for town infrastructure such as parks and playgrounds, water and sewer systems, roads, and the architectural planning of a shared municipal garage.

"All of the water and sewer systems, we were told by the state of New York we had to do," said Connell, adding that spending control is another one of his major goals. He said that town staffing levels have been cut by more than a third to that end.

Connell said he hopes to continue oversee the proposed hamlet expansion in Westport so that people who want to settle in the town have more space to build homes.

"If re-elected, I will continue to work to control taxes at both the town and county level," said Connell, "and also to maintain the infrastructure in the town of Westport.

Connell, a retired Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension agent, said he intends to remain a full-time town supervisor if re-elected, and will continue to debate issues he feels are important at the county level.

"I think sometimes people forget that's part of the job," he said.

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