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County clerk, Elizabethtown candidates make final pitch at forum

E-town Republican Committee hosts meet the candidates night

Denton Publications Publisher Dan Alexander, standing, moderates the Meet the Candidates Forum at the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School with Essex County clerk, Elizabethtown supervisor and Elizabethtown town council candidates. Pictured, from left, are supervisor candidates Margaret Bartley and Noel Merrihew III; town council candidates Michael Doyle, Evelyn Hatch, Ben Morris (obstructed) and James Phillips; and county clerk candidates Joe Provoncha and Brent Vosburg.

Denton Publications Publisher Dan Alexander, standing, moderates the Meet the Candidates Forum at the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School with Essex County clerk, Elizabethtown supervisor and Elizabethtown town council candidates. Pictured, from left, are supervisor candidates Margaret Bartley and Noel Merrihew III; town council candidates Michael Doyle, Evelyn Hatch, Ben Morris (obstructed) and James Phillips; and county clerk candidates Joe Provoncha and Brent Vosburg. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Bartley said that she and Merrihew were the only two people in Elizabethtown who had been to every town board meeting since 2007, and that she wanted to see something done to make the town officials more accessible to the community.

“I want to keep the town hall open Monday through Friday,” Bartley said. “No one will have to go to the back door to get into their town hall.”

Bartley also said that she felt the town government could be more proactive.

“We can’t wait for things to happen,” Bartley said. “We have to plan, or we will have no control over what happens to our town.”

With looming budget issues on the county, both Merrihew and Bartley said that it is a difficult line to walk between what may be right for the town versus what is right for the county.

“You have to be able to do what is best for the county at times even when it may not be in the best interests of the town,” Merrihew said.

“There are times where, much like with a child and parent, you have to look at the bigger picture,” Bartley said.

In the race for county clerk, Provoncha also said that he hoped his track record would be one that the residents of Elizabethtown and the county would look upon favorably.

“I hope that I have served you well and I hope that you will have confidence in me,” Provoncha said. “I have been able to save the county money, and my goal in the short term is to get the DMV road testing site back into Elizabethtown. It is the center of the county and the government seat, and that is where the site should be.”

Vosburg said that he felt it was time for a change in the clerk’s office, and that his experience having previously worked under Provoncha as well as private work would be beneficial.

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