At a crossroads in Thurman, campaign signs for candidates seeking local posts vie for the attention of motorists passing by.
Photo by Thom Randall.
QUEENSBURY General Election Day is here, bringing with it the conclusion to a variety of intriguing and dramatic 2013 campaigns for local public offices.
The highest-profile race in the county this year, full of passion and controversy, is for the chief executive post of one of the towns with the least population: Thurman.
Last year, Thurman Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood had received a considerable amount of praise for her handling various issues facing the town, including straightening out town finances and investing many hours in the effort to recover from the devastating, historic 2012 floods that washed out many roads and bridges in town, and to obtain grant funding to rebuild.
But she sparked considerable opposition in late 2012 when she and the town board voted against funding the local ambulance squad after the independent agency’s financial needs increased substantially, and regional emergency officials questioned the local agency’s financial viability. Wood and the town board also voted to discontinue municipal trash collection, based on the concept that local landowners who generated no trash were paying toward other residents’ trash collection and disposal — and that funding it would cause local tax rates to soar.
Retaining both the trash collection and funding for the ambulance corps would have prompted a tax increase of as much as 50 percent.
Many citizens, however, lobbied for taxpayer support of the squad.
The groundswell of public opposition to these actions prompted Haskell to run again, based on his pledge to renew support for the squad and reinstate trash collection.
The two Republicans faced off in the September G.O.P. primary, and Haskell won handily in a 159-78 vote tally.
Wood is listed on the ballot on the Democratic, Conservative and Independence lines. John Haskell is listed as the Republican candidate as well as an independent.
Haskell’s ability to assume office, if elected, has not yet been settled, as legal experts are divided on the issue. Haskell was removed from his supervisor post after his 2008 conviction for Defrauding the Government, a felony.