A candidates forum will be held in Ticonderoga, despite a decision not to participate by two supervisor hopefuls. Republican nominee Bill Grinnell and Independent Steve Whitford will not take part, according to Lew Sanders, Ticonderoga Republican Party chairman.
A candidates forum will be held in Ticonderoga, despite a decision not to participate by two supervisor hopefuls.
Republican nominee Bill Grinnell and Independent Steve Whitford will not take part, according to Lew Sanders, Ticonderoga Republican Party chairman.
Supervisor Deb Malaney, running as an independent, and town board candidates will take part in the forum Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Community Building auditorium. The forum will be moderated by Walt Lender and Margaret Lauman.
Running for town board are Democrat Fred Hunsdon Sr., Independent Chattie VanWert, Republican Dorcey Crammond and Republican James Kolysko.
Malaney, a two-term incumbent, issued a debate challenge to her rivals a month ago. Grinnell and Whitford agreed to debate, pending a discussion of the debate’s format.
Grinnell issued a statement Oct. 30 stating he would not participate in the Nov. 1 forum. He cited the lack of planning and the late date, four days before the Nov. 5 election, as reasons for not taking part.
“There was ample time to set a debate if the preliminary work had been done in a timely manner,” Grinnell said. “Obviously it was not.”
Grinnell said Malaney set up the forum and didn’t allowed time for her opponents to prepare properly.
“One candidate, in fairness to all, should not be making all the choices for the format and structure of such a meeting, including changing the original concept of supervisor candidates only, without input from any other candidate,” Grinnell said. “There is not enough time to prepare for such an event because of the delay in organizing it.
“At this late date, what is to be gained by anyone if this event is only a repeat of what was already done?” he said. “Because of the poor planning, lack of organization and no input or communication surrounding this event, I see no reason to attend.”
Grinnell said he did not receive details of the forum until Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
Malaney said she will be at the forum.
“It’s been online and in the papers,” she said. “People want to know more about the council people, as well as those for supervisor.
“The people of Ticonderoga deserve to hear directly from each candidate for supervisor before Election Day,” Malaney said. “We need an open discussion about our experience, qualifications and plans for Ticonderoga’s future.”
Malaney said she is running on her record in office. She is a two-term incumbent.
“I am the only candidate to put forward a viable plan to provide safe and reliable, affordable drinking water, the only candidate with experience crafting a municipal budget, and the only candidate with a history of attracting new businesses to our community,” she said.
Grinnell, a long-time Ticonderoga businessman, believes Ticonderoga needs a change of leadership.
“There are options for Ticonderoga’s infrastructure, economy and future that need to be considered,” he said. “We need to take a fresh look at town government.”
Unlike his rivals, who are fiscal conservatives, Whitford sees a need to raise taxes in Ticonderoga.
“We can not continue to cut our budgets as there is not a lot left to trim,” he said. “We need to exceed the 2 percent tax cap in order to move ahead. I am a taxpayer, too. I do not want to pay anymore to the government, but we can not support the much-needed repairs around our town. Many roads, sidewalks, water and sewer infrastructure, town buildings are in grave need of repair — not to mention the debt load our community carries.
“We need to increase our revenue in baby steps to bring these debts under control,” he said.
Whitford has served on the Ticonderoga town board the past eight years. He worked 20 years as a patrolman in the Ti Police Department.
Malaney and Grinnell have opposing positions on several key issues facing the town, including the on-going water project and the need for a town manager.
“This election comes down to a very clear choice,” Malaney said. “Do we continue to move Ticonderoga forward or do we go backwards?”
Grinnell agreed the choice is clear.
“A lot of people are upset with the current administration and believe Ticonderoga needs a change,” he said. “I’ll provide that change.”