The town of Essex will go to the polls Nov. 5 to decide who will lead the town for the next two years.
Incumbent Sharon Boisen, who won her first re-election bid in a tight contest against Frank Walls in 2011, will face challenger Ed Gardner Jr., in the general election.
What do you bring to the office of supervisor that will benefit the residents of Essex?
Boisen: I bring to the table 30 years of financial experience, including banking, sole proprietorship, medical financial services and four years experience as Essex Town supervisor. Additionally, I will continue the honest and open government practices while working with the best interest of the town in mind.
Gardner: My knowledge having worked with past supervisors and sharing their ideas about the water issues and working on the budget. My heavy equipment experience and working as a mechanic will help me work with the highway superintendent.
What is the state of Essex right now?
Gardner: With the water situation and the state putting demands on us, we need to correct it. With the budget, we seem to be spending money that we do not have.
Boisen: The town of Essex is in its fourth year of recovery. Merchants and small businesses continue to establish home base here, bringing people from surrounding areas and out of state by providing employment. Tourism is increasing with the CATS trails, the various Whallonsburgh Grange Hall events and activities on Lake Champlain.
What does the supervisor need to do over the next two years to make sure Essex has an operational water system?
Boisen: Immediately and continually the town supervisor and town board must work with the Department of Health (DOH), our engineer and our residents to come up with a creative, affordable project that brings our water district into compliance with DOH standards.
Gardner: First of all I would go to the state and check on the regulations they have. I would talk to neighboring towns and see what they have done. I would also look into talking with Willsboro for the chance to work with them in a shared services role.
What is the biggest issue facing Essex and how will you work on that?
Gardner: The different paybacks on loans from different districts like sewer into the general fund. We need to look for unique ways to find that aid and get it off of our backs.
Boisen: The water capital project has proven to be the biggest ongoing challenge which I will continue to address with reason and tenacity in order to provide the water district with the safe, healthy drinking water everyone deserves.
How will you work to continue to provide quality services while staying within the state tax levy cap?
Boisen: Responsible budgeting and spending and putting tax dollars to the best possible use for the benefits of the entire town will allow us to provide quality services while meeting the tax cap requirements.
Gardner: What we need to do is look at what is really needed and what is necessary. When you look at those areas, then you can stay under that base.
Residents of Essex in both election districts will vote at the Essex Volunteer Fire Department from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., Nov. 5.