Campaign signs for Warrensburg Town Board candidates compete for motorists' attention Monday at the southern entrance to town.
There’s a lively four-way race for Warrensburg town council, featuring incumbents Austin Markey and Dean Ackley facing newcomers Linda Baker Marcella and Joyce Reed. The latter two out-tallied Markey and Ackley in the September G.O.P. primaries, winning the party’s endorsement.
Markey and Ackley cite their commitment to lowering taxes, while the challengers also cite that as a top priority. Marcella has served on the Warrensburg Central school board, and successfully influenced the board to lower its tax levy.
As for qualifications to conduct town business, Markey cites his knowledge gained on formulating town budgets over the past 15 years on the town board, while Ackley and Marcella cite theirs as business owners, and Reed notes hers as a banking teller supervisor for 16 years and a worker in financial services for 25. For years, Markey has served as sales manager for Warren Ford. Marcella has owned and operated her own real estate agency and worked as a licensed stockbroker. Ackley notes his 16 years of service as a town board member and several years as Deputy Supervisor.
Markey and Marcella pledge to continue working to boost local economic development and expanding the tax base to help keep taxes down.
Reed and Marcella have challenged Markey and Ackley on the issue of health insurance granted to the current board members. At this point, such health insurance is granted to board members for life, if they serve in office 10 years. A recent vote was taken on a budget that called for board members to contribute 20 percent towards their insurance, and Markey and Ackley voted “No” on the financial plan. Reed and Marcella say they’d like to reduce such health care expenses drastically to decrease the burden on the taxpayer.
Markey said that if he’s re-elected, he’d work on a new water well to provide higher quality water in town and advocate another re-assessment of properties that would more closely reflect current market conditions and continue to speak out for hard-pressed taxpayers.
Marcella said that more public participation in the governing process is needed, and public apathy is a concern. Marcella said she would work to foster better communication and greater public participation as well as work for lower taxes. Ackley said he’d continue to work with the town board and community.
Reed said she’d work for equitable water and sewer taxes, provide diversity to a board by her gender, and give a voice to working-class taxpayers.