The contest for the top governing position in Horicon is a return engagement between incumbent Supervisor Ralph Bentley and area contractor Robert Olson.
Bentley has served 14 years as town Supervisor, 12 years as Town Board member and two on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Olson has served on the Town Board for 10 years, plus service as member and chairman of the town Planning Board, plus work on the Zoning & Planning Review Committee and Comprehensive Master Plan Committee, and service on local and state Builders’ associations.
Bentley is running on his administration’s accomplishments, record of municipal fiscal strength and the town’s low taxes.
Citing a lack of local economic vitality in town, Olson is seeking to provide new, effective leadership to boost the town in its renewal and economic progress, he said.
Olson identified as top priorities establishing a "user friendly" approach in administering land-use regulations, reversing losses of viable local businesses by encouraging small enterprises to establish in town.
He said that if elected, he’d bring the necessary leadership skills, enthusiasm, and ability to motivate community spirit to make it happen.
Bentley countered, however, that during his tenure, the town built and paid for a new community center and library. Other infrastructure built recently with only a modest debt remaining are the new highway garage and the Starbuckville Dam.
As for economic development, Bentley said he obtained a $475,000 grant to replace the local general store which had burned down — and the offer was turned down by the property owner — and he’s now working on a similar deal to build a store at the former Albert’s Swap Shop site.
Bentley cites honesty, integrity and ethics as top priorities, as well as continuing to keeping taxes lower than in most all municipalities in the area — while providing essential services and intelligent growth.
He said he’s committed to combatting milfoil in Schroon Lake and Brant Lake, working with volunteers on grants for the Adirondack Church restoration, expanding broadband access and improving the town’s highway system.
For Town Board, three G.O.P.candidates — incumbents Kenneth Higgins and Joseph B. Dooris plus challenger Matthew Simpson, a drywall contractor and member of the town Planning Board, are seeking two open seats. See www.adirondack-journal.com for a recap of the race.