John F. O’Neill
Education: Regents diploma from Hadley-Luzerne High School; two years at BOCES vocational tech in conservation and land management; firefighter and EMT certified
Professions: Professional EMT and captain of Thurman EMS; vice president of Stony Creek volunteer fire company; former assistant captain of Warrensburgh EMS
Experience: Works with people, protocols and budgets with the fire company and EMS. Father was on Town Board.
Family: Engaged to Rebecca Vaisey
Education: Hadley-Luzerne High School
Professions: Self-employed contractor, owns a campground and runs a sawmill
Experience: Been in business for himself for more than 30 years; current trustee and former first chief of the Stony Creek Fire Department; library board member; Boy Scout leader; Methodist Church board member
Family: Wife, Wendy; two sons, Justin and Brandon
Two candidates are vying to fill an empty seat on the Stony Creek Town Board.
John Thomas and John F. O’Neill are running for a seat last held by William Liebl, who retired in June due to health issues after serving on the Stony Creek Town Board for almost two decades.
The election is for a one-year term on the board and will be subject to another election in 2013.
The candidates both said they have been involved in their communities, and have strong relationships with the people who live there. Both candidates also agreed that keeping taxes down is important.
Voting will take place Nov. 6 from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. at the Stony Creek Town Hall.
John F. O’Neill
O’Neill said that, if elected, he will bring his straightforward approach to the Town Board.
“I think the most pressing need for the town is someone who is not going to say one thing and do another,” O’Neill said. “I want to promote technology growth. I’ve been looking into technology grants and communications grants to help expand cellular service and internet service.”
Encouraging small business growth and increasing tourism in the area are also important to O’Neill.
“Having worked in Lake George, Warrensburgh, Thurman and Stony Creek, I know how small towns work and I know what works best to promote tourism as well as what doesn’t work with the public,” O’Neill said. “If we have more businesses we promote tourism at the same time and improve upon the community that we have.”
O’Neill also mentioned his idea to have a weekly flier for the town to keep people informed of local happenings, and working to establish snowmobile trails throughout the region to promote tourism.
“As the railroad came through, they eliminated all use of snowmobiles on railroad tracks for safety reasons, which is completely understandable; however, that cut us off from a lot of our tourism in the winter department. I am hoping we can get a (snowmobile) trail system to connect Saratoga County, Warren, Washington, like a unified trail system that would also allow us to have passage to North Creek and Essex County. Something people could greatly enjoy while also having an opportunity to explore the Adirondacks.”
Thomas said his strongest qualification for the town board position is that he knows the people in Stony Creek. Creating jobs and helping the elderly will be his top priorities if elected.
“I’ve been involved with the community, the Boy Scouts and Fire Department,” Thomas said. “I know most of the people and the age group that might need some extra assistance.”
To help the community, Thomas said he would explore as many options as possible.
“I’d like to expand on some programs we have, like Meals on Wheels, and see if there are other programs other towns have that we might have missed because we are a small town,” Thomas said.
Still, Thomas said that keeping taxes low is important.
“I believe I can stay within the budget. I know there’s a lot of elderly people in town on a fixed income, so anything I can do to help keep taxes down is mainly what I’m running for.”