District 20includes the village and those areas that you always thought should be part of the village: I'm running in this district, so I won't spend a lot of time telling you why you should vote for TPW. In fact, I said it best in the New Paltz Times, so go ahead and read it there. It's time for a change, and I'm the change we need. 'Nuff said.
District 17includes all the rest of New Paltz and a smidgen of Esopus. We have three choices there:
- Les Kalmus, an Esopus resident who owned an IT business for many years. Les has classic Republican values (don't spend what you don't have, privatizing always makes things better) and a low-key demeanor. I don't expect Les to grab the spotlight for political gain. Nobody hates him. He's doing this to try to make a difference.
- Steve Greenfield, New Paltz resident and former school board member. Steve is an excellent researcher with an inflammatory style. He came out firing both barrels against Susan Zimet before she left this race, and then took her WFP line when she did. I've crossed swords with Steve, even on issues where we agree. Steve is a polarizing force who always backs up his positions with facts.
- Ken Wishnick, the replacement for Zimet on the Democratic line. Ken has a lot of experience with planning and administration which could be put to good use on the county level. He also has expressed questionable judgment in the past; when he was on the Town Council he helped write the job description for Town Planner, and then resigned to apply for the job he created.
I can't support Ken for the same reason I can't support Jean Gallucci - he doesn't see a problem with how he handled that issue, and I fear that other morally grey matters will trouble him in the future. Despite the fact that when we disagree it's explosive, I like Steve and his ideas; I just wish that "explosive" wasn't such a common part of his equation. I know that I won't agree with Les on some issues, such as whether we really know enough to decide Golden Hill's fate, but I can tell that he is someone who can work in a diverse group without it getting personal.
I believe that both Steve and Les will work hard, and that I could work with either of them, so for a tie-breaker I look to the town itself. We have seen how bad things get when our supervisor and mayor hate each other; do we want legislators that can work with our community? I do, and I am really not sure if Susan Zimet dislikes Steve Greenfield or Hector Rodriguez more - the evidence of disharmony with both men runs rampant through the news and letters pages. With collaboration as the tiebreaker, I am recommending a vote for Les Kalmus in District 17.