Oneonta residents got to learn more about some of the candidates they will have a chance to vote for on Election Day, at a Wednesday evening forum organized by the League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area.
The two candidates for the vacant District 4 seat on the county board of representatives led off the session held at Morris Hall on the SUNY Oneonta campus. The three candidates for town judge then made statements. The session concluded with a debate between the four candidates running for two vacant seats on the Oneonta town board. The 2 ½ hour session was broadcast live on Public Access Channel 23, with live streaming. Moderator Barbara Hein, a league member, asked questions contributed by audience members and those watching. Questions also came from the media panel consisting of Emily Popek, assistant editor of The Daily Star, and Jim Kevlin, editor and publisher of Hometown Oneonta and the Freeman's Journal.
The opening debate was between Daniel Buttermann who is running on the Democratic line, and Janet Hurley-Quackenbush, a Republican member of the Oneonta town council and vice president of Sunrise Caterers, an Oneonta business.
Buttermann said when he was asked to run by incumbent Rich Murphy, a Democrat who chose not to seek reelection, he was already thinking about how to best serve his community.
With the county seeking to privatize its nursing home and leave the consortium that handles its solid waste, “we have the opportunity to control spending while preserving the way of life,” he said
Hurley-Quackenbush talked about the knowledge she has received while serving 14 years on the town board, where she has voted following the interests of her constituents.
“I hope to reduce spending, and increase revenue,” she said.
She was also in favor of smart growth.
Buttermann said a key issue is economic development, including recognizing, retaining and expanding businesses. He sees a new model for economic development in the county. While agreeing with much of what he said, Hurley-Quackenbush said she would go through the budget line-by-line to find ways to live within the tax cap. She said she would pursue a strategy to get out of the “garbage business” as the county sought to leave its current arrangement. Buttermann said he would be in favor of a public-private partnership that could generate revenue. Hurley-Quackenbush said that she would be in favor of anything that raised revenue.