The Daily Star
---- — Andrew Stammel
Occupation: Attorney, business owner and SUNY Oneonta compliance officer.
Political party: Democratic and Citizens for Oneonta.
Why are you running for the Oneonta Town Board?
My expertise, familiarity with the community and work ethic will serve Oneonta well. I have lived in the area my whole life and want to give back to the community. Many residents share my concern that in recent years some members of the town and planning boards have not represented the will of the people and have blocked progress. My first priority will be to residents and not to party, my interests or special interests.
What is your position on hydrofracking?
Although many of us enjoy the use of natural gas, we believe that fracking is an unacceptably risky method of extracting that resource with little benefit locally. I am one of two candidates who agree with a majority of town residents who want to use home rule to keep fracking out of our town to protect our quality of life and economic future.
How should the town approach economic development and how should development be managed or monitored?
Our young people deserve good job opportunities and a growing economy that will allow them to stay. Oneonta is and should be the region’s economic engine as the industrial, commercial and population center. The town must establish a pro-business climate and nurture existing businesses as well as attract new businesses and high-tech manufacturing through a friendly tax and regulatory structure and through collaboration with the city, county and development agencies. We need to build a stronger relationship with the colleges.
What are your views on Southside Oneonta in regard to economic development and to the proposed water district? Should the town have accepted the city’s offer to tap into the city’s water system?
The proposed Southside municipal water system is an example of smart long-term planning. This new project will accelerate the strong and exciting momentum we have. The town was right to decline the city’s offer because its proposal would have cost town taxpayers more money at the start up stage and for usage fees.
What is your position on a merger or shared services with the city of Oneonta?
Collaboration and shared services is an effective strategy in reducing the burden on our taxpayers and getting a bigger bang for our buck. The town should continue to explore areas where it can collaborate with the city, especially in regional economic development and the marketing of Oneonta. When we attract new residents, businesses, students and tourists, the town and city benefit. The town has examined the issue of merger, and I agree with the committee’s findings as well as the opinion of the majority of town residents that merging with the city would not benefit us economically and would likely increase our taxes.