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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 29, 2011
By Saranac Hale Spencer
NEW SCOTLAND Patricia Snyder, often a fixture at town meetings and member of the ethics committee, is running for a seat on the town board on the Democratic line. It is her first run for political office; she works as a credit analyst.
“We are fortunate to have a low tax rate to begin with, so we’re starting from a good place,” Snyder said of meeting the state’s 2-percent tax cap.
It’s going to be a difficult balancing act to work on the highway garage, she said, stressing that it needs to be modernized for the “health and safety” of employees. Without having seen the projected costs of the options, she would lean toward what would likely be the cost-effective route of rehabilitating the existing facility and paying for it with bonding, she said, since interest rates are currently very low.
Snyder would have some concern over commercial-grade wind farms, she said, considering environmental impact and proximity to people. The noise, flicker effect, and visual impact would have to be addressed before considering a wind farm, she said. Part of what makes New Scotland unique, she said, are the sweeping vistas of the Helderberg escarpment, where the strong gusts of wind are. For residential-scale wind turbines, she said, it is important to be sensitive to the neighbors and the community.
While Snyder is unsure of the viability of drilling for natural gas in New Scotland, she said broadly, “I wouldn’t support it in populated or environmentally sensitive areas.”
Snyder is in favor of a size cap, she said, adding that it is time to get one passed in order to send a clear message to residents and to developers, so that they know what the town wants. “Residents of the town have spoken,” she said. “They don’t want to see a big box there,” she said of the commercial zone at the intersection of routes 85 and 85A. The town needs to encourage small businesses and commercial growth, she said.
“A town board member has an obligation to listen” Snyder said of balancing the needs of constituents. “Prudence and balance should be forefront,” she said.