Full slates: Dem incumbents face GOP challengers

GUILDERLAND — Open town positions for 2014 include the supervisor and two town board seats. Democratic incumbents will face Republican opponents for each of these posts.

Democrat Kenneth Runion is running for his eighth two-year term, and faces Republican Mark Grimm, a former town board member.

Democrats Patricia Slavick and Paul Pastore face Republican challengers Lee Carman — an Albany County Legislator — and political newcomer Mark Livingston.

The Enterprise interviewed the candidates about their views on four issues:

The town role in district taxes: There are districts in the town that have separate and distinct budgets from the town’s, set by their own boards, including the school district, fire districts, and library. These separate districts sometimes hold bond or budget votes which affect taxes. Is it appropriate for elected officials to take a stance on the budgets outside of their direct jurisdiction?

Town hall and court security: With recent shootings in government buildings across the nation, are the current security procedures in the town hall and court adequate?

Economic development: There are several vacant lots and vacant buildings in Guilderland. Should the town be proactive about drawing in new businesses?

Protecting the Watervliet Reservoir: The Army Corps of Engineers recently completed cleanup of a site that had possibly contaminated the Watervliet Reservoir, but members of the Restoration Advisory Board are concerned that there maybe be other sources of pollution. Should the town be proactive about cleaning up the reservoir?

More Guilderland News

"It's really a philosophical question," says Principal Thomas Lutsic of boosting grades for students in advanced courses and school leaders are divided on the issue.

For two hours, school board members wrestled with ways to heed calls to restore cut staff for valued programs but ultimately followed the counsel of administrators not to further tap reserve funds.

Father Peter Young said his moral guide in life is the Beatitudes, written in the Bible as teachings from Jesus. “It is a struggle between following the Beatitudes and following state regulations,” he said.