Paul Pastore, Guilderland town board candidate
GUILDERLAND — Paul Pastore, an attorney, is running for his fourth four-year term on the town board.
He said that, during his time on the town board, there have been many measures taken to improve residents’ quality of life.
“We’ve done that in form of many different services,” he said. “We’ve also kept the tax rate low — the lowest in the area.”
The town taxes, he said, are “separate and distinct” from any issues regarding the school and library budget and taxes, as well as the fire districts.
“Obviously, as a resident of the town, each person is entitled to his or her own opinion,” Pastore said. “I think it becomes very disconcerting, however, if you’ve got an elected official — a servant of the town — rendering any opinion about those taxes and budgets.”
He said that, as a resident of the town, he would absolutely vote on any issues relating to taxes, but would not speak his opinion.
“People were very opinionated about the recent proposed expansion of the library, but I don’t think it would be appropriate for members of the town board to use their public position to air their opinions,” he said. “Personally, I’d stay away from that.”
Pastore said that, as a practicing attorney, he has been to many courts throughout the Capital Region.
“In comparison to all of those courtrooms, and all of the security procedures they have in place, I don’t see ours as lacking in any way,” he said.
There is only one entrance into the courtroom, with a metal detector outside of it, several court attendants, and police officers in the vicinity, he said.
“As a matter of fact, I think our security procedures are just as good as, if not better than, most in the area,” Pastore said.
Having served as counsel to the town’s planning board for six years, Pastore said economic development to expand the tax base is an issue that has often been addressed.
It’s a balancing act,” he said, “between development and expanding the tax base, and staying within the parameters of the master plan.”
There are issues that could come from development that would bother residents more than taxes, he said, including extra traffic and losing green space.
“Our board has been very receptive to Smart Growth projects,” Pastore said. “We need to install sidewalks, and protect our parks and open space.”
If the only goal were to expand the tax base, he said, the town could have agreed to let Crossgates Mall expand exponentially years ago.
“Expanding the tax base can’t be the only consideration,” he said. “We always have to consider environmental issues, traffic, and a whole host of other factors.”
“I wouldn’t say I was opposed to any additional review and analysis of our water source,” Pastore said. “Especially if it is going to enhance the prospects of clean and safe water.”
On the other hand, he said, he does not want to deem it absolutely necessary, because that would imply the water wasn’t clean or safe, which he firmly believes it is.
“Our town board has been very receptive to shared services and cooperation,” he said. “If a joint study or collaboration were suggested, I wouldn’t discount it, but I don’t think it’s strictly necessary.”
Overall, Pastore said, the Democrats campaign slogan, “Working together works,” has been proven by the current town board’s record.