Michael Hammond, Knox supervisor candidate
KNOX — Now in his 40th year as the town’s supervisor, Democrat Michael Hammond is running again because he likes the job.
“I take noted concern when age is a factor,” Hammond said. “I do know that, all the years I have been serving in this, each year has refined my skills in serving the people much better than when I came on the job.”
Hammond, 70, has Democratic endorsement.
Originally from the Champlain Valley, Hammond came to Knox in 1963. He has retired from a career as a high school technology teacher and owns Mountain Woodshop, a carpentry business on his property since 1969. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs.
Hammond said the planning and town boards should be focused on the first proposed business district in the hamlet and hopes it will be a multi-use district, allowing currently existing residential uses to continue.
“A business district in Knox and accommodating businesses is certainly nothing new,” said Hammond. “We established a multi-use business district over in the western end of town.”
Hammond said the town board looks for diverse candidates for appointed posts, by advertising and seeking out specific candidates.
“That was a resolution of a board that sat a couple years ago,” Hammond said of the resolution requiring vacant positions in the town to be posted. “I don’t see that resolution as being cast in stone for not only the current sitting boards but the future sitting boards. I think those boards are going to have to develop their own policies.”
Hammond said each resident would get survey questions in the mail, and the town would follow the process of public hearings and seeking volunteers to help re-write the comprehensive plan.
Of the town’s resolution on the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, Hammond said, “At this time, I don’t feel further action is required at the town board level, but the concern is certainly going to be with the state legislature and the governor.”
Hammond declined to talk about zoning enforcement.
“At this time, I have no response to that because I don’t know the details of what’s going on in that particular area right there,” said Hammond. “I think we’d have to go to the building and zoning administrator to go further with that line of questions.”
To stay under the state-set cap on tax levies, Hammond said, the town has offset rising insurance and materials costs with shared-services agreements and revenue from a cell tower. He described shared services among nearby municipalities for ambulance coverage and highway equipment, and for use of a county salt shed.
“We do have a written document outlining what the expectation is supposed to be for those participants in that agreement,” said Hammond.
Of the criticism that the town is unwelcoming and inefficient in its service to residents, Hammond said the town board tries to accommodate people quickly.
“We don’t try to let the people who come before our board sit for several hours,” said Hammond.