Saratoga County

Ballston supervisor race a rematch of incumbent, past rival

It is a blast from the past in the town of Ballston, where the supervisor race is a rematch of the 2

It is a blast from the past in the town of Ballston, where the supervisor race is a rematch of the 2009 contest that was decided by about 140 votes.

Incumbent Patti Southworth, running on the Democratic, Independence/Working Families and Ballston First ballot lines, is running against challenger Peter Connors, who will appear on the Republican and Conservative party lines.

Connors is the former Mechanicville GOP city chairman and retired as a clerk for the state Unified Court System in the 4th Judicial District this summer. He said he is making his foray back into politics at the urging of the local Republican establishment.

“I ran two years ago, and we came up a little short. The people that were supporting me wanted to try again,” Connors said.

Because of the size of the town, which he described as “eight or nine miles long,” he said there are a lot of different viewpoints that he promised to take into consideration. One of the issues that the town is divided on is water sources, Connors said, adding that he would be considerate of all interests. He suggested that competing interests were dividing the town under the current supervisor.

“I think I’m a good listener,” he said. “I work well with others and will bring more harmony into the community. It seems like there is a lot of animosity.”

Southworth’s decision to run for a third term stems from her desire to finish ongoing projects, including the establishment of a town park. She said she is also very concerned about the town’s finances in the midst of slow to no economic growth in the state and country.

Because of the weak economy, she said she wants to oversee a long-range fiscal plan.

“We’re going to be making some very difficult choices over the next few years,” she said.

Over her time in office, Southworth said she feels she has proven herself to the voters. She said she has been available when people needed her, aggressively dealt with the economic downturn, began some development projects and worked on an environmental protection plan.

Referencing some of the political bickering that Connors alluded to, Southworth said she is open to working with anyone and believes her record demonstrates that.

Both Connors and Southworth are committed to avoiding a town or highway tax — Ballston currently has neither.

Southworth works as a full-time supervisor, having walked away from her job as a pharmacist in 2008, and Connors said he would be equally free for the job. “I have a lot of time to devote to the town,” he said.

The position pays about $20,000 a year.

Categories: Schenectady County

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