Schenectady County

Rotterdam voters to have plenty of choices Tuesday

The democratic process is alive and well in Rotterdam, judging by the number of contested races duri

The democratic process is alive and well in Rotterdam, judging by the number of contested races during this year’s election cycle.

Larry Lamora

OFFICE SOUGHT: Highway superintendent

AGE: 49

BALLOT LINES: Rotterdam First

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Schalmont schools; 22-year owner of Lamora Equipment Repair; Standard Stone Construction site manager

PERSONAL: Daughter

James Longo

OFFICE SOUGHT: Highway superintendent

AGE: 56

BALLOT LINES: Republican, Independence and No New Tax Party

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: 38 years at the Rotterdam Highway Department, eight years as superintendent

PERSONAL: Single with two sons and a daughter

Vincent Romano

OFFICE SOUGHT: Highway superintendent

AGE: 55

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Conservative, Working Families, Re-unite Rotterdam

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Mohonasen graduate, 36 years with the Schenectady County Department of Public Works

PERSONAL: Wife, son and daughter

Andrea Commarto


AGE: 50

BALLOT LINES: Republican

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Linton High School; commercial airline customer service representative

PERSONAL: Fiancee, son and stepson

Diane Marco


AGE: 60

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Conservative, Lower Taxes Now

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Mohonasen graduate; retired Sunmark Federal Credit Union manager; former Town Board member

PERSONAL: Daughter

James Bradshaw

OFFICE SOUGHT: Town justice

AGE: 56

BALLOT LINES: Republican, No New Tax Party, Rotterdam First

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Schenectady County Community College; retired Schenectady Police Department detective

PERSONAL: Wife, son and daughter

Kevin Mercoglan

OFFICE SOUGHT: Town justice

AGE: 52

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Conservative, Working Families, Independence, Re-unite Rotterdam

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Siena College; former chief of South Schenectady Fire Department; Schalmont Central School District director of operations; 16 years as town justice

PERSONAL: Wife, son and two daughters

The highway superintendent and a town justice are being challenged for the first time in years. And for the first time in four decades, Rotterdam will have a new town clerk.

Longtime Clerk Eunice Esposito resigned in July, just two years into her four-year term. Now, Democrat Diane Marco is challenging Republican-endorsed Andrea Commarto for the remaining years of Esposito’s term.

When asked about her qualifications for the job, Marco points to her lengthy record of public service. She spent two terms as a member of the Town Board and four years as deputy town supervisor.

She was also the first woman to be appointed to the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency, in the 1990s, and has been a licensed notary for nearly two decades. She served as the project coordinator for the senior center in 2010, but was abruptly removed from the position by the Del Gallo administration in February.

In running for clerk, Marco said she wants to bring her record of community dedication and financial experience to Town Hall. She said a priority will be to upgrade the clerk’s office computer system and implement the same document imaging system utilized by the Schenectady County clerk.

“I will make sure that customer service is the No. 1 priority for the town clerk’s office, as this is the gateway to our town’s government,” she said.

Commarto wants to keep a friendly atmosphere at the clerk’s office and believes she’s got the background and experience for the job. She’s worked in customer service for more than 25 years, most recently with Million Air, a private jet service operating out of Albany International Airport.

If elected, Commarto said she would be receptive to the needs of residents and make steps to bring the clerk’s office into the 21st century. And more importantly, she’d keep political agendas from creeping into the clerk’s day-to-day business.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “I’d love the chance to serve my community.”

Highway superintendent

In the highway superintendent’s race, incumbent Republican James Longo highlighted his long career with the department he now oversees. He’s been there for nearly four decades and has been superintendent for eight years. He said this experience translates to better service for residents.

Longo would like the responsibility for sewer and water maintenance returned to the purview of the Highway Department, rather than the public works department. He said making the change would allow for a greater use of manpower and quicker service for residents.

“I want to continue to improve our town’s infrastructure, which will in turn improve the quality of life for all our residents,” he said.

Democratic challenger Vincent Romano said his experience with the county would prove invaluable for planning and budgeting with the town department. He said he’s worked a variety of jobs — from heavy equipment operator to senior road maintenance supervisor — that have provided him with a greater understanding of the needs the department’s workers will have.

If elected, Romano said he aims to explore shared-service agreements with other municipalities. He said he’d also seek accountability from private developers looking to deed roads to the town and ensure construction has been completed adequately.

“Our taxpayers should not be footing this bill,” he said.

Larry Lamora believes he can bring his lifetime of hands-on experience to help benefit the Highway Department and residents alike. The self-employed heavy equipment repairman claims a wide breadth of applicable experience for the position, ranging from repairing sewer systems to site development work.

“With the experience I’ve acquired, I believe I could make the Highway Department more cost-effective,” he said. “I’d make it completely responsive and dedicated to Rotterdam resident.”

Lamora pledged to be a “hands on” highway superintendent. He said he never shies away from manual labor and wouldn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty on the job.

“To me, the Highway Department is more of a blue-collar job,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me to get in the ditch and make repairs.”

Town justice

In the town justice race, incumbent Democrat Kevin Mercoglan touted his 16 years on the town bench and more than 200 hours of training in the field. He said he’s handled more than 23,000 cases since first elected.

“Despite this tremendous caseload, I have been able to maintain the high level of service and performance that our residents have come to expect and undoubtedly deserve from their town justice court,” he said.

Republican challenger James Bradshaw said he decided to run for justice because the position seems like a logical extension of his 26-year career in public service. The retired Schenectady police detective said his law enforcement background has left him with a good understanding of the court system, and he promised to be accessible for off-hour arraignments.

“I understand the court system because of my time as a police officer and will be a fair but firm town judge,” he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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