Saratoga County

Politics makes strange bedfellows in race for pair of Wilton council seats

The race for two seats on the Wilton Town Board has spawned an unusual partnership: John Lant, a Rep

The race for two seats on the Wilton Town Board has spawned an unusual partnership: John Lant, a Republican and local fire chief, and independent candidate Jared Dinsmore, who is running on the Democratic line.

Lant and Dinsmore are seeking two Town Board seats also being sought by Steven Streicher, who is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines, and Charles Gerber, a current board member who lost to Lant and Streicher in the GOP primary but is still on Tuesday’s ballot on the Conservative line.

Streicher, 43, is a member of the town Republican Committee and is a licensed physical therapist who does contract work for Saratoga County Public Health and other clients.

Gerber, 53, is co-owner of Saratoga Land Management Corp., a forestry business. He said he’s proud of the work he has done over the years as liaison to the town Recreation Commission and the ongoing development of Gavin Town Park.

All of the candidates want to control town spending and make sure Wilton remains a town without any general fund or highway taxes. They also want to see well-planned commercial and light industrial development in the Northway Exit 16-Ballard Road corridor.

Such a four-way battle for two Town Board seats is unusual in the usually politically placid Wilton, the fastest growing town in Saratoga County between 2000 and 2010, with a population of more than 16,000.

But having the 59-year-old Lant, chief of the Greenfield Fire Protection District, which includes part of Wilton, and the 34-year-old Dinsmore running as a team is unique.

Dinsmore, a senior technology consultant at Delphia Consulting and president and co-founder of the new Wilton Food Pantry, has also secured the Independence Party line, as well as the Democratic line.

Lant, who owns Lant’s Auto Sales in Wilton, and Dinsmore campaign together, going door to door to explain their issues.

“It’s not about the party, it’s about the people,” Dinsmore said.

Dinsmore said Wilton is facing a nearly $1 million budget deficit this year and needed to use some of its budget surplus to balance the town’s proposed 2012 budget so there are no town taxes next year. He and Lant call for responsible spending and continued support of the town’s parks and recreation programs.

Lant said he wants to see more “balance” return to the Town Board so board members work together as a team and have common goals. Over the past two or three years, Supervisor Arthur Johnson, who is running for re-election unopposed, and outgoing councilman Raymond O’Conor have clashed on a variety of issues with fellow board members Robert Pulsifer, Robert Rice and Gerber.

Streicher said he has lived in Wilton for 28 years and wants to represent “all the people in the town, not just a group of people.”

One of his key issues is “to keep roads safe and well maintained.” His top issue is continuing Wilton’s three-decade-old tradition of no town taxes.

“Seniors and young families can’t afford any new taxes,” Streicher said.

In another Wilton race, longtime Town Justice John J. Wood, who is running on the Democratic party line, is being challenged by retired sheriff’s investigator David R. Towne, who defeated Wood in the Republican primary and has also secured the Independent and Conservative lines.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply