Schenectady County

6 candidates vie for 3 seats on Scotia Board of Trustees

Taxes, public safety and economic development are all among priorities for three Democrats and three

Taxes, public safety and economic development are all among priorities for three Democrats and three Republicans seeking seats on the Scotia Board of Trustees.

Two four-year seats are open and one two-year seat, which is the rest of the term of former Trustee Cathy Gatta, who resigned after she was elected last November to the Schenectady County Legislature.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Tom Gifford and John Lockwood are seeking the four-year terms and incumbent trustee Rory Fluman is seeking the two-year seat. The GOP ticket includes incumbent Tom Neals and David Lindsay for the four-year seats and Keven Mathes for the two-year seat.

Rory Fluman

AGE: 42

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Conservative, Independence, Working Families

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Appointed to serve as Scotia trustee since December 2011; Occupational therapist with private practice. Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Albany and master’s degree in occupational therapy from Russell Sage College.

PERSONAL: Married to Colleen, with three boys

Thomas Gifford

AGE: 61

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Independence

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Works in family title search and title insurance business; received an undergraduate degree in psychology and physics from SUNY-Potsdam.

PERSONAL: Married to Nancy, with three adult children.

David Lindsay

AGE: 53

BALLOT LINES: Republican, Conservative

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Lindsay has his own business called OnSight Solutions, which provides merchandising services such as store layout and graphics for new car dealers; previously served as vice president of First National Bank of Scotia; Scotia-Glenville High School, studied business administration at Schenectady County Community College.

PERSONAL: Married to Debra, with four children.

John Lockwood

AGE: 31

BALLOT LINES: Democratic, Working Families

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Deputy county attorney for Schenectady County; previously senior assistant public defender; law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law; bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University.

PERSONAL: Recipient of the Young Lawyer Award.

Keven Mathes

AGE: 35

BALLOT LINES: Republican

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Part of the retail leadership team for Key Bank and also owns commercial cleaning business; graduated Siena College with a degree in English.

PERSONAL: Married to Nicole, with four children.

Tom Neals

BALLOT LINES: Republican, Conservative, Independence

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Semiretired, owned springwater distribution company, served from 2006-2010 as Scotia trustee, reappointed in 2011

PERSONAL: Married to Linda, with three adult children

Rory Fluman, who was appointed to the board by Mayor Kris Kastberg in December, said his top priority is fiscal issues including staying under the 2 percent tax cap. “It’s a matter of working with department heads to make sure we’re maximizing our dollars for the residents of Scotia,” he said.

Fluman said he brings a business mindset to the board. He also wants to continue the focus on rebuilding roads and sidewalks.

Thomas Gifford is seeking his second term. He believes the board has done pretty well in maintaining the quality of life in Scotia. He is personally proud of a new rental inspection program that requires that multi-unit rental buildings be inspected every two years.

His other priority would be to try to build a new municipal building. “The fire department, police station, clerk’s office is just dangerously antiquated,” he said.

David Lindsay said his top priorities are public safety, economic development and taxes. He would like the village to partner with the Scotia Business Improvement District to develop vacant commercial property, including the former McDonald’s site on Mohawk Avenue and the Roy Matthews appliance store.

He believes that taxes need to be lowered because they are a strain on residents. “Get the department heads together and set a goal to lower the budget by 1 percent a year,” he said.

John Lockwood is seeking his first term. He unsuccessfully ran for Glenville Town Board last year. Lockwood said he wants to add a youthful voice to the board.

To attract young professionals to live in Scotia, he would like to create a marketing program similar to Schenectady’s Key to the City.

“I think it’s a great area to live. I think it’s affordable because the lots are smaller,” he said.

He wants to stay under the tax cap, but not sacrifice the services residents have enjoyed.

Keven Mathes said he is also running on a platform to fill the vacant properties in the village with businesses to increase the tax base.

“Keep those dollars within the community,” he said.

Those additional revenues will help to lower taxes for residents and retain services in the community.

Mathes said he is also concerned about public safety. People living near Collins Park have expressed concern about a rash of break-ins. He also wants to make sure government is more accessible to citizens.

Tom Neals said he is seeking his second full four-year term because he wants to continue to make sure tax dollars are being spent wisely.

“Our department heads work very hard to keep under the budget and the last couple years they’ve done that,” he said.

Neals said he is proud of the completed the riverfront beautification project. He wants to add a pavilion in Collins Park, and the Glenville Lions Club is stepping forward as a major sponsor.

Down the road, he would like to construct a new fire station.

Categories: Schenectady County

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