Rotterdam — Town Board member Joseph Guidarelli wanted to continue serving on the Town Board but didn’t want to stay on under Supervisor Steven Tommasone, so he’s running against him instead.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Guidarelli, a Democrat.
In fact, Guidarelli wasn’t even going to seek re-election, but he said another Town Board member expressed his support for Guidarelli being on the board.
“I didn’t want to walk away, but I didn’t want to stay in that position,” he said.
Tommasone on Tuesday said he is seeking re-election. The two men recently had a heated debate during a public comment portion of a town meeting regarding a police audit the town had hired a law firm to conduct.
Guidarelli said his five years of experience serving on the Town Board make him the right person for the supervisor job.
“I think I can do a good job,” he said. “I have a good working relationship with the board now and the town employees. I think I get the pulse of the town.”
He also said he has good management and people skills.
For Guidarelli transparency is one of the biggest issues the town faces.
“That is like my number one thing,” he said, noting anything that is public information should be made available to the public in a timely manner.
A Committee on Open Government official in February said that the town’s practices of notifying the public about meeting times was not consistent with state law.
Guidarelli also said he wanted to work more on shared services, including discussing with the county Legislature what the Legislature would like to see from the town and what partnership opportunities might be available with the county.
Guidarelli, who has worked at his family’s printing business since he was 14, said he’s ready to put aside that job to take on the supervisor role full time, including making regular hours so he can be reached by residents or town employees.
“I’m rearranging my life right now,” he said.
On top of that, he wants to push to have the supervisor position switched from a two-year term to a four-year term.
He said being on a two-year cycle can take “your attention and mind away from the task at hand,” but a four-year term means more time to focus on goals.
Other Democratic candidates
A switch to four-year terms is also something Jesse McGuire is pushing for in his campaign for a Town Board seat.
McGuire, the deputy clerk of the County Legislature, moved to Rotterdam five years ago. Since then he said he’s been pretty active in politics, including working on some campaigns. The recent COVID pandemic has pushed McGuire to run for a position on the Town Board, he said.
One of his biggest goals is to help small businesses, some of which he has seen open over the years.
“I really want to see them grow and flourish,” he said. “I want to be able to advocate for these people and bring them to the table.”
He also wants to create an official town park.
“I’m a huge proponent of green space,” he said, noting he enjoys playing tennis. He said town residents would appreciate a park to call their own.
Stephen Signore is running for a second term on the board.
“I love doing it,” he said. “I love the challenge. I’ve always done something in the public sector.”
Signore, the county’s public defender, said he wants to continue serving in order to see ongoing projects come to fruition. Those projects include building a new highway garage and extending the sewer lines.
He also wants to advocate for a third justice in town due to an overwhelming number of cases he said the current justices have to address.
Also running are Diane Marco for town clerk, Diane Martin for receiver of taxes; Keith Muse for town justice and Larry Lamora for highway superintendent.