ROTTERDAM — Steven Tommasone already has supporters out gathering signatures so he can face off against Joseph Guidarelli on the Democratic ticket in this year’s race for Rotterdam town supervisor after Guidarelli received the town’s Democratic Committee nomination.
But at the end of the day Tommasone said he doesn’t care what party line he’s running on, just that people understand why he’s running for re-election.
“Whatever your political philosophy is people might know it but at the end of the day it’s meaningless what your party affiliation is because what matters is what it is that you’ve done and what it is you’re going to do for your community,” he said. “Keep a positive message and run on what you’ve been able to accomplish and I think we’ve been able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.”
Tommasone said some of his accomplishments as supervisor include:
- Major repairs and improvements to the senior center
- Getting millions of dollars for water and sewer work in the town
- Beginning to update the town’s comprehensive plan
- Keeping taxes low
- Improving the parks
“The town is growing and the town is growing in a direction that has been positive for taxpayers and for people seeking employment,” he said.
However, Tommasone said while many projects have happened he wants to get more done in the town.
“They’re all quality of life issues no matter how you look at them,” he said.
Tommasone said his number one concern in the town is public safety, according to a statement from Tommasone on his FriendsofTommasone.com website. Other important issues for him include economic development, managing finances and improving infrastructure.
“Economic development efforts and conservatively managing the finances of our town will provide us with the revenues and savings to ensure the growth of our tax base and the continuance of providing necessary police, highway and town services to residents & businesses,” Tommasone said in the statement.
Tommasone said that because the town is in a good place financially if things work out with the stimulus and towns get money to use any way they want he will put it into quality of life projects that are already ongoing in the town like continuing to expand the water and sewer lines, building more sidewalks and building the highway garage.
“They’re not necessarily items everybody in town would gravitate to,” he said. “I think sometimes people are looking for more lofty things, but for us to provide the services we need to provide and for people to be able to enjoy their community they’re necessary.”
He also said he doesn’t support the idea of a full-time supervisor or four-year terms. He said part-time government has worked in Rotterdam for the last several years.
“Having a full-time supervisor will not improve the progress of our community, in my opinion it will make it worse,” he said. “You have to pay that person a lot more money to work full time, so I guess we’d have to pave one or two less roads or maybe more every year. This is money that should be going into the community, not benefiting people individually.”
He said four-year terms are a mistake.
“The way our government is set up is that every two years the supervisor and two town board members have to run for office,” he said. “What’s great about that is the public has the opportunity to change the direction of what it sees as wrong in our community every two years. If you put three people in there for four years they could make a lot of drastic changes in the town that may not be beneficial for the public, but may only benefit themselves.”
Tommasone served as a town board member from 2003-2005, then as supervisor from 2006-2009 and was elected supervisor again in 2015.