ROTTERDAM – Rotterdam resident Mollie Collins is squaring off against Rotterdam Town Board member Joe Guidarelli for town supervisor, after current Supervisor Steven Tommasone failed to secure a ballot line.
Collins is running on the Republican and Independence parties lines. She said she’s a lifelong Rotterdam resident and worked in town for 12 years, including in the senior center where she eventually became the coordinator for the center and a brief time in the court system. During retirement, she said she continued to help the town’s comptroller office on an as-needed basis because of her background in bookkeeping. Collins said her husband also worked 25 years in the areas of water maintenance, wastewater and water treatment.
“I feel that this experience will help me to make a smooth transition to the position of supervisor,” she said.
Guidarelli beat out Tommasone in June to secure his spot on the Democratic Party line. Guidarelli is also running on the Conservative and Working Families parties lines. He has served as a board member for almost five years.
Guidarelli also grew up in Rotterdam. He operates Schenectady-based printing company Proforma Lee.
The candidates shared some of the actions they’d like to take if elected supervisor:
Collins has been vocal at Town Board meetings regarding proposed apartment buildings in town.
She’s going to ask the board to put in place an 18-month moratorium on new apartment complexes, she said.
She said she also wants to revitalize the senior center.
“We have a brand new bus that is sitting idle at the senior center,” she said. “Other municipalities, even during the pandemic, have utilized their bus to help transport seniors to medical appointments and grocery stores.”
The youth summer programs should have extended hours, she said.
She said children ages 3 to 8 meet for 2.5 hours and children ages 9 to 12 meet between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“If we are going to invest tax dollars into these programs we have to make it practicable for working parents,” she said.
She said the program instead should run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lastly, she wants to focus on making town government more transparent. She said the meeting agenda and supplemental documents aren’t always posted before the meeting.
“The residents have the right to read the documentation concerning each resolution,” she said, adding that that access to the documents enables residents to decide if they want to comment on a topic.
Guidarelli is looking to change the role of supervisor, including asking residents to vote via referendum to make the supervisor’s position a four-year term instead of a two-year term.
“A four-year term would allow for long-term plans to be better executed; it would allow the supervisor to focus more on the job in their second and possibly last year in office rather than focus on re-election and everything that goes with that process,” he said.
He said he also wants to be physically in the Town Hall more in order to be more available for residents and town employees.
“I would like to have monthly or bi-monthly town hall-style meetings in a much more casual setting than an official Town Board meeting,” he said.
“A cup of Joe with Joe,” he said.
Lastly, Guidarelli wants to create a town newsletter that includes information about new businesses or developments in the area, details about any upcoming changes and notices of any safety or potential code violation issues. He said the letter could also recognize a department or employee.
“The newsletter would be a good vehicle to keep the town more informed of what we as a board and town are doing,” he said.
Also on the ballot this year are four candidates campaigning for two Town Board seats. Charles “Jack” Dodson is running on the Republican and Independence parties lines. Jesse McGuire is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines. Joseph Mastroianni is running on the Republican and Conservative parties lines. Stephen Signore, the incumbent, is running on the Democratic and Conservative parties lines.