SCOTIA — The candidates set to faceoff in Tuesday’s Scotia mayoral election both believe their experience with budgeting and finances will give them the edge.
Republican David Bucciferro, a leader on the Scotia-Glenville school board, recognizes how the work he’s done there can translate to village government.
“That’s what I did as school board president and I want to bring that same concept there where we were able to save programs but we still were able to create tax stability, we had long-term planning,” Bucciferro said.
Democrat Joe Talbot sees gaps in how Scotia does business and said he would prioritize action to address them.
“Any organization needs a solid plan, a strategic-actionable plan to move into the future, and the village doesn’t have that,” Talbot said. “The previous administrations — as much as I respect them — they’ve been running from metaphorical fire to fire from emergency to emergency.
Talbot believes his experience as a financial advisor and vice president of a financial planning firm, along with his willingness to work with others and his lifetime connection to the village all gives him the advantage over his opponent
“I have experience on the financial side of things,” Talbot said. “The village really needs someone with a finance background to be able to come in and help them get their arms around spending and planning for the future.”
Bucciferro believes his experience as a budget analyst, president of the local school board, his leadership roles in a variety of community organizations and his experience in planning gives him the advantage.
“Budgeting is not financial advisement, it’s not financial management, it’s a very different breed,” he said. “I have a lot of experience in government budgeting, and I also have a lot of experience being the president of the school board and bringing home budgets that have stayed under the cap.”
Bucciferro said he considers himself a leader who helps facilitate conversations between people in a very inclusive manner. He explained, in any municipality, you can not have a leader who is so locked in to one direction they are unwilling to hear other ideas.
“One person is not the answer to any problem,” Bucciferro said. “ It takes being able to talk to each other. I can talk to people who have different perspectives than me, just as easily as I can speak to somebody who is going to agree with me. I think that’s an important factor in any leadership role.”
Talbot said he is a Rotarian who comes from a background of service. He explained Rotary International has a tenant of “service above self,” which he says is how he lives his life.
“It’s not about me, it’s not about my winning or my getting ahead or even my winning an election,” Talbot said. “It’s about how can I serve the village in the most complete way that I can. And voting for me in this election is voting for me to continue that tradition of service, but also to increase and evolve it to help even more people in the village.”
The village’s current leader, Mayor Tom Gifford, announced he would not seek reelection to a second term earlier this year after the Democratic party did not endorse him.