Town Councilman Peter Klotz will challenge incumbent Paul J. Sausville for the Republican nomination for town supervisor.
In his announcement Monday, Klotz criticized Sausville for pursuing his own ideas on many town issues rather than working with the Town Board majority. All the board members are Republicans, but they often split on town issues.
“Since he cannot work collaboratively or cooperatively, it’s clearly time for new leadership,” Klotz said.
A victory by Klotz could have countywide implications. Sausville, an eight-year incumbent, is in line to become chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors next year if he is re-elected.
Both Sausville and Klotz have decades of involvement in town government, and both are former chairmen of the town Planning Board. The friction between them has grown since Klotz was elected to the Town Board in 2007.
Klotz said expects to run in a primary against Sausville if he isn’t endorsed by the town Republican Committee.
He faulted Sausville for not pursuing the same future vision for Malta as the rest of the board. The town is growing rapidly with the arrival of the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant in the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
The board majority favors concentrating commercial development in an evolving downtown area, while Sausville has said it will lead to urban-style problems and higher costs.
“It’s time for new leadership that can look at where we are and where we are going with a fresh approach,” Klotz said. “The way to the future is not by way of the past. Surely, we can learn from and build upon the past, but the Malta of today and tomorrow is not the Malta of yesterday.”
After Klotz’ announcement, Sausville said he remains the best person for the job, based on decades of management experience and his eight-year record at town supervisor.
“I’m confident I’ve done a good job, and the voters will recognize that,” he said.
Sausville, 73, is an engineer who is retired from state government.
He said accomplishments over the past eight years include the arrival of GlobalFoundries, construction of the Round Lake Bypass, the construction of new ball fields and a new town library, and construction under way of a new town highway garage.
“It’s a record of accomplishment I’m extremely proud of,” he said.
Klotz said the Town Board isn’t working by consensus, with Sausville sometimes being outvoted 4-1 on major policy decisions like the recent adoption of the revised downtown zoning code.
“The recent 4 to 1 vote in favor of new zoning should have been understood as an invitation to the current supervisor to lead the Town Board in this new direction,” Klotz said. “Instead, he continues to dig in his heels and push for his own private agenda, working against the majority and the established consensus of the community.”
Klotz, 56, is a 25-year resident of Malta. He is pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church on Route 9.
He has served on the Town Board for six years, and was previously chairman of the Malta town Planning Board. He is a life member of the Malta Ambulance Corps, where he has been both president and corps captain.
The Republicans have a large voter enrollment advantage in Malta, but town Democratic Chairwoman Cynthia Young has indicated her party will have a candidate in November.