Political newcomer Mike Sutton seeks a seat in the county legislature for the ninth district, an area that includes Eastwood, East Syracuse and parts of the towns of DeWitt and Salina. In the past, the Conservative Party favored Sutton's opponent, 26-year incumbent Mark Stanczyk. This election year marks a change. Both the Conservative Party and East Syracuse Mayor Danny Liedka endorsed Sutton last week.
"Mark Stanczyk has always been our representative," said Bernie Ment, chairperson for the Conservative Party. "We've supported him many times in the past. Mike Sutton represents change. He represents a future for the community."
Stanczyk's actions within the district borders
have proven to be insufficient, Ment said during the Oct. 16 announcement. He cited Stanczyk's meeting attendance record as one of the worst on the legislature.
"When he does attend, he's often late and he leaves early," Ment said. "This is not a good job record for somebody of his caliber."
When $3.9 million became available to Onondaga County to distribute to low-income housing and low-income families, Stanczyk did not advocate his communities, Ment said.
"He's great for the community at-large, the county, but he has totally neglected the part of the county he's being paid to represent," he said.
Liedka listed three top issues that he said were overlooked in East Syracuse by the county, in regards to grants: lead paint removal and property rehabilitation, drainage and flooding, and drugs.
Sutton addressed each issue with a general overview, remarking on his plans to enhance housing and neighborhoods and crack down on drug trafficking and loitering. He summarized a three-part plan to resolve the flooding issue in East Syracuse.
Sutton is the director for Saint Marie among the Iroquois -- a not-for-profit museum located in Liverpool. This is his first run for public office.
When asked why he decided to run, Sutton said he felt the person holding the position should be someone who is in constant contact with other locally-elected people and area constituents "listening to their concerns and addressing them."
"I was taught ever since I was young that when you take on a job, you do the job," Sutton said. "That's what I'll do when you elect me as county legislator."
Stanczyk did not return phone calls or emails from the DeWitt Times.