Jan 10, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
George Betts, a town of Elbridge councilor of seven years, was sworn in as Elbridge Town Justice Wednesday Nov. 5.
So how does it feel, George?
“I will let you know more after Monday night, I’ll have my first docket – I have 60 cases so far,” Betts said. “I look forward to the new challenges, I look forward to the new things I’ll be learning. We’ll see how it goes.”
To fill the vacancy left by Betts, Doug Blumer was appointed town of Elbridge councilor.
Blumer lives with his wife, Kelly, on Lawrence Street in the village of Jordan. A lifelong resident of the town, Blumer owns and operates Blume Again Dairy with his two brothers.
Blumer was on the town’s planning board for two years before resigning to accept the position of councilor. He will go up for election in Dec. 31 when the term expires.
Eagle Observer: What led you to run for town councilor?
Doug Blumer: I had intended on further pursuing my political career within the town of Elbridge after completing my term on the planning board. With George Betts’s seat becoming vacant … and with my interest in local government and participation in town board meetings, I was asked if I would consider fulfilling the vacant seat for the remainder of its term.
EO: What attracted you to the position?
DB: I believe very strongly in participating in local government, whether it’s through taking an active role as a constituent or running for an elected position. This belief was instilled into me as a young kid from when my grandfather was a supervisor for the town of Cato and from my dad bringing me to meetings right here in the town of Elbridge. Both my father and grandfather taught me the importance of participating in government and how it affects not only your own family and lifestyle but that of all of your community residents.
EO: What do you bring to the table?
DB: Probably the most important thing that I bring to the table is that I am a lifelong resident of the town of Elbridge and I own a family business that has been in the community for more than 100 years. Having invested so much into this community I have a sincere obligation to see that the town of Elbridge not only remains fiscally strong, but also remains a good place to live and for businesses to thrive. I am also a graduate of both Jordan-Elbridge Schools and Cornell University.
EO: How have you prepared yourself to take up this role?
DB: Being a regular attendant and participating at town board meetings over the last few years have given me a lot of insight on what the duties of a town councilor entails … Having been involved with the advisory committee that assisted in drafting the proposed zoning law, I’m quite familiar with that issue. In addition, my two years on the planning board kept me involved with important projects within the town of Elbridge, such as the LT2 water treatment plant, Tessy’s recent expansion and the recent expansion of the Allred facility. As a former planning Board Member, former Young Cooperative Regional Director for the Agri-Mark Cooperative and from regular attendance at town board meetings I am very familiar with how meetings are run and the process of submitting, discussing and voting on resolutions.
EO: Which departments will you oversee?
DB: Assessing, Cemeteries, Public Safety, Historian and Technology. I will also be involved in drafting the budget.
EO: What challenges do you expect to face as town councilor?
DB: The most immediate challenge that I and the board will be facing is fine tuning the proposed zoning laws and map … The more long-term challenges will be maintaining the good fiscal management of the taxpayer’s money. This will be very difficult in the upcoming years due to the higher cost associated with retirement programs.
EO: How do you plan to approach the zoning issue?
DB: The zoning issue is a very difficult challenge. The town is in dire need of updating its zoning laws and map and my goal is to accomplish this by encouraging the preservation of the rural nature of the community. This has to be done in a matter that would not hinder the integrity of the current businesses and industries and also promote a controlled growth of new residential and business uses to insure that we maintain a strong economic base to the community. The board is trying to do this by having meetings with residents, businesses and industry leaders to discuss the proposed zoning and getting their input on how to change or modify the proposed zoning so that it will promote a controlled growth.
EO: What aspect of the position do you look forward to the most?
DB: Being able to address the concerns of my constituents and working with the many bright and dedicated people that work for and serve this town to try and resolve them.
EO: How can your constituents reach you?
DB: They can call the town clerk’s office at 689-9031 and leave a message with the clerk, or I can be reached at my home phone, 689-9062. Since I do work within the town, I am frequently out and about and I would encourage people to stop me to address any concerns they may have.
The board filled two other vacancies during its organizational meeting, appointing Marc Macro to the zoning board of appeals and Daniel Leary to the town planning board. Both terms expire Dec. 31 2013. The next town board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday Jan. 27.