There's a new party in town and it's called the Lysander Bipartisan Coalition (LBC).
"The name of our party reflects the number one priority of our members," said spokesperson Steve McMahon. "We've put the people of Lysander ahead of our respective political parties. We don't see ourselves as members of the local Republican, Democratic, Conservative or Independence parties, but as citizens of Lysander. Our town is broken, and we need to work together to fix it now."
The LBC's slate of candidates for town elections this November reflects this bipartisan composition as supervisor and justice candidates Joe Coleman and Charles Mantione, respectively, are Democrats and councilor candidates Andy Reeves and Jeff Dack are Republicans.
The candidates are also geographically diverse. Coleman and his wife, Kathy, live in Indian Springs, Reeves is a resident of the western end of town, Dack is a resident of Radisson and Mantione, a father of four, lives in Abbott's Landing.
LBC will unveil the five planks of its platform at an open house and public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday May 12 at the Foxfire Clubhouse in Village Green. McMahon said that the party has already signed up more than 50 volunteers and that the public is invited to the event. Coleman said that the platform focuses on issues like employment, infrastructure, finances, ethics and engagement.
Preview of candidates' platforms
According to Coleman, a retired educator and former principal of Baker High School, "Lysander is in crisis mode."
"We're not professional politicians. Andy's a fourth-generation farmer and Jeff's worked for 25 years in customer service. We're running for the same reason that we launched a new party," Coleman said. "Our town's in trouble and we want to help, plain and simple. Our largest employers are leaving. Our infrastructure is crumbling. We're in debt at the worst time, and for all the wrong reasons. And town hall is treating the people of this community like second-class citizens. For the past 15 years, anyone asking questions has incurred the wrath of the town supervisor and some of the folks on his board. The people of this town deserve better from their town board."