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Spafford candidates talk issues before capacity crowd

Eight Spafford town election candidates prepare to begin a public candidate forum in Borodino Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The event lasted 90 minutes and covered issues such as hydrofracking, windmills taxes, zoning and codes enforcement.

Eight Spafford town election candidates prepare to begin a public candidate forum in Borodino Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The event lasted 90 minutes and covered issues such as hydrofracking, windmills taxes, zoning and codes enforcement.

— “I will do what it takes to protect this town,” Stevens said. “But I’m going to do it in a judicial manner so we can all survive here.”

Stevens said the board will not devote all its energy on hydrofracking. “This town is not run on one issue,” he said.

Hanlon added to the hydrofracking conversation by criticizing the actions of the current town board as being irresponsibly quick and lacking considered thought — specifically saying they “rubber stamp” too much — and also questioning energy company leases owned by board members.

Stevens and Fesko admitted to owning leases from energy companies. Fesko said hers was a mistake to do that will not be repeated, but also a mistake that instructed her in her opposition to hydrofracking.

Stevens said his lease is due to expire soon. “So far as this has any effect on what I want to do or whether my lease has anything to do with my decision on hydrofracking is absolutely not true,” he said.

One of those issues is property taxes. The 2009 reassessment “leveled the playing” field according to Stevens in that it shifted more of the tax burden to lakefront home owners.

“Nobody likes to pay taxes,” town board candidate, and current incumbent, Jeff Ireland said. “The tax system isn’t really fair to some people who live on the lake. Until the state decides to change that you’re not going to see a change. I feel sorry for the people that have lived here that are getting forced out.”

The issue of wind power was discussed. Wind farms were generally frowned upon, though some candidates weren’t opposed to individual home owners putting one for their own energy needs.

“We have a provision in our zoning code for individually owned windmills,” Bragg-Adams said. “It requires a special permit and we do have a few of them in town. I think if that’s how people want to generate their power … I applaud them.”

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