The Spafford town election candidate forum on Tuesday, Oct. 18, was an exciting and impressive event. All six candidates for town council showed up, as did the unopposed candidates for town supervisor and highway superintendent; and approximately 50 people came to listen and ask questions, filling up every seat in historic Borodino Hall and causing a few people even to stand in the back.
As town council candidate Kathy Bragg-Adams said, the evening truly did “celebrate the spirit of democracy at the local level.”
With questions ranging from hydrofracking to windmills to taxes to zoning to codes enforcement to candidate efficacy and potential conflicts of interest, we were pleased and impressed to see that every person running for political office gave answers that were substantive, to the point and appropriate.
We believe the forum was a valuable and instructive event for all the voters in attendance, with the candidates clearly delineating their positions on the issues.
From our perspective, we believe Spafford residents have an excellent and diverse field of candidates from which to choose in every race, specifically in the three contested town council races.
Two of those races are for regular, four-year terms on the town board. One is a special election for a two-year term to fill the unexpired seat of Richard G. Fesko, who died tragically this past spring.
In the races for full-term board seats, we were especially impressed by Frederic “Tom” Abbott (Republican) and Kathy Bragg-Adams (Democrat). Both were intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable on the issues and genuine in their political positions and love of their community.
Abbott has an extensive resume of years of education, training and experience in business, marketing, sales, planning, working as part of a team and supervising a team. He made clear his positions on the issues — such as his opposition to hydrofracking, his support for windmills, keeping taxes low, and the necessity of teamwork — and also was unequivocal in his belief that every viewpoint must be heard and considered before making a decision. He was genial and forthright, and non-combative in his answers and opinions.