continued Mannion: I love our town and feel that local polarized politics are unproductive in solving tough issues. Along with broad community knowledge, I offer intelligence, common sense and an analytical, engineering background to my approach to problem solving. I’m proud that people describe me as a collaborative leader and team player. I want my kids to come back here to live and believe I can be effective in working with people in both our town and county to make Central New York more attractive to them.
What do you feel is the district’s most pressing issue or challenge?
Holmquist: Our biggest issues going forward will be taxes, spending and the budget. New York state government is our biggest problem. State unfunded mandates are unethical. Our county government needs to continue to downsize and get out of businesses that we should never have been in. We need to reduce spending in most areas and continue to privatize services where it makes sense. We need fiscal conservatives in county government. I have made a career in the banking industry. Using that strong financial background, I have a proven track record of working with our county comptroller, my fellow county legislators and our executive department to reduce taxes and spending. We now have the lowest county property tax rate in 51 years, the lowest county property tax levy in 10 years and the highest bond rating in all of upstate New York. We have reduced our county workforce from 5,600 to just over 4,000. We need to do much more.
Mannion: Clearly, finances. Public pensions and Medicaid costs are growing fast and we’re told there is nothing we can do about their mandated, devastating effect on our budget. There are hard decisions ahead, but my opponent’s approach – managing slow decline – is not the way to go. A cut-cut-cut method alone will literally dead-end us. Even though I don’t have answers now, I have tools (I am an engineer) to analyze this situation. There are 62 counties in New York State dealing with the same issues. Why can’t we be the most visionary and creative? Why can’t we be the best?