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Republicans offer ‘common sense’ platform in upcoming Fenner town election

The Fenner Republican Party candidates for the November town elections are, from left, Bill Cody and Hannah Strack for town board and David Jones for town supervisor. Jones and Strack have been on the board for 16 and 25 years, respectively, while Cody is a political newcomer.

The Fenner Republican Party candidates for the November town elections are, from left, Bill Cody and Hannah Strack for town board and David Jones for town supervisor. Jones and Strack have been on the board for 16 and 25 years, respectively, while Cody is a political newcomer. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— Strack is a heavy equipment operator for Stowell’s Excavation in Cazenovia. She grew up in Cazenovia and has lived in Fenner for 27 years. She has been a town councilor for the past 16 years, has served previously as president and treasurer of Cherry Valley Carriage Association and as a past board member of the Friends of Lorenzo.

Cody is a 30-year-old dairy farmer who has lived his entire life in Fenner. He previously served three years on the Madison County Farm Bureau board of directors. This is his first time running for a political office.

Jones, Strack and Cody all said they are running for office out of a general concern for the town and a desire to contribute to its continued growth and well-being.

During his tenure on the board, the town has drastically improved the roads and town equipment, become financially more prosperous, welcomed new businesses and lowered taxes, Jones said. “Since 1998 our tax rate went from $6.49 [per $1,000] to $3.47 today. Probably not too many towns can say the same,” he said. “We want to keep improving our services.”

Strack said that the continued improvements of town roads by the highway department — to which she is board liaison — and the tax rate are two of the biggest issues in town.

“I don’t know if hydrofracking will ever come here, but I know it will snow here and I’ll have to drive the roads, and I’ll have to pay taxes. Those are the things that concern me,” she said.

“We’ve all run a business, and the town is a business,” Jones said.

Cody agreed. “Business experience helps tremendously if you balance your own checkbook,” he said.

The elephant in the room

For the Fenner town election, the elephant in the room is the issue of gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. The three candidates of the Fenner Neighbor Party have made opposition to the controversial drilling practice the centerpiece of their campaign for the town election, and said their first priority if elected will be to pass a moratorium and ultimately a ban on gas drilling in Fenner.

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