County legislator Derek Shepard is running unopposed. Shepard represents the 13th District, which covers Van Buren, Elbridge and a large part of Camillus.
35 years old, single. Lifelong resident of Baldwinsville. Employment: self-employed as an attorney with Shepard Law LLC and a real estate broker with CenterFour Properties. Education: CW Baker High (1996), Syracuse University, B.A. (2000) and J.D. (2012) Political Affiliation: Republican. Other endorsements: Conservative, Independence parties
Why are you running for office?
I became interested in national political issues and law at a young age, but becoming a homeowner in 2003 really brought my attention to the importance of local government issues and property taxes.
In 2007, I decided to run for a seat on the town board and won election to a four-year term. As chair of the personnel committee, I participated in several rounds of collective bargaining negotiations and learned a lot about the way town and county government work together to affect the bottom line on property taxes. Sensing our community was ready for a change, I decided to challenge the incumbent legislator and to run for the county level seat. Since my election to the County Legislature two years ago, I have enjoyed nearly every moment of it and I’m very excited to continue some of the great work we’ve begun.
I am most proud of our record of reducing the county tax levy during both of our first two budgets and working to privatize certain functions that I believe are not essential or appropriate functions of government. I was also particularly proud to lead the charge with my colleague from Lysander, Legislator Brian May, to add the legislature’s voice to the groundswell of opposition to the Governor’s ill-conceived and unconstitutional so-called “SAFE” Act.
Looking ahead, vast improvements are needed in our century-old wastewater transportation and treatment system and I am eager to work with some of the talented experts we have working in our Water Environment Protection department to develop creative and cost-effective solutions to this little-known, but critical issue of our time.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
After a tough three-way race two years ago, I am running for re-election unopposed this year. I am hopeful that the fiscally conservative and balanced track record of the legislature’s last term means that we are doing the most important things right and accounts for the lack of opposition.
I would like to thank the residents of the 13th District for their continuing support and for allowing me to continue doing work I truly enjoy!