In Van Buren, voters will elect a town supervisor, three town councilors, a highway superintendent and one town justice. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. If you are unsure of your polling place, visit ongov.net/elections and click on “Polling Place”
or call the Onondaga County Board of Elections at (315) 435-8683.
In 2004 I moved to the Harbour Heights neighborhood of Van Buren to live closer to my younger son and his family. My older son and his family live in the Seattle area. I have four grandchildren. I proudly watched Matthew, my oldest grandchild, graduate from high school last June as one of the Baker’s Dozen.
Previously I lived in Orchard Park, home of the Buffalo Bills football team. I worked in local government there for 30 years, serving as mayor for 16 years. I taught high school math and have worked as a realtor for more than 35 years, presently with Coldwell Banker. I brought my experience in local government to Van Buren, where I’ve served as a town councilor and as deputy supervisor for the last 10 years. I’m a registered Republican and have also been endorsed by the Independence Party, the Conservative Party and the Onondaga County Veterans Party.
I want to continue to apply what I’ve learned during years of working in local government to benefit our community. I’ve contributed on the town board for the past 10 years, and I’d like to continue to do so. The Van Buren Town Councilors, together with Supervisor Sykes and Highway Superintendent Foster, work exceptionally well together, keeping taxes stable while providing the quality of services our residents expect. Each member brings a different background and area of expertise to the board. Issues are thoroughly discussed from different viewpoints. I find town government open, fair, and impartial. As councilor, I’ll help keep it that way.
I care about Van Buren. It’s my home. When I moved to the Syracuse area, I chose Van Buren. I’m committed to the town. I’m accessible. I see many residents regularly through the various organizations I belong to.
My many years of municipal government experience uniquely prepare me for the job. I work hard. I know how to find cost savings and obtain grants. Moving to Van Buren from another area enables me to look at the issues facing the town, now and in the future, from a fresh point of view. I understand what it takes to get the job done because I’ve done it before. All my life, in teaching, in real estate and in government, I’ve helped people address their concerns. I’m confident I can continue to help Van Buren and would be honored to continue to serve our residents.
Van Buren’s biggest challenge is controlling rising costs. The town board’s goal is to continue to provide the services residents expect while keeping taxes down. We can alleviate some of the tax burden by continuing to attract low-impact, environmentally-sensitive commercial and industrial development. Our Master Plan lays out areas where new business development can be sensibly located with little impact on existing neighborhoods. New businesses contribute jobs and tax revenues to our community. They pay school taxes without adding any cost or burden to our school system.
As everyone’s personal expenses have increased, the town’s expenses have increased too. The town board is developing a balanced budget for 2018. Increases in operating expenses, including unfunded state mandates, make it a real challenge. We’re meeting with each department to examine and adjust proposed expenditures line by line, determined to keep costs controlled without sacrificing services. Having worked on 32 municipal budgets enables me to help our town deftly navigate these challenging economic times.
I would appreciate your support on Nov. 7. Thank you.
My name is Ronald Dudzinski. I am 58 years old and am a proud Republican. I am retired from Golub Corporation after 38 years of service. I am currently employed by the Onondaga County Department of Transportation, My wife and I have lived in Van Buren for more than 30 years and have two grown children.
I have been in office for more than 16 years and enjoy working for the taxpayers of Van Buren. I would like to continue to use my experience to move the town forward.
I am currently a town councilor. I would like to continue to work toward improving the town infrastructure, lowering taxes and saving the town money by sharing services with other towns and the county.
The tax cap is one of the big issues — trying to stay under it while still working on the town infrastructure, drainage, roads, and improving the parks for all to enjoy.
The new highway barn is one we are all working on now as the old one is very outdat4ed and in need of repair. We are now getting the new one ready and applying for grants so as not to incur any tax rate increases.
I would like to thank the residents of Van Buren for their support now and in the future.
I am a life-long resident of the Baldwinsville community and a Baker High School graduate (Class of 2000). I have lived in my home in Seneca Knolls since 2008. I work for the Onondaga County Legislature as an analyst and I am finishing my first term as a Van Buren Town Councilor this year. I am a registered Republican and I have also been endorsed by the Independence and Libertarian parties.
I have enjoyed serving as a town councilor in Van Buren. My motivation for running for office is to keep the taxes as low as possible. I am fortunate to work with a town board, supervisor and highway superintendent that are dedicated to holding the line on spending and investing where it is necessary.
I think I am the best candidate because of my work experience. The public and private sector differ greatly, I have the experience in the public sector, at the town and county level, which makes me uniquely qualified. I take this job very seriously and I am always interested in hearing from constituents about what they want out of town government. I am a fiscal conservative and I scrutinize every expenditure as if it were my own.
New York state unfunded mandates are killing local government. The unilateral changes our state continues to make are not helping our residents. For example, the new “reimbursement checks” for school taxes. The STAR program was working well with the local administration. I am sure there were some discrepancies across the state, but in the end, it was much easier to turn your paper work into the local assessor’s office and receive a reduction on your school tax bill. The state takeover has done nothing to assist our local office, and instead has created more of a burden on property taxpayers that have to pay their school tax bill in full and wait for a reimbursement check.
Other issues facing the town really boil down to the menu of services. As the cost of doing business increases, we need to analyze the benefits of each program we offer. Roads will always need to be plowed and paved, so it’s the quality of life services that will suffer without proper financial relief from New York state.
Please remember to get out and vote on Nov. 7! It would be my honor to have your vote!!!
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.