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Candidates cite attitude as issue on Milton Town Board

Candidates cite attitude as issue on Milton Town Board

Voters in Milton care about their Town Board’s attitude and direction, according to four candidates

Voters in Milton care about their Town Board’s attitude and direction, according to four candidates running for two seats on the board.

Barbara Kerr

Position sought: Milton Town Board

Ballot lines: Republican, Conservative

Age: 63

Education: Associate degree in business from Albany Business College

Experience: 25 years at Skidmore College, where she has been coordinator of its Card Office for 12 years

Family: Two adult children from a previous marriage and lives with a partner

Joe Miranda

Position sought: Milton Town Board

Ballot lines: Republican, Conservative

Age: 63

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Michael’s College

Experience: Retired after spending 20 years in professional sales and marketing and 22 years running the county’s recycling program; has served as a village trustee.

Family: Married with three adult children and lives next door to his mother.

Shawn Raymond

Position sought: Milton Town Board

Ballot lines: Democratic

Age: 46

Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from SUNY IT Utica-Rome

Experience: Worked for 14 years for various engineering consulting firms; currently an assistant engineer for Warren County Department of Public Works

Family: Married with two sons, ages 6 and 9

Benny Zlotnick

Position sought: Milton Town Board

Ballot lines: Hometown

Age: 52

Education: Associate degree in marketing from Hudson Valley Community College

Experience: Ran and owned a pizzeria for 12 years; 9 years on the Planning Board; has spent 22 years as a plant manager and tech rep for Polyset Company

Family: Married with two grown children

Democrat Shawn Raymond, Hometown candidate Benny Zlotnick, Republican Barbara Kerr and Republican incumbent Joe Miranda are vying for the two spots.

Raymond said he got into the race because, “I felt there needed to be a fresh take on politics in the town.”

He argued that the board wasn’t responding to the people and just served as a “rubber stamp process.” Raymond says he would act as an outlet for the people of Milton and would also make sure the town government became more transparent, which would include better utilization of its website as a means for engagement and disclosure.

Development is one of the main concerns Raymond brought out, and he said his background as an engineer qualifies him to tackle this problem.

An ability to oversee development was touted as a strength by Zlotnick, who served on the town Planning Board for nine years. He said during his tenure the board navigated the town through its biggest growth spurt ever.

As a member, Zlotnick wants to make the Town Board “more open.” He said that people are displeased with the way they’re treated when they interact with local government.

One concern he has with the budget is cuts to the Parks Department, which he promised to reverse if elected.

He is running on the Hometown line after his bid to compete in a Republican primary ended when his petitions were rejected.

“I am on my own line because I need to be,” Zlotnick said. “I’m hoping they’re voting for the person and not the party.”

Zlotnick’s attempt to make it on to the Republican ballot was part of a contentious summer for the town GOP. In September, incumbent Supervisor Frank Thompson lost a primary battle for the Republican nomination and Republican incumbent Town Board member Allison Saul was essentially forced off the party line.

In Saul’s absence emerged Kerr, who got into the race because of the way the board treats people. Her own tipping point came when she had a problem with her home’s assessment.

“I want to be the kind of councilperson who can give those answers,” Kerr said.

Her work at Skidmore College, she said, put her in touch with town merchants and professors, which gives her the people skills to serve on the board. She also noted that she has been attending board meetings for the last eight years.

Kerr characterized herself as a strong force behind the town’s ethics reform, which dealt with concerns about its hiring practices.

Miranda said he is running for office again because he has a vested interest in the community and enjoys public service. Having been elected to the board in 1995, with a time in village and county government, he touted his experience at various levels.

“We’ve kept Milton over the last 16 years debt-free and reduced the taxes over the last eight years,” Miranda said.

He argued that there aren’t any “smoldering issues” this election, except a question of leadership, which he said was resolved with Thompson’s ousting.

The one issue that board members might struggle to deal with next year is the town’s depleted reserve fund, but Miranda doesn’t think it will bring people to the polls.

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