TAGHKANIC–Gone are the days when elections for offices in this town went uncontested. With the exception of assessor, there are heated races for every town office on the ballot this year.
It has been many years since Taghkanic Supervisor Elizabeth “Betty” Young has had an opponent in her quest for the top spot in town, but this year Loretta Hoffmann has stepped up to the plate.
Among the issues that have pitted neighbor against neighbor in this town of 1,100, the smallest in the county by population, are resident Alan Wilzig’s motorcycle track and the town Comprehensive Plan, which has been a work in progress since the Town Board voted to establish a Comprehensive Plan Committee in March 2005.
What follows are profiles of the supervisor candidates in alphabetical order based on completed questionnaires submitted to The Columbia Paper.
Ms. Hoffmann, 51, is a member of the Independence Party. In addition to her own party, she is endorsed by Democrats and the Working Families Party in her run for her first four-year term as town supervisor.
Born in Suffolk County, Ms. Hoffmann graduated from high school with a Regents diploma. She attended SUNY Farmingdale for two years followed by SUNY Stony Brook in pursuit of a liberal arts education.
She completed IT training to become a Microsoft certified professional in both operating systems and office applications. She also completed A+ training, studied HTML and graduated as a help desk professional trained to troubleshoot software, hardware and network issues.
For the past two years, Ms. Hoffmann and her husband, James Carley, have operated the Changing Times Bed and Breakfast on Old Route 82 in West Taghkanic.
The building, which is also their home, was formerly Hotaling’s Store, the town’s general store and post office.
Ms. Hoffmann has 15 years of professional supervisory experience and has worked as an administrator of financial services for General Motors and implementation lead for BOCES, installing computers and networks in public schools.
She represents Taghkanic on the Independence Party’s county committee.
She is a support member at the Taghkanic Volunteer Fire Company and an executive committee member of the Columbia County Lodging Association.
Ms. Hoffmann has two daughters, her husband has two sons, and they became grandparents last year.
In her statement of issues, Ms. Hoffman said, “The biggest challenges we face in Taghkanic today are a crumbling infrastructure, lack of information and technology and a divided community.
“I believe that with careful planning and working in cooperation, we can get our town back on track without raising taxes or assessments to pay for it. In this current economic climate it will be especially critical to take stock, cut waste and utilize what we have while taking full advantage of available grants to help us support our town’s needs. It’s time to remember our past, celebrate our present and plan for our future together.”
Mrs. Young, 78, has served Taghkanic as supervisor for the last 20 years. She is an enrolled Republican, endorsed by her own party and the Conservative Party.
Prior to becoming supervisor in 1989, she served on the Taghkanic Town Board from 1982 to 1988.
Born in New York City, Mrs. Young graduated from Roeliff Jansen Central High School in 1949 and the Columbia Memorial School of Nursing in 1952.
As a registered nurse, she worked for Columbia Memorial Hospital in the office of Dr. Joseph P. Gold and at COARC’s workshop.
Mrs. Young’s late husband, William H. Young, Jr., was a dairy farmer, then a crop farmer. He worked for the town’s Highway Department as a motorized equipment operator and served as town justice for 20 years until his death.
Mrs. Young has four grown children, Barbara Gaylord, Beverly Rochler, Taghkanic Councilwoman Carolyn Sammons, and William III, her oldest child, who is physically and mentally challenged.
A life member of the Taghkanic Fire Company Ladies Auxilliary, Mrs. Young is also a COARC board member; a Columbia Opportunities Inc., board member; serves on the administrative board of the West Taghkanic United Methodist and was Sunday School teacher for 35 years. She was appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities in September 2001.
Among her many awards are: 1992 appreciation award from Soil and Water Conservation District for Genuine Interest in Growth of Agriculture in Columbia County; 1993 Columbia County Environmental Council Good Earth Keeping Award for County Wide Agricultural Preservation; 2002 The Young Republicans 2001 Award 41st Annual Lincoln Day; the 2002 New York Senate Woman of Distinction Award sponsored by Senator Stephen M. Saland; 2009 Cornell Cooperative Extension in Columbia County for 20 years service as the supervisor representative to that board and the Cooperative Extension building was named the Betty Young Meeting Hall; 2009 honored by the Columbia County Dialysis Center for her participation in helping to establish the new center.
In her statement of issues, Mrs. Young said she is happy that town taxes have stayed constant, with no increases at all in the past three years. “Unlike my opponent, who is proposing all kinds of expensive projects, which cause taxes to rise–I am proposing that whatever we do, we manage our budget in a fiscally conservative and responsible way so we do not impose new burdens on hard-working families and small businesses.”
On the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which will lead to an update of the zoning code and guide future growth, she said, “I am committed to ensuring that fundamental property rights are protected.”
Mrs. Young serves on the Planning and Economics and Transportation Committee headed by Kenneth Flood, who is working with the Columbia Economic Development Corporation to bring broadband to all corners of Columbia County. She pledges to work “to have this vital access reach as many areas of town as possible and as fast as possible.”
Mrs. Young said she is also interested in reviving Four Town Community Day at Lake Taghkanic, which was canceled this year due to damage from the December 2008 ice storm.
In the race for two Town Board seats, each with a four-year term, are: Larry Kadish on the Democratic and Independence party lines; Tom Kiely on the Republican, Conservative and Working Families party lines; Joyce Thompson on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families party lines; and Erik Tyree on the Republican line.
For town justice, in the running are Raymond Dalrymple on the Republican, Conservative and Working Families party lines, and Jeff Tallackson on the Democratic and Independence party lines.
Audrey Koran on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families party lines challenges incumbent Cheryl Rogers on the Republican and Conservative party lines for town clerk/tax collector.
Longtime incumbent Highway Superintendent Edward Waldron on the Republican, Conservative and Working Families party lines faces off against Tom Youhas on the Democratic and Independence party lines.
Incumbent Republican Assessor Thomas Herishko, endorsed by the GOP and Conservatives, is unopposed for his third four-year term in that position.
To contact Diane Valden email .