Taghkanic Democrats nominate full slate of candidates

TAGHKANIC – The Taghkanic Democratic Party has nominated six candidates for the various town government seats that are up for election November 5.  Fifty-nine town Democrats chose the candidates at the party’s recent caucus.

Town Board Member Larry Kadish will seek the town supervisor seat, Deputy Highway Superintendent George Hotaling is the Democratic nominee for the top highway position, Town Board Member Joyce Thompson and retired state transportation engineer Linda Swartz will be on the November ballot for the two open board seats, Town Justice Jeff Tallackson will run for his second term on the bench, and former Town Board Member Erin Edwards is the Democrats’ pick for the town clerk/tax collector office.

Dr. Kadish is a former medical director and physician at White Plains Hospital in Westchester County, where he managed a $250 million budget and a staff of over 700 doctors.  In his four years of service on the Town Board, Dr. Kadish has sought to build alliances, find compromise, and help the community move through challenges involving zoning, property assessments, and securing a location for a proposed new highway garage. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era, and is a member of the Taghkanic Volunteer Fire Co.

Mr. Hotaling has 39 years of experience on Taghkanic’s road crew and has been a highway foreman since 1993.  Mr. Hotaling described himself as “a working superintendent” who operates every piece of equipment the town owns.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Defense and the Army Reserves before joining the town’s highway department in 1974.

Incumbent Joyce Thompson seeks her second term on the town board.  A former global electronic meeting service director with experience in banking and finance, Ms. Thompson worked to bring the town’s financial records into compliance with modern standards of accountability and helped usher in a new era of public awareness and scrutiny.  She is also the co-chair of Taghkanic’s Zoning Commission.

Joining Ms. Thompson on the ballot for the second council seat, Lisa Swartz has served for many years as the town’s delegate to the Columbia County Traffic Safety board in addition to her 36 years with New York State.  Ms. Swartz serves on the town’s Zoning Commission and Economic Development Committee, and helped spearhead last year’s volunteer effort to clean and refurbish Town Hall.

Erin Edwards served on the board from 2005 to 2009, where she worked to impose greater oversight and openness in town government and stood against the discretionary application of the town’s laws and regulations.  As a board member, Ms. Edwards served on the town’s Comprehensive Plan Committee.  She has over 20 years of experience as a materials manager and software consultant in the health care industry.

Jeff Tallackson, an attorney, said in a press release he would continue to “uphold the law fairly [and] without fear or favoritism,” as well as use his legal and managerial qualifications to maintain the integrity and independence of the court’s records and its bank account.  Before his election to the bench in 2009, Mr. Tallackson was a member of the Taghkanic Planning Board and the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

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