Only races in G’town are for board seats

GERMANTOWN—Most of the town offices up for election this year have only one candidate running for them.

Former justice Robert Beaury is running solo for supervisor. Incumbents Richard Jennings (highway superintendent), Joyce Vale (town clerk) and Janice Mullins (tax collector) are also in uncontested races.

For the two town justice positions, Wendy Nack-Lawlor, incumbent, is running again, and John J. Rustici stepped up to fill out Mr. Beaury’s term.

But there is a race in town: four candidates are vying for the two open Town Board seats currently held by Andrea Foley and John Kukon. Mr. Kukon was appointed to his seat last spring when Matthew Phelan resigned and is now trying for a full term. Ms. Foley is not running.

For the Republicans, the candidates are Mr. Kukon and Austin Sullivan; for the Democrats, they are Tony Albino and Don Westmore. The term is four years.

Each candidate filled out a questionnaire for The Columbia Paper. Following are their profiles, in alphabetical order.

Tony Albino

Mr. Albino, 70, an enrolled Democrat, is endorsed by that party in his first run for political office. Born in New York City, he earned a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University. He is married to Dawn Tsien.

Retired now, during his research career he was awarded “multiple patents in the area of cancer treatment and diagnosis.”

Discussing his work, he wrote, “During my research career, I served on 1) numerous national and international review committees for cancer research funding; 2) the Commission for a Healthy New York, a blue-ribbon panel of experts in the field of tobacco control, science, health promotion and community intervention that reported directly to the commissioner of the NYS Department of Health and the NYS governor; 3) Westchester Medical Center Cancer Awareness Task Force; 4) Editorial Board of Triumphs: Westchester County Medical Centers of Excellence Magazine; and 5) as an invited speaker at numerous national and international scientific symposia.”

In his candidate statement, he says, “As a Town Board candidate, I will use my long experience in cancer research and public health for the common good of all Germantown residents. I well understand their concerns, which range from insufficient job opportunities, to overdevelopment, to securing a viable vision of the town’s future.

“A priority will be to help Germantown youth secure good jobs by providing opportunities that maximize their individual talents. Initiatives such as job fairs, educational seminars, internships with local businesses and meaningful retraining programs can promote a better fit between jobs and the job-seeker’s skill set.

“I will also work for a sensible business development plan for the 9G corridor that supports Germantown’s unique rural character.

“Finally, I am committed to initiating a satellite medical outreach program and a vibrant Community Center hosting cultural events and programs for seniors, and other venues that support the interests of all Germantown residents.”

John Kukon

Mr. Kukon, 35, is not enrolled in any political party. He has been endorsed for this race, his first for a full term in any office, by the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties.

Born in Hudson, he was educated at the Germantown Central School. He and his wife, Jennifer Kukon, have three children. He is a member of Christ Lutheran Church of Viewmont.

With his two younger brothers, Mr. Kukon is the owner/operator of Kukon Brothers LLC, a 2,000-plus acre agri-business in New York state and Massachusetts.

In his candidate statement, he says, “As I run for a full term on the Town Board, I think about the issues we face as a community and how the decisions we make will affect my family and all the families that call Germantown home.

“It is important that we have decent jobs and affordable housing in Germantown for the men and women in their 20s and 30s, some of whom will raise families here, send their children to our school, play in our parks and enjoy the same environment that I did, growing up.

“Let’s maintain the rural character of our community and create opportunities for economic growth.

“Nobody that grows up here should have to leave because there are too few decent-paying jobs or because they can’t afford to live in Germantown.

“We live in a community with different age groups, backgrounds and opinions. We can work together to balance all of our needs and wants.”

Austin P. Sullivan

Mr. Sullivan, 37, is an enrolled Republican, endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. This is his first try for an elected office, but he served previously as deputy town supervisor with Supervisor Roy Brown and deputy town clerk with Charlene Diehl.

Born in Hudson, he graduated from Germantown Central School in 1998 and Columbia-Greene Community College in 2000. He served in the US Army National Guard from 2000 to 2008. He and his wife, Katrina Sullivan, have one child.

Mr. Sullivan is director of operations at Helsinki Hudson. He is a member of the Germantown Lions Club and the Hudson Business Coalition.

His candidate statement says, “I believe that in order to effectively work for your community, you need to understand your community.

“I started working and volunteering for this town as a young teen. At 15 I started lifeguarding and working at the summer rec program, as well as volunteering for community events like the Oktoberfest and Haunted Hayrides.

“I began working in the Maintenance Department and Town Hall after school, and post-graduation started full time with the town.

“I came on board with Roy Brown after his first election in 2005 as his administrative assistant, working directly with him and his board members on all aspects of town governance. As deputy clerk and deputy supervisor, I worked every day with residents, answering questions and finding solutions to a wide range of issues.

“If elected, I will work for all residents of Germantown, young and old, to ensure that they too have as much pride in their hometown as I do.”

Don Westmore

Mr. Westmore, 74, is an enrolled Democrat endorsed by that party. He served one previous full term on the Town Board.

Born at Fort Benning in Columbus, GA, Mr. Westmore holds a B.A. degree from Columbia University and did graduate study at the University of Washington and Stanford University. He holds a Vietnam Service Award.

He and his wife, Adrienne Westmore, have one grown daughter.

Mr. Westmore is a retired Foreign Service officer, International Business. He was acting ambassador to the Philippines; charge d’affairs, U.S. Embassy, Sri Lanka; deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia, U.S. Department of State; and executive director, American Chamber of Commerce, Japan.

Locally, he is the former president of the Board of Trustees of the Germantown Library, vice president of the Germantown Neighbors Association and secretary, Friends of Clermont State Historic Site.

In his candidate statement he says, “Drawing on my experience as a former councilman who was cross-endorsed by both parties, my goal is to assure that all Germantown residents benefit from the rejuvenation of the Mid-Hudson Valley’s economic and cultural life, while preserving our classic small-town lifestyle on the banks of the beautiful Hudson River.

“We need businesses that share our vision to provide jobs, services and goods that reinforce our tradition of self-reliance. We can do this in part by making our town even more attractive as a place to live, work, shop, study and play.

“If we pull together, we can succeed. Ample resources exist to restore swimming at Palatine Park Lake, beautify Palatine Park Road, create a more robust and multipurpose Kellner community center that could offer programs for seniors, and implement the nearly finished Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (on which committee I serve).

Germantown is on the rise. Let’s, together, fulfill its potential.

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