Last week, Bud Walker, Chairman of the Lloyd Republican Party Committee, welcomed everyone to a well attended caucus at the American Legion Hall to nominate their local candidates for the Republican line for the November 7th election.
“You are participating in real grass roots local politics here tonight,” he said, adding that John Wadlin would serve as the caucus chairman and Gina Hansut as the caucus secretary.
Walker introduced Mike Kavanagh, who is running for Ulster County District Attorney, will be on the Conservative, Republican and Libertarian lines, “and every police agency that offers support at this point,” on the November ballot.
“I want to make the DA’s office about public safety, make it victim-based to speak to the rights of victims and I want to restore confidence in the District Attorney’s office and the criminal justice system here in this county; with your support, I am confident we’re going to do that,” he said.
Gina Hansut is running unopposed for re-election to the Ulster County Legislature in District 10.
“Even though I don’t have an opponent, I will continue to work very hard and will be out there to represent the southern end of the county,” she said, adding that she helps all of her constituents with little and large problems.
Legislator Herb Litts’ District 9 now covers the Town of Lloyd and north to Esopus. He is seeking a fifth term.
Litts said this is a tough time for his party because presently the Legislature has 16 Democrats to 7 Republicans. He described many of the 16 as ultra left wing liberals, “so much so that there is a socialist on the Legislature who wanted to take all of our $17.4 million of ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funding and give $3,100/month to anyone at the poverty levels or below.”
Litts said he voted, instead, to put it into infrastructure, mental health, “and all of those programs that we drastically need in this county.” He suggested sending people to area colleges for free, such as SUNY Ulster or to BOCES, “to teach them a new job and retrain them. Please get out and vote, we need this town to be Republican and we need those values and we need to take back the county so we can go back to doing good work for the county.”
On the local level, the party faithful nominated Dave Plavchak for Town Supervisor, Mark Elia and Tiffany Rizzo for Town Councilpersons, Eugene Rizzo for Town Justice and Richard Klotz for Town Highway Superintendent.
In accepting his nomination, Plavchak said serving as the current Supervisor, “is a pleasure...and I make sure things get done. We are trying to make the community better, and I have not played politics the entire time I have been in office. In 18 months we got 12 local laws passed and we got $2.5 million in grants last year, we’ve got a new water tank going in July and we’ve got a road project [Tillson/Toc] that was started in 2009. That $7 million project will cost the town $50,000 because we had a donation from a developer in the past.”
Plavchak stressed that for the first time in memory, “all of our departments, all of our teams are acting like one team and that’s why we’re getting things done. The decisions that we make, we have been making based on real research and real information. I will use evidentiary data to make sure we get to the right decision and use our problem solving techniques or whatever we have to use. We are growing the town and we don’t expect to see another tax increase next year but we’re fiscally in good shape. I am looking forward to getting everybody out to vote in November supporting our town and to keep moving forward, and I don’t want to go backwards and rehash old stuff.”
Tiffany Rizzo said running for elected office, “is a totally new experience for me.” She said she initially felt intimidated upon being asked to run for the Town Board, “but I slept on it for a few nights and I decided I’m going to go for it.” Tiffany said she is running, in part, because she wants her children to be able to afford living and setting down their own roots in the town when they are adults.
Tiffany said she, “wants to better the Town of Lloyd for future generations. I think I can provide a helpful insight to continue to make our town family-friendly, affordable and safe. I look forward to your support and ideas and your vote.”
Mark Elia said he held off a bit in running for office in deference to others in his party, until, “it was my time, well this is my time. The water is warm and I’m diving in head first. Most of you who know me know when I set my mind to do something, it’s done, just get out of my way and let me do it. So when Dave or this board gives me an assignment, you can pretty much count on it getting done.”
Elia said he has a “burning” desire to see the Town of Lloyd, “stay gorgeous the way it is, but we need to grow a little bit, we need to look out for the businesses.”
Elia ticked off a few of his character traits; reliability, transparency, honesty and integrity, “that you can count on from me.” He called his teaching career at the Culinary Institute of America, “the best 14 years of my life, bringing young people into the business world.”
Elia said he was very impressed with the Republican majority on the Town Board, telling his wife that, “I’ve got to get onto this team, it’s time, these guys are getting things done. This is the team I want to belong to.”
Richard Klotz, a Democrat, was nominated for re-election to the position of Highway Superintendent. He said the Town Board has been great to work with and pointed out there are more than 60 miles of roadways to upkeep in the town.
“I just work for the people and give them their tax dollars worth,” he said. “Any time you want to come out and see me, I’m there. I try to help everybody out and do what I can.”
Judge Eugene Rizzo, who is a Democrat, is in his 39th year of service to the town and is the longest elected Justice in New York State.
In his acceptance speech, Rizzo said it is an honor and privilege, “to receive this endorsement in ten of my eleven elections. When I took this post, a then member of this party said that I’m in for life. I just hope that I can do for you what you have done for me, which is your approval of my past performance. I can tell you my door is always open for all residents of the town, whether Democrat, Republican or Conservative. I thank you very much, with sincere gratitude.”