Hynes, Southworth square off

The race for a Ballston town board seat is heating up with Democrat Patti Southworth challenging current appointed Ballston town board member Mary Beth Hynes, a Republican, in the November election.

The special election for the seat was caused by the resignation of member Paul Farnan last winter.

When Farnan resigned his post, the all-Republican board asked the Republican Committee to recommend a candidate to fill it.

Both Southworth and Hynes applied for the position, interviewing in front of committee members, who recommended Hynes. The town board voted to appoint her at the January meeting.

I was disappointed that I wasn't chosen for the position because I know I'm well qualified, Southworth said.

Southworth also went up against Farnan in the November 2005 election and lost by a margin of about 100 votes.

Both candidates said they hope to accomplish some of the same goals while in office, including improving communication between local governments and town residents.

Southworth, who is a regular at town meetings, said she has a desire to serve the town of Ballston and its residents.

"A lot of intelligent, well-spoken people have been sharing their ideas with me, and I truly want to be their representative," she said, adding that the town is in a healing process right now after all the bad feelings that came out of the rezoning process and the ordeal with Wal-Mart. She said people need to refocus, reunite and work together to move the town forward.

If elected, Southworth said she will update the town's Web site so it is more interactive and work to get meeting minutes and agendas online quicker. She also wants officials to consider videotaping and broadcasting local meetings.

Southworth said she wants to have solid economic development that is appropriate for the town so residents can have some relief from its tax burden.

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