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BALLSTON: GOP makes its picks

Chairman of the town of Ballston Republican Committee Alan Colyer announced Tuesday, May 15, the long-awaited list of candidates for town seats up for grabs.

As expected, current town council member Harold Townley will run to fill the town supervisor seat vacated by the long-tenured Ray Callanan, who is retiring.

Two newcomers, Kimberly Ireland and Tim Szczepaniak, are running for town council seats vacated by Townley and Robert Boice, who is retiring.

This slate is a great balance of proven, experienced people and new people with fresh insights and energies, said Colyer.

Townley and his brother Frank own the Townley and Wheeler Funeral Home in Ballston Spa. Harold is a graduate of the BH-BL High School.

Townley said his goals are to ensure there continues to be no town tax on residents, and to keep the town focus on residential properties with the exception of planned special districts.

Townley and the other candidates also touched on the current contentious political climate in Ballston between Republicans and their opponents.

"We need to get this town back to the positives and away from the negatives," said Townley. "There is a small group of people that want to be elected who are focusing on the negatives. We want to correct their statements, which are not factual."

The town Democratic Party has yet to announce its slate of candidates.

Ireland has lived in Ballston since 2002, and is the director of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee for the New York State Senate.

"We are as a town on the right path of progress," said Ireland. "I'll learn from members on the board and support open communication with the community."

Szczepaniak has worked at the Knolls Atomic Power Lab-Kesselring site for 19 years and has two children in the school district. He also vocalized his thoughts on the recent attacks on the town board, particularly the rash of people questioning the board's vote to buy into the Saratoga County water system.

"Residents are getting a tainted view; we need to get the actual facts out there on issues at hand. I will support this town 100 percent. We're ready," said Szczepaniak.

Town Clerk Muriel Swatling will run again after serving in the job for 30 years. Incumbent tax collector Anne Hogue will run after serving for 14 years.

Colyer said residents can expect to get knocks on their doors in the months ahead.

"They're all eager to get out on the campaign trail," said Colyer of the candidates.""

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