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MALTA: Pastor prompts primary

Klotz said he believes growth pressures will continue to be a major issue for the town and expressed his desire to keep Malta without a town tax. In addition to fiscal responsibility, he said he is committed to the preservation of green public spaces saying they contribute to "our Malta quality of life."

"The experience, qualifications and skills I have demonstrated as chairman of the planning board will have direct application to the town board," said Klotz. "I can work with people who have a variety of viewpoints."

Klotz said he is proud of the way in which the planning board, with each member having their own point of view is able to distill those opinions into an action.

"I can build a consensus that does not turn into hostility," said Klotz. "I can help build enthusiasm around a shared vision."

Klotz had been a registered voter with no party affiliation until 2005. Calling the process to change affiliations "lengthy," he said the move was made after former Supervisor Dave Meager's retirement from public office.

"When Dave Meager stepped down, I felt I wanted to be part of the politics," said Klotz. "I felt the only way to get involved with it would be to affiliate with the Republican party."

Smith, who was joined at his press conference by endorsed candidates Tara Thomas (town council) and Flo Sickels (town clerk) as well as four committee members, said that while seeking a Republican primary is well within Klotz's rights, it is his hope that Klotz will reconsider.

"I would have liked to have considered Peter during the endorsement process," said Sharon Schiera, one of the committee members present. "I would have liked to have had that opportunity to choose Peter as one of the endorsed candidates."

Noticeably absent from Smith's press conference was the other Republican-endorsed candidate for town council, Donna Gizzi, who said she was not invited. Smith indicated that since she is already on the town council, he did not see a need for her to be present. When Sue Nolan, another town council member and Republican committee member, showed up, she was asked to leave the property.

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