Guilderland's town board will look different come January. Now, Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich hope to have as big a splash on town business as they did in their successful campaigns.
With 3,980 and 3,788 votes, respectively, the Republican challengers unseated Democratic incumbents David Bosworth and Michael Ricard, who received 3,581 and 3,577 votes, respectively.
We took out two entrenched incumbents, said Grimm.
Not only are their faces new, but so is their political backing. "We've reinvigorated the party," said Grimm, who noted that 10 years have passed since a Republican sat on the town board.
The win means a mandate for change, said Redlich.
Redlich said his primary goal is to make tax assessment process fair.
"That will be my focus for the first six months," he said.
Redlich said he plans to do some research before his term starts in January. He'll study the assessment process in detail and seek advice from town and state assessors.
"I'm not going to propose sweeping changes without knowing what's going on," he said.
"We know that there's a problem," said Redlich.
Too many properties are assessed far too low for their true value, he said, and many of them are vacant lots or commercial properties. "Once we take a better look and get some of these properties assessed fairly, it will relieve the tax burden on homeowners," Redlich said.
Grimm talked about upholding his campaign promise of opening up government.
"I want to bring more clarity to what's going on. It's what I do for a living," Grimm said. He said a lack of clarity is the reason most people don't follow government.
Greater public airing of issues at town board meetings is one forum for this. Grimm also said he will bring ideas for improving the town's Web site.
A second item that Redlich said he would focus on is economic development.