Candidates for District 4 in the Schenectady County Legislature faced off in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Incumbent Carolina Lazzari and fellow Republican Angelo Santabarbara, along with Democrat Anthony Jasenski, who was appointed in May, and Robert Godlewski, who is also on the Democratic slate, are all vying for the two seats available in District 4, which covers Rotterdam, Princetown and Duanesburg.
During the forum, which was held at the Rotterdam Public Library, the four candidates spoke about the need for smaller, more efficient government, an expanded tax base and the creation of jobs as a means to decrease taxes within the county.
Lazzari has been involved in politics since 1993 and has served on various local boards and committees. She is finishing up her first, four-year term with the Legislature.
She said she was originally planning to not run for reelection, but when the Legislature passed a sex offender law in the face of opposition from town supervisors and without notifying police chiefs, she decided to go for another term. Lazzari voted against the law, which was passed in June and requires that all convicted sex offenders live 2,000 feet away from any place where children congregate.
Lazzari is a registered financial planner who specializes in tax and retirement planning. She said she has made a career out of being responsible with other people's money.
Santabarbara is a newcomer to elected office. He is a professional engineer with the Chazen Companies and has spent a lot of time working with governments and in the local community.
Solving problems is my nature, he said.
Santabarbara volunteers at Schalmont High School and the middle school teaching students about engineering. He said he wants to serve the community so his two children can be comfortable growing up in the area.