ROTTERDAM: Debate highlights key issues

Jasenski, a retired Rotterdam police chief, was appointed to the county Legislature this spring. He has always lived in Rotterdam and served as a volunteer firefighter and a paramedic. He worked his way up through the police department, and retired in 2001.

"I think it is an honorable endeavor to serve the residents of this community," Jasenski said. "We are at a crossroads here, and the decisions we make today will be paramount in the future."

Godlewski is finishing up his first year as a Rotterdam Town Board member. He has served on various boards in Rotterdam including the Mohonasen Board of Education and was a member of the planning commission for four years.

His family has lived in the area since 1930, and he grew up on a farm on East Campbell Road.

"Growing up on a farm, I have learned the value of hard work, honesty and how to save money," he said.

Godlewski retired this year from General Electric where he worked for 37 years.

All four candidates agreed that high taxes are plaguing the region and something needs to be done about reducing the county's proposed 9.7 percent tax levy increase.

Santabarbara said the county should reduce unnecessary jobs and streamline government. He also said there should be an audit on social services programs.

"Social services are out of control. Everything should be looked at, and only the essential services should be provided," he said.

Lazzari said the county government needs streamlining. She urged county department heads to not only cut 10 percent out of their budgets, but try for as much as possible.

"If we have to cut to the essential services, we should because we have to do something drastic," she said.

Jasenski said the way to lower the property tax levy is to partner with other agencies to share services and maximize resources. He also agreed with the audit of social services.

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