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Four vie for two seats on Scotia village board

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters will head to the polls to decide who should fill the two seats up for grabs on the Scotia Village Board of Trustees.

Incumbent Republicans Carol Carpenter and Armon Benny are each seeking another four-year term on the board. They are being challenged by Democrats Tom Gifford and Andrew Kohout.

Keeping taxes under control and maintaining village services are among the top issues this election cycle.

The Democrats

Tom Gifford and Andrew Kohout said they would bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the board.

Kohout, 27, is a project manager for Architex in Latham. He served on the Scotia Planning Board of Appeals from January 2005 to August 2005, the Scotia Planning Board from September 2005 to October 2005, and on the Glenville Environmental Conservation Commission since January 2007. He lives on Lark Street with his wife, Emily.

Kohout said he and Gifford want to control taxes and make quality-of-life issues their primary focus. He is also an advocate of improving the cosmetic appeal of the downtown area to attract businesses and consumers to Scotia.

One way to do that is to promote sensible commercial development to fill vacant storefronts and increase our tax base, Kohout said. "We will also promote increased cooperation with the town and county to increase efficiencies and save money."

Kohout also said he feels strongly about maintaining the village fire and police departments.

"They contribute to the unique identity of our village and are something that most citizens feel strongly about keeping," said Kohout.

He has pledged to refuse the health and dental benefits offered to part-time elected officials and will propose eliminating them if elected.

"I, along with Tom, want to end the micro-management brought about by the majority on the current board. The village has strong, competent department heads who oversee good employees, and we need to let them do their jobs without the constant, stifling scrutiny they are currently under,? said Kohout.

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