Brian McGarry, John Mertz, Michael O'Connor and Bradley Littlefield filed a petition with the Schenectady County Board of Elections on Tuesday, Aug.18, to establish an independent party line called the No New Tax Party in the Town of Rotterdam and Schenectady County.
The four collected more than 900 signatures in support of the party. The Board of Elections requires at least 770. Opponents have three days to make a general challenge of the petition.
The party has one issue on its platform, and that is to vote against any tax proposals or increase in taxes for the next two years. After that time, if the country is out of its recession, the party proposes capping tax increases at the rate of inflation and submitting any new tax district proposals to constituents for a vote.
I think that when the four of us sat down and we vented out all the issues that are impacting our residents, taxes kept coming to the top of the list, said Mertz, who is hoping to run for Rotterdam Town Council on the No New Tax Party Line, as well as compete in the Republican primary.
O'Connor is running for Town Council and will also compete in the Republican primary. Littlefield is running for Schenectady County Legislature, District 4 (Rotterdam, Duanesburg and Princetown), and will also run in the Conservative primary. McGarry is running for Rotterdam Town Supervisor and will compete in the Conservative primary Sept. 15.
"One of our objectives for candidates that are running is for the people and not for the party. Our objective was, 'How can we empower the people?' It's about getting the power back to the people," said Mertz.
He said that the No New Tax Party candidates empower people by simply promising a 0 percent tax increase for the next two years.