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Altamont mayoral race nears

He said Jeff Thomas, the developer of Brandle Meadows, was considering a $100,000 offer to the land-owners to settle the matter, and allow the village access to the water, which would partially by used by Brandle Meadows, but took that offer off the table when Thomas was faced with a potential $180,000 benefit assessment fee.

Vlahos said he warned the board of that possibility, but it fell on deaf ears.

"That was just fiscal mismanagement," Vlahos said.

"It's one thing to talk the talk, but you got to walk the walk."

Gaughan responded, though, and said Thomas was asking for concessions and faster access to the water, as well as having several fees waived in order for him to foot the $100,000.

Gaughan said he questioned the legality of waiving the fees, and added the town was compensated by the well- owners with an additional 28-acre buffer around the well.

He also criticized the police force budget, stating that it jumped in 2003-2004 from $109,000 to $158,000 but did not yield enough benefit to warrant the extra spending.

He also said the crime rate has stayed low, and spending the additional money may not be worth it.

He also criticized the police force for its high turnover of part-time officers and their predominantly "city" oriented training.

Gaughan states though, that the increase under his administration was only from $140,000 to the current $158,000 and that is mostly represented increases in the cost-of-living.

Vlahos also criticized Gaughan for not making the printing of the village newsletter more competitive. There were 700 copies of the spring newsletter by Minuteman Press, Vlahos said. Another company, Data Flow, printed the fall newsletter. Vlahos questioned the change and why a bid was not offered to local media printer, The Altamont Enterprise, to see if a better price could be obtained.

"It certainly does appear it was a conscious decision," Vlahos said.

Gaughan said his staff was entrusted to find a printer that would turn the product around quickly, and that no bid was legally required for the printing of the newsletter, since its cost was less than $1,000.

No debates have been scheduled regarding the election, but both candidates said they would be willing to participate in an open discussion of village issues.""

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