New Scotland candidates debate zoning, ethics

New Scotland Town Board and supervisor hopefuls went point for point about the town's most contentious issues, including retail development, ethics and taxes at a debate on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and The Spotlight and was held at Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville.

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin, a Democrat running for his second term in office, squared off against challenger Mike Fields, a Republican, who comes from a background of management and public safety.

Incumbent Town Board member Doug LaGrange, running on the Republican, Democrat, Independent and Conservative lines, answered questions along with three other candidates, Roz Robinson, Tim Stanton and Daniel Mackay. Mackay, a Democrat, is running with LaGrange and Dolin on a non-partisan slate. Robinson, with the Republican and Conservative line and Stanton with the New Scotland First Party line, are also running as a team. There are two seats open.

LaGrange's opening statement focuses on his eight years as a town representative, four on the planning board and four on the town board, and Mackay's statement focuses on his background in planning, development and preservation.

Stanton spoke about the importance of choice and debate in town, and his pro-business stance. Robinson too spoke about the importance of giving voters a choice, and took time to note that she has never received money from Sphere Development, which recently broke a contract with the owners of the Bender Melon Farm.

A size cap on retail buildings and shopping centers in the commercial zone was at the heart of the debate, as the candidates supported arguments for why there should, or should not be, a 50,000 square foot size cap.

\The 50,000 square foot number has become a sacred number, Robinson said. "Good planning is more than just a size cap."

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