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New Scotland candidates debate zoning, ethics

Mackay agreed that the town "owes debt" to those who have preserved the character of New Scotland and agreed the commercial zone is the proper place for building a tax base. He said though, rewriting the zoning laws does not necessarily mean property right will be infringed upon.

LaGrange said it is a misnomer for those who claim the town is threatening to "change the game in the middle," and rezoning does not have to be unfair.

"The rules have been in the Comprehensive Plan," he said.

He called on old history lessons noting that land is not the only property one has, and other property, like cars are frequently regulated by things like the speed limit all the time.

"In fact, in most places, its 50, a good number," he quipped.

As the town board is considering a new ethics law, its one on the books is invalid under the general municipal code, candidates were asked questions about how the town could better handle matters of conflict of interest.

"It's very important that it's designed for us, but has worked elsewhere too," LaGrange said.

New Scotland is using Guilerland's law as a template for its own.

"It's more of a shame we have to have an ethics committee," Stanton said.

Mackay said the "big-bos issue is a distraction, and sometimes people get tangled between the service, business and property issues in town, and a good law needs to be in place to address it.

He cited a town board member who is married to the planning board attorney as one example of a potential conflict.

"I think I came into this election quite conflict free," Mackay said.

Robinson said the best combatant is transparency.

"Disclosure is of the utmost importance," she said.

Dolin said a law is likely to be put in place by the end of the year, noting that the biggest problem with the law was that the committee was comprised of the town board, all of whom are elected officials. He supports a law with only a few elected officials, as per the general municipal code.

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