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Residents get their money's worth during debate

Candidates for Colonie supervisor spar in debate over economic condition of the town

Candidates for Colonie town supervisor Denise Sheehan, at left, and Paula Mahan met in debate Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road. They discussed all manner of issues before a packed room, including some that have not seen wide attention in this contentious race.

Candidates for Colonie town supervisor Denise Sheehan, at left, and Paula Mahan met in debate Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road. They discussed all manner of issues before a packed room, including some that have not seen wide attention in this contentious race. Photo by Charles Wiff.

— “We’re able to survive difficult conditions,” Mahan said. “I pledged that I will work within Governor Cuomo’s two percent tax cap now and in the future.”

Mahan also said the town took major steps in improving its bond rating by eliminating its deficit and even allowing for a surplus in the town. She said the town’s interest was, at one point, at three percent but said since she has developed such a good relationship with the area banks, the town's interest rate is currently less than one percent.

“We have a trusting relationship with them,” Mahan said. “The local banks work with us.”

Sheehan pointed to her 10 years of experience working in the New York State budget division and said that she had the experience needed to make sure the town’s bond rating improves. She also said that banks don’t generally like to watch towns sell their assets or spend outside of their means, which she has been critical of Mahan for doing.

“I want to see the town bringing its spending line in with its revenue,” Sheehan said. “No fiscal gimmicks to balance the books. We need to take the necessary steps to get our revenue in line with our spending.”

There was also a large focus on bringing in new businesses and redeveloping vacant and abandoned parcels of land. It was an issue Sheehan constantly found herself mentioning as she said she would like to see the town not only work with businesses but also include its residents in the process.

For example, she pointed out the proposed Wal-Mart project that was denied last year sent a shock through the business community and gave the impression that the Town of Colonie was not a business-friendly town.

“The last couple of year has had a real chilling effect on the business community,” Sheehan said. “They are looking for a business climate that is working for them and the residents need to be included.”

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