NISKAYUNA Republican candidates running in a town long seen as a Democratic stronghold expressed a need to even out representation.
The League of Women Voters of Schenectady County hosted a Niskayuna Candidates Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Town Hall, and seats were filled as the public waited for the incumbent Democrats to state their case against Republican hopefuls. Candidates answered questions in a rotating order to even out the first and last answers. Candidates were able to give opening and closing statements too, but there were some hiccups throughout the night.
Democrat incumbent Supervisor Joe Landry started off the forum with Republican challenger Anthony Pennacchio as they both touched on the issue of safety services in the town.
“There needs to be things put in place that maintain and keep our sidewalks safe, our residents safe through having a good police force, a good EMS service and a good fire department and supporting those volunteer services and those services in our community,” Pennacchio said.
Landry said since he took office four years ago he has tried to strengthen police services in the town with new vehicles, technology and programs. Also, he said if someone calls the town concerned about cars speeding down a street the police department is able to monitor activity closely.
“We have increased [police] presence throughout town and we have quite a few new opportunities for our police force in those areas,” Landry.
On the issue of a supervisor being a “full-time job,” Landry said he is in Town Hall and around town in the morning and evening for five days a week.
Pennacchio rebutted the position used to be part-time and he said Landry works as counsel to the County Legislature and has his own law practice.
“I wish I could do three full-time jobs, but I can’t and yes, I believe this is a part-time position,” Pennacchio said.