R’dam hopefuls draw lines

LWV Candidates Forum shows three distinct party choices

— Rotterdam’s fiscal woes were a recurring talking point among candidates at a recent forum, as they tried to explain to voters why they’re the best choice to lead the town.

The Schenectady County League of Women Voters held a Rotterdam candidate forum at the Rotterdam Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 18, with standing room only as members of the public gathered.

The town supervisor candidates preceded the Town Board hopefuls and set a tone of fiscal responsibility in the town. Democrat Harry Buffardi, Republican Brian McGarry and incumbent Frank DelGallo — running on his Rotterdam First Party ballot line — held a civil debate.

Frank DelGallo stressed his lack of ties to any major party, from which he was dropped by town Democrats, and said he learned while “on the job.” DelGallo was elected two years ago with the support of Democrats.

“I never expected to win supervisor, but I did and I think I did a great job,” DelGallo said.

With a flurry of questions wrapped into one, candidates were asked what experience they had working on a budget, what proposals they had to save the town money and where they stand on consolidation.

Buffardi took first shot and said his 30 years in administrative duties at the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department has prepared him for managing budgets. He said cost savings could be met in different ways than in DelGallo’s proposed 2012 budget, which holds 13 layoffs. He said changes should be spread out over time and not all in one year.

“I think there is a better form of government in running mean and lean and that we can certainly provide better representation to the taxpayers and efficiency in government would help us in that regard,” Buffardi said.

DelGallo said fund balance dependency has to end sooner rather than later, because the town is running close to depleting its reserves. DelGallo said one department alone costs $8 million with others costing $6 to $7 million to run.

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