Halfmoon candidates face off in forum

— Candidates in the Town of Halfmoon met for a candidate forum on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Halfmoon Town Hall.

Supervisor candidates answered audience-submitted questions.

Democratic challenger Deanna Stephenson got the first crack at it and laid out some steps she’d take to “relieve fiscal pressure while maintaining high levels of community service.”

“When I’m elected as supervisor it would be to look at budgetary items line by line and immediately institute an emergency finance plan,” said Stephenson.

Incumbent Mindy Wormuth, a republican who has served in office since 2007, said she and the Town Board have taken steps to stabilize the town’s finances.

“We’ve combined several different positions in order to alleviate layoffs and save money at the same time,” said Wormuth.

Wormuth said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2 percent tax cap doesn’t affect the town.

“[It] doesn’t have an impact on the town property tax because we have zero town tax and we have zero highway tax, so if you multiply that by 2 percent you still come up with zero,” said Wormuth. “I’m proud to be able to say we’re sustaining that.”

The audience wanted to know how each candidate’s professional work experience qualified them for job of supervisor.

Stephenson touted her 16-year career in healthcare administration as a valuable asset.

“Every step of the way for this great ride I’ve had in healthcare, they’re all transitional skills. I’ve worked with $45 million budgets, had a team of 45 to 60,” said Stephenson. “Leadership, organizational skills, everything it takes to be a leader I have done.”

Wormuth said her work with disabled residents and supervising 15 employees provided her with leadership skills, as did owning a business with her husband for 10 years, not to mention her four years as current supervisor.

“My time here at the town has certainly been an interesting time where I’ve been able to manage many departments, oversee our government … and given me very good experience of not only how our town government functions but how county government functions,” said Wormuth.

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