continued While campaigning, Gomez said he heard a lot of residents fear an increase in taxes. One of the focal points in Gomez’s platform is to attract businesses and residents to the area in order to reduce the tax burden.
“I would like to basically participate in making the town grow,” Gomez said. “I have expertise that will allow me to be quite a help to the town.”
Gomez, an immigrant, is a self-described definition of the “American Dream.”
“I have a built a reputation in this community. I am the American Dream. I mean that wholeheartedly,” Gomez said. “I started out with nothing and now I have a little bit because of the opportunities this country has to offer, especially this location.”
Facing Gomez is lifelong resident of Colonie Rowley, 51, who was the village justice in Menands for 11 years. He also sat as chairman of the Colonie Industrial Development Agency and is now an attorney with Cooper, Erving and Savage, in addition to having sat on the Colonie Town Board since his appointment earlier this year.
Working on the IDA, Rowley helped start a pilot program for attracting new businesses with reduced taxes, he said. Rowley said he wants to increase the “business friendliness” of the Town of Colonie.
“We’re all trying to attract the same business,” Rowley said. “It’s a necessity to attract business in the town.”
He also wants to increase the user-friendliness of public documents, making sure the budgetary process is easy for residents to comprehend.
His experience as an attorney could help bring knowledge of justice courts to the Town Board, he said. Rowley pointed to his experience with real property tax issues and assessments.
“You need to be diligent and hardworking. The town’s a big town,” Rowley said. “(It) requires a lot of effort and time to familiarize yourself with all the issues that are out there. I’m very active in both town affairs and other charitable affairs.”
A forum for the candidates will take place be on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Colonie. Candidates for the 110th State Assembly District Phillip Steck and Jennifer Whalen will debate from approximately 7 to 8 p.m. and the Town Board candidates will debate from approximately 8 to 9 p.m.