continued He also accused Quackenbush of using the news as “campaign fodder” and said the discussion should stick to the issues. Quackenbush argued the controversy around Silver is an issue.
The two candidates also debated their fiscal qualifications in recent days.
111th Assembly District
The district includes all of Montgomery County; the towns of Rotterdam, Princetown and Duanesburg and a portion of the City of Schenectady in Schenectady County; and the towns of Knox and Berne in Albany County.
Santabarbara pointed to his record in the Schenectady County Legislature since being elected in 2007. Four out of the last six years the legislature has approved a budget decreasing the property tax levy, with the other two years holding the line.
“I want this race to be about my record and comparing records,” he said. “I am the only candidate in this race that can say I have never voted to raise taxes.”
Quackenbush, however, said as Town of Minden supervisor there have been no increases or “very slight” tax increasessince he entered office. On the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, he said there have been some “bumps in the road,” with the county tax levy decreasing and increasing.
“Overall, we have done a good job at the county level,” Quackenbush said.
Democrats have also been critical of fund balance usage by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, and Quackenbush admitted savings are “a little bit low.”
Over the past few years, Quackenbush said the board has approved using reserve funds to help “balance and stabilize taxes.” He said he doesn’t believe in filling up reserves more than necessary.
The Montgomery County fund balance is around $5.5 million, according to Quackenbush, with the optimal target $9 million. The fund balance was more than $20 million a few years ago. Recent media reports put the current fund balance at less than $2 million, though. The county used about $5 million of reserve funds in its adopted 2012 budget.
Quackenbush is planning another rally at his Rotterdam campaign headquarters on Saturday, Sept. 15, but Santabarbara is also planning to hold a grand opening ceremony and rally for his Rotterdam office on the following day. Santabarbara said he has been operating out of it already, but hasn’t formally opened the facility.
Santabarbara said in about two weeks he would open a second campaign office in Amsterdam to help connect with residents of Montgomery County.