Team Warwick


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  • Team Warwick, from top left, Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Councilman Jim Gerstner, Councilman Russell Kowal, Town Clerk Eileen Astorino and Town Justice Nancy Brenner DeAngelo.




Editor’s note: What follows are the responses from the five candidates seeking Warwick Town offices on Nov. 3 to questions posed by The Warwick Advertiser. Unless there is a write-in campaign of remarkable note, the five area assured of election.

Here are their thoughts:
Town Supervisor: Michael P. Sweeton

Biography
I grew up in the Village of Warwick, graduated from Warwick schools, earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Clarkson College of Technology and an MBA from Manhattan College. I have been married to my wife Deborah for 37 years and have two daughters. After working for a major corporation and commuting for 10 years I joined my wife’s family business, the General’s Garden and Techni-Growers Greenhouses, Inc. I was elected Town Supervisor in 2001. I serve on the Orange County Planning Board, Orange County Transportation Council, Orange County Citizens Foundation and am president of the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities.

What is the most critical issue facing your community?

I believe the burden of property taxes is the biggest issue facing all New York Towns. Without meaningful reform of the property tax system, especially how we fund schools, local government will continue to face challenges in the delivery of essential services. I am proud our budgets have remained under the tax CAP. So far through the hard work of Town employees, ingenuity of our managers and partnerships with both our Villages and neighboring Towns we have managed this difficult fiscal reality. I will continue to build our tax base, through projects like the new Warwick Corporate Park, to lessen the burden on property owners.

Candidate statement
I have chosen to seek re-election because our Town continues to face many challenges and I believe my experience as well as my ability to work with our diverse citizenry will allow me to successfully meet these challenges.

Our team is proud that Warwick has the lowest property tax rate of the 18 towns in Orange County that have a police department and that we also enjoy a quality of life that is second to none.

Town Board: James E. GerstnerBiography

Lifelong Warwick Resident, graduated from WVHS 1975. Married 31 years to Kathryn D. Lempka, six children, nine grandchildren.

Joined Raymond Hose Company # 2 1976, served as Company Line Officer, Secretary, VP and President, Currently serve as a Trustee. Served as Chief of the Warwick Fire Department from 1994-1996 and currently president of Fire Chiefs Association of Orange County.

Appointed Town of Warwick Councilman in May 1999, appointed Town of Warwick Deputy Supervisor January 2005.

Owner of J B D Telecom Inc., small business , which I founded in March 2003.

What is the most critical issue facing your community?

The state-imposed tax cap will make it difficult for local government to deliver essential services that our community requires. I will continue to bring my small business experience in helping the Board meet this challenge. Will work with the Board to find the best businesses for the former Mid Orange site to generate tax ratable properties and future jobs for our taxpayers.

Candidate statement

I am honored to serve the past 16 1/2 Years and running for re-election to town council to continue to give back to the community I was born and raised in. Will continue to work each and every day to keep Warwick the best place to live, work and raise a family. Together with my fellow town board members I will continue to run our town as a business, work to reduce our expenses, and improve efficiency in town government with the help of our dedicated employee’s will ensure that we keep all town services that we provide at the highest and best levels possible.

Town Board: Russell Kowal Biography

I am a lifelong resident of the Town of Warwick. Our family has grown onions in Pine Island for three generations. I graduated from Warwick Valley High School in 1977. I also took classes at BOCES for building construction specializing in plumbing. I was one of the smaller onion farmers in the area, so in the off-season I have done jobs which included working on other onion farms, working construction in Rockland County and delivering propane. I have also served on the Warwick Town Zoning Board of appeals for three years and the Town of Warwick Planning Board for five years. I am also the past president of the Orange County Farm Bureau and the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce. I have enjoyed the privilege of serving as Town Councilman for the last four years. Some of my assignments on the board have been co-chairing the Mid-Orange Advisory Committee that identified the assets at the former correctional facility, serving as park liaison with the Department of Public Works who maintain our great park system.

What is the most critical issue facing your community?

One of the challenges the town faces is the budget restrictions placed on us by the state. While I consider myself fiscally conservative, the caps placed on the Town are unrealistic in light of increased insurance costs and infrastructure maintenance requirements. We should be allowed to maintain and improve our roads without facing penalties from Albany.

Candidate statement

I am especially proud of our newest park, Wickham Woodlands, that opened this year. It is very different from the other Town Parks in that it is focused on the natural beauty of Wickham Lake. I have been there many times and find it quiet and relaxing. I look forward to the challenges in the next four years and working with the Supervisor and fellow Councilmen in one of the best towns in the region.

Town Clerk: Eileen AstorinoBiography

I have been a resident of the Town of Warwick for 29 years. I married my husband, Ben, a life-long resident and fourth generation farmer and together, we have five children, who are all past and present scholar athletes in the Warwick Valley School District. I have a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from State University of Oneonta. For the last ten years, I have served as the assistant secretary for the Town of Warwick’s Planning, Zoning, and Building Departments. I have been very active in the community as a volunteer for the Warwick Quality Community Committee, Little League coach, basketball coach, religious education teacher, God’s TYM Youth Advisor, and Midnight Run Coordinator for Saint Stephen’s Church.

What is the most critical issue facing your community?

As the Town Clerk I will continue to serve the community as the “safe keeper” of recording and maintaining official records and documents. I will work on keeping costs down by streamlining our records keeping process with today’s technology to cut down on paper and ink. Increased use of technology will also make retrieval of records much more efficient, increasing work productivity as well as saving time for the taxpayers.

Candidate statement

As a former teacher and mother of five, I have many qualities that will serve the town well. I believe I exemplify great leadership qualities. I am dependable, resourceful, show initiative, and am a problem solver. I demonstrate high standards of honesty and reliability, show courtesy, concern, and respect for others. With my past experience as a diligent municipal worker for the town, I know I can best serve the people of the Town of Warwick as an organized, personable, and committed town clerk.

Town Justice: Nancy Brenner DeAngelo

Biography

I’ve been a practicing attorney for 30 years in our community and in 1999 was elected as a judge. For 16 years I have tried to make the right decisions under the law, and intend to do so for the next four years. I believe that having the legal credentials, education and experience is important, but common sense and caring are essentials. While I am a “public servant,” I have also represented our community as a Lion, a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician on the Ambulance Corps and former School Board member. Professionally, I have been a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars and a member of the Orange County, New York State and Women’s Bar Associations.

What is the most critical issue facing your community?

One of the most critical issues facing the courts and communities is drugs. They are cheap, plentiful and available everywhere. Many lesser drugs are available in synthetic ‘look-a-like’ forms laced with unknown poisons that can permanently damage the user. Education appears to be the only possible “cure.”

Candidate statement

Thank you for electing me and allowing me to represent you as your judge for these last 16 years--and for the next 4 coming up. It has been and will continue to be an honor and a privilege. Please come out to vote on November 3rd.




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