Warwick Village Trustee Q&A

Warwick. Four candidates - Corey D. Bachman, Barry Cheney, Alfonso Gonnella and Stephen Kitar - want your vote for two seats on the Warwick Village Board. What follows are the cases they make for your support.

| 11 Mar 2020 | 08:15

In the Village of Warwick, four candidates seek two seats on the Village Board in the election next Wednesday, March 18.

The Warwick Advertiser posed three questions to the candidates to allow them to outline what’s important to them as public officials, to discuss their role within the community and to point out what they believe are important issues for the Greenwood Lake and its residents.

Here are their answers (candidates are listed in alphabetical order):

Corey D. Bachman

I earned a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Florida. I’ve worked as a radio and television journalist for NBC, PBS and NPR stations and even won an Edward R. Murrow award for excellence in broadcast journalism. I currently freelance and have experience in digital marketing, social media, graphic design, copy writing and building websites. I own a home in the village and actively volunteer for the Warwick Lions Club, the Warwick Historical Society and the Friendly Visitor Program.

I believe the village board needs fresh energy, ideas and perspectives to address the concerns of our changing community and to take a more proactive approach to the challenges of the future. I’m running for village of Warwick trustee to protect and preserve our village’s neighborhoods, landmarks and character. I also want to enhance recreational facilities and services for all ages at our parks, streamline services with the town of Warwick and propose additional downtown sustainability efforts.

Infrastructure. We need up-to-date accurate assessments of existing village resources and infrastructure - water supply, roads, parks, police services - and to assess the capacity to handle future growth. I believe we should adopt a replacement and maintenance schedule for capital equipment and facilities and to make strategic decisions on required improvements and expansion to accommodate future demand.

Barry J. Cheney

I’m a 40-year resident of the Village, a Trustee for 12 years and previously served 22 years on the Planning Board. I have a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and am retired from a 40-year career serving clients in the municipal and private sectors. Additional community leadership includes: Warwick Little League for more than 30 years currently as a director, Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition and Warwick United Methodist Church.

I want to continue to support the ongoing efforts to maintain and improve our infrastructure using my engineering expertise to manage projects and prepare regulatory documents and reports which would otherwise require paid outside support. I will also seek new grants to offset project costs. Past grants received include $3,000,000 for the Wastewater treatment plant, $250,000 to purchase land in the watershed and update the current Electric Vehicle Charging Station and add a second station.

My goals for the next four years include completing the upgrade to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, replace the Main Water Tank, construct treatment for Well #3, replace streetlights with LED technology at no additional cost, and update the Comprehensive Management Plan. It has been a privilege to serve these past twelve years as a Trustee on your behalf. I promise to continue to be diligent in addressing the needs of the Village including taxes, spending, economic vitality, infrastructure and seeing that the Village is operated using sound business practices. I remain always willing to listen to your concerns and get you the answers you seek.

Alfonso Gonnella

I have resided in Warwick for over 20 years, having moved here in 1995. I am a local business owner and throughout the years of operating my business I was fortunate to meet many residents and develop strong ties with the community. I am dedicated and motivated to our village and our people. Along with Stephan Kitar, I am running on the GROW platform and am thrilled for the change that our movement will bring to the community. I hope we can count on your support.

I think our community needs to focus on providing better support for local commerce while maintaining the standards and historical values of Warwick. I will also focus on necessary infrastructure improvements, such as updating water and sewer systems, sidewalk and roadways, as well as, open up more volunteer opportunities around the Village. Additionally, our GROW team has come up with a variety of solutions to resolve the pressing issue of the lack of parking areas around the Village to accommodate local commerce, Village residents, and visitors.

I believe one of the biggest problems the Village government faces today is wasteful spending. Reducing that amount will yield funds for improvements around the Village, additional spending power, and reduce the need to increase taxes. Thus I fully support Stephen Kitar’s initiative and pledge to forego the lifetime benefits should I win the seat. Vote Grow candidates Kitar and Gonnella, if you want a Trustee who will benefit your funds, and not fund his/her benefits.

Stephen Kitar

My wife and I and our four children have called Warwick home for the past 20 years. We absolutely love the community and the people that have become neighbors and friends in our two decades here. I am a builder by trade with many successful projects under my belt, but it is my ties to the Warwick community that I am most proud of.

I am running on the Growth Respectful of Warwick independent party and community movement platform to make sure our village and our community continue to thrive, progress, and prosper. My intent is not to build a political career, but to ensure that our children are brought up in a safe, well-balanced, thriving and debt-free community. My goal is to focus on equality, sustainability, and accountability and take progressive action to make sure we are prepared for any economic, social, or political challenges our community may face.

As I have proposed, my first task as a Trustee will be the elimination of lifetime medical and pension benefits for part-time elected officials. I don’t believe that our Village is in a position to spend millions to fund benefits for those who are long gone from the office. My other initiatives include lowering taxes, improving vital infrastructure like sewer and water supply, improving roadways and sidewalks, enhancing emergency responses, and addressing other vital concerns of those living within the village.

Vote GROW candidates Stephen Kitar and Alfonso Gonnella to make a difference. We will do more.

The questions
The Warwick Advertiser asked each candidate following questions:
1. Tell people about yourself.
2. Why are you running for office?
3. What is/are the most important issue(s) your community will face in the next year and what do you believe you can do about it/them?
Voting where and when
Voting will be held Wednesday, March 18, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Warwick Village Hall.
The fifth candidate
A fifth candidate, Mary Collura, was disqualified from running for the Village Board because of irregularities on her petition. Nonetheless, there are any number of campaign signs to found around the village recommending a Collura write-in campaign.
Although rare, write-in candidates have succeeded in the Village of Warwick. In 2009, Village Justice Richard Farina was unopposed in his bid for re-election. But a write-in campaign on behalf Jeanine Wadeson unseated the incumbent. Wadeson has held the seat ever since.
In New York, each ballot has line where you can write in a candidate of your choice.