During a brief press conference this morning, Greece Democratic candidates presented a 10-point plan for opening up town government.
The agenda isn't complicated and many of the proposals center on community outreach. The proposals include:
- Establishing citizens advisory committees for finance, communications, public works and public safety;
- Having community meetings in the different town wards where residents can talk to their Town Board member or the supervisor one-on-one;
- Broadcasting Town Board meetings live on cable and the Internet, as well as replaying recordings of those meetings;
- Establishing a public integrity office and appointing a public ombudsman to help residents resolve problems with the town.
Supervisor candidate Dick Beebe also said that the town could avoid some of the scandals it's experienced in the past by appointing experienced, qualified people to town positions, not party loyalists.
Several years ago, the town experienced scandals in the police department. Then-chief Merritt Rahn ultimately wound up serving jail time for falsifying one officer's background check and trying to cover up another officer's DWI hit-and-run accident.
"Greece has got a good image," Beebe said. "It's been tainted, unfortunately, in the past.
Beebe is challenging Republican Bill Reilich, who is an Assembly member and the head of the county Republican Committee. Sitting Supervisor John Auberger can't run for re-election because of term limits.
In the Town Board races, Democrat Timothy Holler is challenging Republican Mike Barry for the Ward 1 seat, Democrat Wendy Wright is challenging Republican Brett Granville for the Ward 2 seat, Democrat Rita Garretson is challenging Republican Andrew Conlon for the Ward 3 seat, and Democrat Norma Cummings is challenging Republican Kirk Morris for the Ward 4 seat.
Democrat Ellen Oberton will face Republican Rick Antelli, who is currently a county legislator, for the town receiver of taxes job. And the race for the 19th District seat in the County Legislature pits Democrat Michael Bertolone against Republican Kathleen Taylor.