3 vie for 101st Assem­bly Dis­trict seat

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­line.com paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

KINGSTON >> Three can­di­dates for the state’s 101st Assem­bly Dis­trict seat will be on the bal­lot next Tues­day.

The race fea­tures Ar­lene G. Feld­meier, 68, a Demo­crat who also holds the Work­ing Fam­i­lies Party line; Maria Kelso, 55, who holds the Con­ser­va­tive and Re­form party lines; and Repub­li­can Brian D. Miller, 57, who will run un­der the GOP ban­ner and on the In­de­pen­dence Party line. Kelso said she has not ac­tively cam­paigned for the seat.

The win­ner will suc­ceed Repub­li­can Clau­dia Ten­ney, who is seek­ing the state’s 22nd Con­gres­sional Dis­trict seat along with Demo­crat Kim My­ers of Vestal and Martin Babinec, run­ning on the Up­state Jobs party line.

The long, nar­row 101st Assem­bly Dis­trict stretches from Oneida to Or­ange coun­ties and in­cludes the towns of An­des in Delaware County and Har­den­burgh, Den­ning, Wawars­ing and Shawan­gunk in Ul­ster County.

Ar­lene G. Feld­meier

Feld­meier, who has lived in Lit­tle Falls since Au­gust 2001, is a for­mer se­nior at­tor­ney with the U.S. So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion. She and her hus­band, who have three chil­dren, are part­ners in a so­cial se­cu­rity dis­abil­ity law firm in Lit­tle Falls.

Feld­meier has a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Long Is­land Univer­sity, a master’s de­gree from Columbia Univer­sity, and a law de­gree from Pace Univer­sity School of Law. Two of her chil­dren are on ac­tive duty in the U.S. Army. She is a mem­ber of Main Street First, the Amer­i­can Le­gion Aux­il­iary of Mo­hawk, the Herkimer County Cham­ber of Com­merce, and the Lit­tle Falls YMCA.

Feld­meier says some­thing needs to be done about pop­u­la­tion losses and clos­ing busi­nesses.

“If elected, I’d work to at­tract new peo­ple to our com­mu­ni­ties,” Feld­meier said. “In par­tic­u­lar, peo­ple be­ing priced out of ex­pen­sive re­gions of the state would gladly re­lo­cate if they knew about the bar­gains here. For the price of a closet in Man­hat­tan, there’s a beau­ti­ful house wait­ing in the 101st Assem­bly Dis­trict. We just need to get the word out.

“At first, we could at­tract peo­ple who don’t nec­es­sar­ily need a job: tele­work­ers, peo­ple with pensions (like po­lice, fire­fight­ers and the mil­i­tary) or peo­ple look­ing to start busi­nesses,” Feld­meier said. “Guess what then hap­pens: taxes fall be­cause these peo­ple are tax­pay­ers, shar­ing our local gov­ern­ment ex­penses.”

Feld­meier said she sup­ports “a liv­ing wage for our ci­ti­zens.

“It stim­u­lates busi­ness be­cause peo­ple have more money to spend,” Feld­meier said. “It im­proves fam­ily life be­cause peo­ple can work fewer hours to make ends meet.”

Feld­meier said many can­di­dates say they’ll fight for our vet­er­ans. “For me, it’s per­sonal,” she said. “We’re a mil­i­tary fam­ily.”

Feld­meier also said she sup­ports clean en­ergy.

“Other parts of the county are in drought emer­gency, but we have abun­dant wa­ter run­ning down our hills,” Feld­meier said. “We should turn this ad­van­tage into hy­dropower, to lower our en­ergy costs.”

Feld­meier said the fail­ure of the state Leg­is­la­ture “to pass mean­ing­ful ethics re­form dis­turbs me greatly. Leg­is­la­tors are elected to serve con­stituents and have been serv­ing them­selves. It’s time for this sit­u­a­tion to end.”

Brian D. Miller

Miller, who lives in New Hart­ford, is a pneu­matic sales en­gi­neer. Ed­u­cated at Mo­hawk Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege, he is mar­ried with one son. He is a for­mer eight-year su­per­vi­sor of the town of Bridge­wa­ter and has been an Oneida County leg­is­la­tor for 16 years, serv­ing the 16th dis­trict. He is a vol­un­teer youth coach, a ma­son in Bridge­wa­ter Lodge No. 15, and a mem­ber of the Sauquoit Op­ti­mist Club.

As an county Leg­is­la­tor, Miller said, he has been re­spon­sive to con­stituents. “I have worked hard to hold the line on spend­ing and prop­erty taxes, in­clud­ing a re­duc­tion in the Oneida County prop­erty tax levy for 2016,” he said. “I have ini­ti­ated pro­grams aimed at curb­ing flood­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties, as well as pro­grams to in­crease re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion of our vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers.

He said the state Leg­is­la­ture “should work to de­velop pro­grams and ini­tia­tives that as­sist our small busi­nesses and man­u­fac­tur­ers in in­creas­ing their tech­nol­ogy in their man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses,” and “in­vest in our com­mu­nity col­leges to in­crease ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for mod­ern­iz­ing our work­force.

“We must lower taxes, stop mak­ing coun­ties com­pete against each other for jobs and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment fund­ing, and in­stead start mak­ing the busi­ness cli­mate friendly,” Miller said.

Miller said the state “must in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture; make our ar­eas ac­ces­si­ble to busi­nesses, and de­vel­opable.” While he said the tax cap has helped rein in local spend­ing, “the lack of man­date re­lief has lim­ited the ef­fec­tive­ness of the cap,” Miller said.

“We must bring local de­ci­sion mak­ing power back to the school dis­trict rather than al­low­ing Al­bany to dic­tate what they be­lieve is best for our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.”

Miller says of­fi­cials need to work to­gether.

“One idea I have is to con­nect local elected of­fi­cials through­out the dis­trict with one an­other,” Miller says. “This would in­clude vis­its to other towns and coun­ties, as well as re­gional fact find­ing meet­ings.”

“I sup­port, and will ad­vo­cate for pro­pos­als that hold state and local of­fi­cials ac­count­able to the tax­pay­ers,” he said. “I would sup­port an in­de­pen­dent over­sight com­mis­sion that would be re­spon­si­ble for the re­view and in­ves­ti­ga­tion of al­le­ga­tions against state of­fi­cials.”

Maria Kelso

Kelso, who has lived in Delaware County for more than five decades, is a high school grad­u­ate who has served as a leg­isla­tive aide in the past.

She is a mem­ber of the Han­ford Mills Mu­seum and the Delaware Val­ley Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety of Wal­ton.

Kelso is chair­woman of Ci­ti­zens Ad­vi­sory Board of the Allen Res­i­den­tial Cen­ter Youth Lead­er­ship Academy, and is chair­woman of the Delaware County Repub­li­can Com­mit­tee and a mem­ber of the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Repub­li­can Women.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED

The 101st Assem­bly Dis­trict can­di­dates are, from left, Ar­lene G. Feld­meier, Maria Kelso and Brian D. Miller.

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