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