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Washington Candidates 2011

Name: Al DeBonis
Age: 61
Town: Washington
Years lived in town: 1950 to 1968 (18), 1968 to 1972 (summers), 1984 to present (27)
Occupation/background: Consulting wood scientist.
Marital status, children: wife (Brenda), 3 adult sons.
Position running for, term length: Town Councilman, four-year term.
Political party: I do not belong to a party but am running on the Republican ticket.
Running on what lines: Republican and Washington First
Names of boards served in past and present: None.

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
The most exciting issue regarding Washington is that the previous Town Board has repeatedly provided responsible stewardship of the town’s resources which has resulted in a stable township. In other words, there currently are no major issues facing the town of Washington due to the efficient and responsible manner in which this town has been governed. This being said, the 2 percent tax cap is probably the most challenging current issue. The current Town Board is already working on the budget and has been very successful in making sure that the town of Washington can live within this restriction.   

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
No.

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
There are actually many items that set the town of Washington apart from other towns in Dutchess County. Two examples follow. The town of Washington has perhaps one of the most protective zoning ordinances in the county and this has resulted in one of the most beautiful townships while still permitting responsible development. Additionally, the town of Washington, in my opinion, has one of the best, if not the best, recreational program in the county due to the dedication and skills of the members of the Recreation Commission.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
This is my first foray into local politics so I will bring a fresh perspective. I have significant experience working within volunteer professional groups and the ability to work closely with peers for the benefit of specific groups. I am confident I can apply this philosophy while representing all Washington residents. Also, my education and professional expertise is scientific in nature and thus I have the ability to understand complex issues that may arise within the township. I am a local business owner with the knowledge and experience necessary to make sound fiscal decisions on behalf of town residents.  

Name: James E. Brownell, Sr.
Age: 53
Town: Washington  
Years lived in town: 53
Occupation/background: Highway Superintendent.
Marital status, children: Married with two grown children.
Position running for, term length: Highway superintendent, four-year term.
Political party: Republican
Running on what lines: Republican and Washington First Party
Names of boards served in past and present: Dutchess County Association of Highway Superintendent, Liaison for Dutchess County 911 Center, Millbrook Fire Department volunteer for 24 years.

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
To continue to maintain our roads in a manner that the residents expect while staying within the confines of the 2 percent budget cap.

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
I have been the highway superintendent for six years, and worked for the town of Washington Highway Department since 1982.

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
Thirty of our 64 miles of roads are dirt roads, which offers a challenge to us.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
Thirty years of service and experience is important.  I am deeply familiar with our roads and the expectations of our residents.

Name: Jeff Giardina
Age: 71
Town: Washington
Years lived in town: 23
Occupation/background: Attorney
Marital status, children: Married 41 years, daughter, son-in-law, 10-month-old granddaughter
 Position running for, term length: Town councilman, four-year term
Political party: Republican
Running on what lines: Democratic
Names of boards served in past and present: None, have not previously run for political office.

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
I think the biggest issue facing our town is how to preserve and protect the natural beauty and rural character of the town against the threat of development. I plan to work with the Comprehensive Plan Committee, push for restrictive zoning, work with the Dutchess Land Conservancy as I have in the past and push for policies that encourage the granting of conservation easements to the Dutchess Land Conservancy or other qualified organizations.

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
As stated above, I have not previously run for elective office.

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
While there may be a few towns in Dutchess County that compare with Washington in terms of natural or scenic beauty, the presence in Washington of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, the stunningly beautiful Innisfree Gardens and the Cary Institute and the cutting edge science done there, make it unique.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
I believe what qualifies me most is the fact that in the past 25 years of practicing law in Dutchess County, I have had in-depth involvement in real estate matters, such as sales, subdivision, conservation easements, zoning, the overriding of local law by the State Agricultural and Markets Law and property tax matters including the agricultural exemption.

Name: Karen Mosca
Age: 63
Town: Washington
Years lived in town: 29
Occupation/background: Reading Specialist – Dover Union Free School District (DUFSD).
Marital status, children: Married, 2 adult children, Katherine, 35 and Paul, 30.
Position running for, term length: Town Board, the remainder of William Murphy’s term, for a two-year term.
Political party: Republican
Running on what lines: Republican, Washington First Party
Names of boards served in past and present: Millbrook Free Library Board, Washington Town Board, Dutchess County United Teachers’ Council.

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
At this time there are no major issues facing the town other than dealing with the new 2 percent tax cap. Since the Town Boards in the past have been very careful in how tax money has been spent, the current budget being formulated will be able to stay within that cap without any significant cuts in services. However, as the state cuts taxes, it will try to pass on the costs of services to counties and local towns which may cause serious problems without careful planning and shared services with the village of Millbrook and other surrounding communities.

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
I have served since April, by appointment by Town Board [to fill an unexpired term].

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
One has only to approach the town on Route 44 and pass Troop K to see some of what helps to make the town special.  Billboards disappear and suddenly you are part of a beautiful rural community.  The abundance of open space, the pretty village and the country atmosphere help make Washington special. Most importantly is what this community offers it residents.  The number of activities, the volunteerism —they are all a part of what makes our town so special.  People in our community care about it and each other.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
I feel that I can do a good job on the Town Board.  Over the years I have lived in the town I have been involved in many volunteer activities and am currently serving on the Comprehensive Plan Committee. As a former president, vice-president and negotiations chairman for the Dover-Wingdale Teachers’ Association, I have had experience in dealing with many diverse issues and personalities in pressure-filled situations. I am experienced working long and hard hours to accomplish difficult goals.  I feel I can bring this experience to the Town Board.

Name: Mary E. Alex
Age: 46
Town: Washington
Years lived in town: 26
Occupation/background: Town Clerk and owner of the Blue Bounce House, an event-planning service featuring Bounce House and Party equipment rentals. Marital status, children: Married for 26 years with two sons, Ben and Eric, and one daughter, Abigail.
Position running for, term length: Town clerk, four-year term.
Political party: Republican
Running on what lines: Republican and Washington First
Names of boards served in past and present: Past President of Dutchess County Town Clerk’s Association, 13- year volunteer as a room parent at Elm Drive Elementary and Alden Place Elementary schools.

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
We are all concerned about the economic turn our country is facing and how it trickles down to the local municipalities and our residents. I will continue to provide the Town Board with input from our residents.
On a local level, the town will have a new supervisor and at least one new councilman. The town clerk’s office will provide continuity, which means that the residents shall not face any challenges in the day-to-day operation of the local government.

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
I am currently in my 19th year of service as town clerk and tax collector.

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
The town of Washington is a beautiful place to live. We are fortunate that we have been able to maintain a rural character through the guidance and foresight of past generations and their leadership, and at the same time welcome and respect residents wishing to enjoy the quality of life we all hold so dear.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
In all my years of service, it has always been my number one priority that the town clerk’s office provide competent, timely and friendly service. We’re often the first line of communication with residents seeking information, so being knowledgeable about town functions and services is important. I enjoy helping people and will go the extra mile for our residents. While the Town Hall has set hours, I make myself available during non-posted hours to provide services to the community. Issuing marriage licenses to happy couples or a young person’s first hunting license are some high points of this position.

Name: Robert Audia
Age: 62
Town: Washington  
Years lived in town: 6
Occupation/background: President Audia Motor Sales, Inc.     
Marital status, children: Married, three children, three grandchildren.  
Position running for, term length: Town councilman, four-year term.
Political party: Republican
Running on what lines: Republican and Washington First Party
Names of boards served in past and present: Town Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for 25 years as member and chairman;  Town Councilman for four years; Working now with supervisor on town’s new ball field and track.   

In 100 words or less, explain what you think is the biggest issue facing your town and how you plan on addressing that once in office.
The town has no major issues and is very well run and in a good position to face the future. The biggest issue I see is mandates from state and county to pass on fees and expenses to towns. We have always been fiscally responsible but it is a real challenge to keep taxes low and support quality of life issues for our residents. We have not been challenged lately on our zoning to keep open land and rural character but we are prepared to face those challenges in the future with strong resolve, good zoning and planning.

Have you served in this position before and for how long?  
Yes, four years.

What makes your town special in comparison to  the whole of Dutchess County?  
Good budget planning, great zoning and planning departments, keeping our rural character in tact. Good working relationship with all the boards in town and village government.

What makes you most qualified for the job?  
I have a lot at stake in the town, life resident, 27-employee business and property in the town. I was told as a child to give back as much as I can to my community by my immigrant parents and have strived to serve my community my whole life. I believe I have the interest of all the community in all my actions and not just some special interest groups. I will give all I can to keep our town one of the greatest places to live, elected or not. I will always try to do the right thing.
 

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