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VOTE411 Voter Guide

County Legislature District 3 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

  • Candidate picture

    Rory Fluman (CON, DEM, IND, WOR, WEP) Occupational Therapist

  • Candidate picture

    Cathy A. Gatta (CON, DEM, IND, WOR, WEP) Schenectady County Legislator

  • Peter Looker (GRN) Chimney Sweep

  • Candidate picture

    Keven Mathes (REP, REF) Banker and Business Owner

  • Richard Moran JR (GRN) Chaplain

  • Candidate picture

    Loretta Rigney (REP, REF) Chief Purchasing Officer/Facilities Manager

  • Candidate picture

    Kurt Semon (REP, REF) High School Teacher of History & Government

  • Grant M. Socha (CON, DEM, IND)

  • Matthew Willeman (GRN)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What are the most pressing issues facing Schenectady County? How would you propose to address them during your term of office?

What is your motivation for running for this office? What special skills, knowledge, expertise, or training do you have?

Education BA in Political Science MS in Occupational Therapy
Experience Over 20 years providing Occupational Therapy in varied Health and Human Service fields, Schenectady County Legislator for one Four year term.
The most pressing issues facing Schenectady County government are our property tax burdens, safety of our residents, and efficiencies in government. For the past four years during my first term of office county property taxes rose less than one percent highlighted by next year’s one percent tax decrease. The Schenectady county level of government is doing its fair share to control property taxes. There is always more work to do through controlling costs and improving efficiencies. The county has been a leader in controlling health care costs for its employees, saving on electrical bills through solar power generation, and cutting cost throughout county agencies with job attrition and social service reforms. Public Safety is everyone's concern. Schenectady County is spearheading the inter agency general crimes task force to address public safety and improve our quality of life. I encourage anyone to reach out to me at to talk more or to review anything
My motivation to run for public office is simple: to serve my community. Honesty in local government is very important to me. The residents of Scotia, Glenville, and Niskayuna can be assured that I am fighting for tax relief, efficiency in government, and improved economic activity in our area. This is not just a political statement. Look at our local economy over the last four years I have served on the county legislature and there is an impressive record. 1.2 billion dollars in new economic activity and 8000 new jobs in our county. I am and very accessible and love to talk to constituents about just about anything. I am a small business owner with a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. I have over 20 years’ experience in the health and human services fields. In my business I don't turn a profit unless I watch my time and expenses daily. It is this business attitude that I apply to local county government service delivery.
Education Ithaca College Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake High School
There are many pressing issues facing Schenectady County, two of them being opioid abuse and crime - which in many cases go hand-in-hand. The opioid epidemic is different from other drug-related issues because it doesn’t discriminate. This serious public health issue affects every community, from the city to our towns & villages. It's parents, athletes, business people, students … anyone. The rapid decline someone can face is staggering. It can start with someone needing help with back pain to becoming addicted. Once the prescription is up, some turn to theft, and other street drugs like heroin. I am proud of the work Schenectady County has done to combat both of these issues. In January, Sheriff D’Agostino expanded the drug unit, and we have recently implemented a street crime task force. Several training and awareness programs are held, and the county filed a lawsuit against a number of pharmaceutical companies for misleading doctors about pain medications. We need to keep fighting.
Growing up in Glenville, and now residing in the Village of Scotia, I am a proud resident and am passionate about helping to improve the quality of life in the county. As chair of the county’s Tourism, Arts & Special Events committee, I have witnessed our county rise up and grow in a way I haven’t seen in my lifetime. My motivation comes from a strong desire to make our communities safe, and a place where our businesses and our children can become successful.
Education BA, UA Psychology, Peace studies MA.UA, Public Affairs, Environment
Experience 40 years small businesspersonformer vol firefighter and commisioner, founder NYS chimney Sweep Guild Former CSEA local pres. ODHeck Dev. Ctr. Former member and chair Sch'dy Co Environ. Advisory Bd. Active Citizen
Fairness, Justice and Sustainability
Caring about our community and it's future. I have been an active, caring citizen all my adult life. I feel we should try to leave the world a better place.
Education BS in English from Siena College Studied abroad at Regents College of London England
Experience With a strong background in finance and a profound understands of business I wanted to use my skills to add value in the community. That is why I have been involved in local government for the last three years as a Trustee for the Village of Scotia. My desire to run for County Legislator came from a realization that these values were needed in our county government. I believe that government is there to protect and serve the people it represents. While keeping taxes to a minimum. I have a proven track record in doing this for the tax payers in Scotia and look forward to extending these values throughout the county. I am a native of Scotia and reside here with my wife of 15 years, Nicole. I am the father of four children Nathan Jerard, Zachary Jerard, Noah Jerard and Emma Mathes. I am a graduated of Siena College with a B.A. in English and have studied abroad at regents College of London. Currently I serve as a member of the Retail Leadership team for Berkshire Bank as a VP and Regional Manager for the New York Capital market. Throughout my seventeen years in banking, I have held several positions of increasing responsibility with other financial institutions, including Relationship Associate for the Private Bank, Relationship Manager of Financial Benefits and Branch Manager of several branch locations. I also run a successful commercial cleaning business and have done so for the last ten years.
The most important issue is the unfair distribution of sales tax to the municipalities in the county. We need to revisit the county's decades old agreement and give the sales tax back to the areas in which it is collected. Let local government decide how the money is spent, increase services and decrease property taxes.
As a business owner, Regional VP, banker and Trustee for the Village of Scotia I understand how the public and private sectors work. I believe in limited and efficient government. I got involved in politics over three years ago to give back to the community that has given me so much. I want to see our county prosper, lower crime, decrease taxes, spend tax dollars wisely and attract business along with residents to Schenectady County.
Education Master of Divinity
Experience 911 Emergency Dispatch, Security, Community Banking, Chaplaincy, Pastoral Ministry
Support further use of solar energy, support measures for fiscal responsibility, support further library improvements, support programs for the public good like free vaccinations for pets, support programs for youth summer employment
Promote Green Party values: Living wage, defense of the environment, publicly funded campaigns, bring other voices to the table besides corporately controlled political parties
Education BS in Psychology & Child & Family Studies from SUNY Oneonta. Graduate of the Institute of Organizational Management.
Experience 20 years experience working with local non-profits including serving as Vice President/Director of Marketing of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. Currently working for Rumors Salon & Spa, a woman-owned business employing 100 people. Active in my community, including being the Chair of the Village of Scotia's Special Events Committee, member of the Scotia-Glenville Visioning Committee, and a member of the Believers Church at Glenville's Strategic Planning Committee.
Schenectady County unfairly distributes its sales tax to the Towns and Village and they spend too much. Compared to neighboring counties, towns such as Glenville and Niskayuna and the Village of Scotia are cheated out of millions of dollars in sales tax. As a result, our towns have to continue to tax us in order to provide needed services. Schenectady County also overspends our taxpayer money. Case in point – Saratoga County with a population of 226,250 population with 844 square miles has a 2017 budget of $298.000,000. Schenectady County with a population of 154,600 population and 209 square miles has 2017 budget of $318,500,000. Schenectady County spends $20,500,000 more! We understand that challenges in the City of Schenectady causes us some unique issues, but we can do much better to control spending and develop a better fiscal and working relationships with the towns and village in our county.
My motivation is to bring the right people together to tackle the challenges we face. Everyone is tired of government’s inability to work together and with the people they represent and the divisiveness that has overtaken our system. I’m a relationship builder by nature and I've been told that I'm "abnormally positive". I have experience bringing together the right people, finding the value that they bring to the table, and enabling them to work together in a positive and effective way to reach the goal. We need people in office who can work with a wide variety of people in such a way where everyone has a voice and the opportunity to bring about real change. One positive person can change the entire culture and effectiveness of an organization, including the Schenectady County Legislature.
Education AS & BA History-Excelsior College 1995 MA US History-SUNY @ Albany1998 MA Teaching-Union College 2000
Experience -US Navy-submarine nuclear propulsion 9 years. -Electrical Supervisor & Operations Supervisor in heavy industry, cement manufacturing & electrical power generation. -HS Teacher-History & Government 19 years and continuing. -Active with local Veterans of Foreign Wars & American Legion Posts helping veterans in need and promoting local student education programs including Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen and Boys & Girls State. -Volunteer for Town of Glenville since 2007-Environmental Conservation Commission and Planning & Zoning Commission. -Previous Town Councilman in neighboring town with no town tax. Provided all town services with sales tax shared with the County.
Town & village budgets are on an unsustainable path due to the improper sales tax sharing funding formula. The local towns and villages struggle to maintain services while minimizing taxing impact while the County spends money excessively beyond the needs of County government. We need to a fair distribution of sales tax to the towns and villages as exemplified by our surround county neighbors. Towns and villages promote development that has produced tremendous sales tax growth that they don't benefit from. This needs to change.

Also, the County Legislative Districts need to be better represented. For example, District 3 Legislators should attend all town & village meetings to connect with people and then caucus as a District, regardless of party affiliation, instead of political party caucuses of the whole legislature which should be minimized as it takes focus away from the people and town/village boards. Legislator must be proactive at all times to make government effective.
Most of Glenville's employees are unpaid volunteers. For example, I served Glenville on the Environmental Conservation Commission and now on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Glenville is about civics where volunteers work as if they were on salary. I watched for years as the County grew to become a substantial hindrance to town & village prosperity and today has become an obstacle to even basic services.

In addition, when I thought of running I had to ask, "Who am I running against?" Aside from Mr. Buhrmaster, I was not familiar with my legislators. In a Board of Supervisors county government it is easy to know your legislator, the town supervisor. But in our legislative system the representatives must be proactive and work hard to interact regularly with the citizens to be effective in meeting their needs and addressing theie concerns.

I am running to fully support the towns & villages and to interact regularly & closely with the people of Glenville, Scotia & Niskayuna.
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