Seven seek four seats in Yates County District 3

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Four legislators represent the voters in Legislative District 3, which encompasses all of the town of Milo. Incumbent Republicans Leslie Church, Daniel Banach and P. Earle Gleason, along with incumbent Conservative Mark Morris are being challenged by Republican newcomer Carlene Chilson and Demcratic candidates Valerie Brechko and Teresa Hoban. Morris, who is also a member of the Republican party, was defeated by Chilson in the September Primary.

The Chronicle-Express asked each of the candidates for some background information, and then posed the following question:

The final debt payments on the County Office Building and Court House will be paid in 2020, Beginning in 2021, the budget will be reduced by over $1.3 million. What planning should begin now to maximize the impact this will have on the budget and local property tax levy?

Daniel W. Banach (R), 72, is retired and has lived in the Town of Milo his whole life.

“I enjoy being involved in the decision making and feel I have a lot to add in such matters. I will do my best to protect the quality of life that we enjoy in Yates County and further improve the quality of government.”

Voters can reach Banach at 315-536-8482 or dwbanach@yahoo.com.

Planning answer: “We have a lot to consider as we go into 2020. We have to look into doing something with our 40-year-old jail, such as building new, combining with another county, or boarding out prisoners to another county. We will also have to consider looking into our 70-year-old county highway barns. I don’t think we have to spend it all, but there are things we will have to make some decisions on.” 

Leslie Church (R) has been a Yates County Legislator and Milo Town Supervisor since 2010. She is chair of the Human Services Committee and serves on the Public Safety Committee.

She has been a Milo resident for 19 years.

“Building on my experience I would like to continue working hard and getting results, making your government both efficient and effective.

• Holding the line on spending and keeping taxes as low as possible.

• Working with businesses to either expand or locate in the Town.

• Working to obtained grants for water district improvements, and finding water and sewer efficiencies through regional cooperation efforts and planning.

• Work to expand broadband and high-speed internet connectivity to underserved areas in the Town and County.

“What sets me apart from other candidates is my experience serving as both the Town of Milo as Town Supervisor and Yates County Legislator. This is a benefit to working on issues which effect both such as tax collection and property assessment, public safety, infrastructure, and economic development to name a few which all effect our quality of life in Yates County.”

Mark Morris (C), 65, is a retired engineer, current legislator, and volunteer who has lived in Milo since 2007, and is a third generation Finger Lakes property owner. He chairs the Government Operations Committee and serves on the Finance Committee, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (Yates County IDA), and other roles in county government. “I believe that having leaders who have lived in various communities helps give us a broader perspective.”

Morris says he is a lifelong fiscal conservative with the knowledge to dedicate to reducing cost and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government. He believes good leaders challenge the status quo, and that county officials should push back on New York State’s high costs and mandates.

Voters can reach Morris at 585-662- 3852 or email (mwm115@yahoo.com).  

Planning answer: “1. We shouldn’t build a new jail just because we have the money. A new jail should be competitive on a cost per prisoner basis without importing bad prisoners. Probably the best option is to make Steuben County Jail regional and close ours. 2. We need to upgrade our highway dept. 3. We should reduce the tax levy. 4. If we could address our very high public safety costs, we’d have a significant stream of money to fund other things, like sales tax sharing with towns and villages, which would encourage business growth, tourism projects, and pay raises to key managers.

P. Earle Gleason (R), 70, is retired from Yates County Veterans Service Agency and has lived in Milo for at least 63 years.

“I feel that my 24 years experience on the Town of Milo Board gave me great insight into the community and Town government. Now my last two years as a County Legislator has added to this knowledge.”

Voters can contact him at egleason@yatescounty.org or 315-694-3461.

Planning answer: “When the current debt is paid, I feel we will need to begin looking at upgrades and repairs on the infrastructures of the buildings we currently use so they do not fall into disrepair and become costly to maintain. I also feel that our present County Highway Buildings are in need of costly upgrades and repairs which we will need to address as well.”

Carlie Chilson (R), is an occupational therapist for Lifetime Care and Per Diem for ARC of Yates who has lived in Milo for 21 years.

Chilson wants to use her education and experience to address the drug addiction problem that we face in our community.

Planning answer: “A portion of this money should be set aside to be applied to maintaining the buildings that we have taken responsibility for. This will help to avoid future huge capital projects. A portion should be set aside to explore alternate energy as a means to reduce operating budgets. The long-range goal is to bring costs down and make our community more affordable to reside in and to allow the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our community. A portion should be given back to the people to reduce their tax liability. As a home occupational therapist, I observe the way elderly and those on fixed incomes struggle to make ends meet.”

Teresa M. Hoban, DC (D), 54, is a self-employed Chiropractor and owner of Lifeline Chiropractic in Penn Yan. A Penn Yan native, she returned to the area in 2008.

She has education and experience in agricultural business and economics and an MBA in addition to Doctorate of Chiropractic. “I am a certified Life Coach. That training has taught me how to ask good questions on a variety of issues and to work with people to achieve a common goal.”

“I am passionate about our resources, our resilience, and am concerned about keeping it both healthy and prosperous in a constantly challenged world. I strongly believe we need fair open-minded, action-oriented creative thinkers in our local government who will work together to hear and respond to the public’s voice and the needs of this community. I am eager to work with others to bring thoughtful, smart, common sense solutions to local matters and implement good thinking that works for the people of this community today and for years to come. I look for implementable, creative solutions that include all parties instead of reverting to a ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’response to problems and issues that face our county. The issues we face from unemployment, lack of adequate housing, accessible health care, algae closing our beaches and constantly rising taxes are not being improved upon by the same legislative answers.”

Voters can contact her on Facebook at Teresa Hoban for Yates County Legislature; at 315-536-1093 or email- hobantm@gmail.com

Planning answer: “Yes, we can immediately reduce the taxes, but how long will that last? What is needed is forward thinking — what can we invest in with the $1.3 million that will pay dividends and reduce our tax burden, not just for that tax year but for years to come? Put that $1.3 million to work for us - attracting businesses, improving parks, and increasing tourism to create a positive cash flow into Yates County that will not only improve our day-to-day lives, but reduce the tax burden for all of us who make our home in Yates County.”

Valerie Brechko (D), 64, is a retired elementary school teacher who as lived in Yates County for 36 years. She is running for office because she is “concerned that all Yates residents weren’t being represented. The sitting county legislators hail from one party, and won their seats in unopposed general elections...we need a diversity of voices and perspectives. What sets me apart is that I’m not an incumbent politician, I’m a citizen who wants to make a difference.”

Voters can contact her at val@valforyates.net, www.valforyates.net, or on Facebook.

Planning answer: “I’m all about my four C’s: communication, collaboration, and constructive change. This approach is essential to tackling the problem of budget and property taxes. We’re going to have to communicate with citizens, and with Albany, to assess what the long-term needs and resources are for our county. Then, we must collaborate to plan for thrift, while investing in our county’s future. We’ll require a frank and constructive reconciling of community needs with revenue streams. I believe through listening, and common sense, that constructive change is possible.”