ARCADIA ó Two Republicans and one Democrat will vie for two seats on the Arcadia Town Board this Election Day, Nov. 5.
Incumbent Mike Diamond is seeking another four-year term, running on the Republican ticket with newcomer Richard VanLaeken, who was the top vote-getter in caucus, edging out current Councilman Bruce Nielsen. Running on the Democratic line is Joe DeSanto, a former town supervisor and current school board member.
Members of the Town Board were heavily criticized for their lack of transparency throughout the past year after a proposal to construct a solid waste facility at the site of the old landfill was made public. VanLaeken and DeSanto were among those in opposition of the proposed landfill. The developer pulled the proposal early this year in the middle of the environmental review.
Candidates in alphabetical order are:
Joe DeSanto
Age: 73 (on Nov. 4) Occupation: Project Superintendent for over 40 years for the largest construction companies in New York State.
Education/Experience: ďHigh School education the hard way/self-taught by hitting the text books to learn about the construction industry. The United States Marine Corps taught me how to lead and inspire others to follow and that has been the secret of my success, as well as not to be afraid of failure.Ē
Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your town in upcoming years?
A. To bring the community together to find a common goal that would benefit both the town an village people. No back-door politicks behind closed doors. Seek opportunities, not wait for them.
Q. Why are you running for the position?
A. I have been approached by many people asking me to seek this position and to run for town supervisor again in two years. I have decided to do just that.
Q. Why are you the best choice?
A. If you look at what we accomplished in the eight years in the Town of Arcadia while I was supervisor, it speaks for itself. I am proud of what I accomplished.
Mike Diamond
Age: 54 Occupation: A.V. coordinator Newark Central School District 1982 to present.
Education/Experience: Born and raised in Newark. Newark High 1974-75; Tilton Academy, Tilton, N.H., 1975-78; Walsh University North Canton, Ohio, 1978-79; Mesa College Mesa, Ariz., 1980-81, associates, communications. Married 31 years to Sandy; four sons, Jon, Scott, Eric and Jack
Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your town in upcoming years?
A. Our biggest single biggest issue facing our community is revenue loss. We are currently working on a multi entity solar project that will help keep electric rates from rising for many years to come. I would also like to look into expanding our rail infrastructure and get Amtrak to stop here, which could increase tourism to our region as well as provide a convenient alternative travel source for our residents. These foundational projects could make our area eye catching for future development. Bottom line: We need to plant some seeds and trim back the weeds.
Q. Why are you running for the position?
A. Iím running for Town Council because I was asked to run back in 1997 and our community has asked me to come back ever since. Whether itís televising live events from the Newark High School or representing our community on the town level, I take great pride in serving the public, and I hope I can continue to be your representative.
Q. Why are you the best choice?
A. I feel Iím the best choice because I have been on the Town Board for the past 16 years, Iím more familiar on how the wheels of government turn and having worked with three supervisors, I can offer a wealth of information based on past decisions.
Richard VanLaeken
Age: 54 Occupation: Owner/operator Harris Machine.
Education/Experience: 1978 graduate of Newark Senior High, 1981 graduated from Machine Tool Technology Program at RITís School of Applied Industrial Studies. Established Harris Machine in 1995, managing the day-to-day operation.
Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your town in upcoming years?
A. The biggest issue right now in the town of Arcadia is economic growth. The cost of government and its mandates is on the rise. We need to control spending. We need to create jobs and commerce to expand the tax base. We need to use our strengths as a base for growth. We need to add business without jeopardizing our quality of life and the beauty of this community. I want our young people to have the opportunity to work here and raise children. I think Arcadia has great potential for growth.
Q. Why are you running for the position?
A. The landfill issue is the reason I started to consider running. I was unhappy with how the situation was handled. The will of the people should be gauged before spending large amounts of tax dollars on a project of that nature. It was obvious the people did not want it. I have spent my whole life in Arcadia and the thought of a landfill was really disturbing to me. Instead of complaining I decided to try to be part of the solution.
Q. Why are you the best choice to serve?
A. I think a fresh new approach is needed, and I believe I can bring that to the board. I feel my business experience will be an asset. My experience growing up on a family farm and now managing a highly technical business enables me to understand both agriculture and technology. Both are important to economic growth and the future of Arcadia. If elected I will institute the will of the people. I will work for the taxpayers and be completely transparent. I will do my best to protect your quality of life and your tax dollars.