Lloyd Republicans choose slate
Last week, about 80 Lloyd Republicans attended their party’s caucus at the St. Augustine School to nominate candidates who will be on the ballot this fall.
John Wadlin chaired the meeting, and in quick succession the party set their slate — Ray Costantino for supervisor, Kevin Brennie and Jeffrey Palladino for the two Town Board seats, Terry Elia for town justice and Tim Marion for highway superintendent. There was only one nomination made for each position.
Lloyd Republicans also gave a warm welcome to Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack, who is running for re-election and former Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams, who is seeking the position of Ulster County Court judge. Both have been involved in Ulster County government for three decades.
Everton Henriquez, who placed Costantino’s name in nomination, said Costantino possesses the four necessary qualifications to run the town — knowledge, integrity, vision and a passion to turn ideas into reality.
John Mazetti, who seconded the selection, added that Costantino is always “giving back to our community whether it’s as a member of the Rotary Club, as a successful businessman, an appointed board member or the supervisor of Lloyd. You can be sure the job will not only get done, but get done economically, right and on time.”
Mazetti highlighted several of Costantino’s achievements — property tax savings from 2 percent to 6 percent, reduction of town debt from $11 million to $8.7 million (by Feb. 2010), increased assessed values by assisting in welcoming Prism Solar to town, “saving over $2 million in assessment value,” expansion of the Rail Trail East to link up with the Walkway Over the Hudson, reduced town spending while monitoring expenses and soon will begin Phase II of a more walkable hamlet plan, with new sidewalks, trees and additional lighting.
Kevin Brennie is a lifelong member of the community, a 1987 Highland High school graduate followed by studies at SUNY Cortland and Mount Saint Mary’s College. In addition Brennie taught in the Beacon School District for a decade and served on the Highland School Board for a year. He now runs his own restaurant in the hamlet and is involved in Little League and a member of St. Augustine Church.
Jeff Palladino, also a lifelong resident, comes from an agricultural background and has a degree in business. He owns and manages the True Value Hardware in Milton.
Robert Hansut nominated sitting justice Terry Elia, stating he has known Elia since 1960.
“He is a good judge and a fine young man.”
Councilwoman Nancy Hammond tapped Marion, saying he has both management skills and a knowledge of heavy construction equipment at the top of his resume.
In his acceptance speech, Costantino said Lloyd is poised to take a prominent position in the county.
“This year we are going to have the Walkway opening and what town do you know that holds two state parks in their town,” he said.
Costantino said the Rail Trail’s eastern section design was just approved and he has been given permission to obtain a few additional easements. He recently negotiated one with the environmental group, Scenic Hudson, at no cost to the town, saving taxpayers $30,000 in legal fees.
Costantino thanked his wife Claire, for her support, hard work and sacrifice.
“She helps me so much and I couldn’t do it without her drive,” he said. “We keep pushing each other to get better and better and better.”
Costantino spoke of the 300,000-square-foot Alzheimer’s center/offices/retail project that is proposed for the corner of Route 299 and 9W.
“It will be a big boost to the Town of Lloyd,” he predicted. “It’s going to be really high ratables, assessed valuation, no impact to the school district, and people from all over the country will come to get services.”
Costantino stressed the significance of a Town Board.
“You know a Town Board can make you or break you,” he said. “I try to explain everything and put my best foot forward and always keep them abreast of everything
I’m doing. There are no secrets with me and everything is on the table… I won’t disappoint you.”
Brennie thanked the party, “for putting your trust in me. It really means a lot to me to see this town move in a positive direction” he said. “This is my first term here and I’ve really learned a lot and really see Ray’s leadership. It’s a great time to live in Lloyd.
There are so many things coming. It’s so close that you can almost touch it kind of feeling. I have faith that it will all work out in the end.”
Palladino said he is looking forward to the race.
“I feel we have a strong slate,” he said. “Ray has done a tremendous start for the community and I hope everybody realizes the assets he is bringing about the last several years, that has just started. The fruits of that are about to come in the near future. I appreciate the opportunity and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Elia said it has been his privilege to serve since 1998, as one of two town justices. The Lloyd court, which is the second busiest in the county, handles more than 500 vehicle and traffic violation per month, 100 criminal cases per month, “and sometimes countless civil cases.”
“I have never felt as good about anything I have ever done in my life as the job of Town Justice,” he said. “Every time I run, I won’t do anything to disrespect you.”
Marion said he is optimistic for a favorable outcome in the fall.
“I hope everything works out and I look forward to serving you,” he said. “Any questions, I am always here.”
Town Republican chairman Paul Hansut said the party committee meets the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and soon will be compiling their party platform for release to the public.
Afterwards Hansut commented on the candidates his party has embraced.
“It’s got some youth. It’s got some experience,” he said. “I think we have a positive slate and I think we will do very well.”
Hansut said his party will continue to expand the platform they ran on two years ago.
“That’s smart growth, getting businesses into town so we can build the tax base up, so taxes can go down,” he said. “We want to be the voice of everyone in town…I think we’re looking to move forward.”
By MARK REYNOLDS