Policy Director, for the Ranking Member, NYS Senate Aging Committee
James Buhrmaster (R)
Small business owner
Thomas Constantine (DCW)
Assistant Director Campus Safety Union College
Michael Dieterich (RC)
Why are you the best candidate? Please answer in the context of specific issues facing your community.
My background in non-profit and public management convinces me that the County must stress economic development, reduce taxes and control spending. County efforts have led to: the creation of more than 4,000 private sector jobs; over $400 million in new investments; a reduction in the County payroll of 200 positions without layoffs; and savings in healthcare expenses of $10 million. As a result, the County has adopted a 2012 budget with no property tax increase, as it has done in 4 of the past 6 years.
Due to my educational and professional background, I understand the necessity and benefits of building a new Glendale Home, as do the majority of County residents. Schenectady has a large, growing senior population and an obligation to care for them. A new Glendale Home will be built at no cost to local taxpayers, be more energy efficient, cost $150,000 a year less to operate, allow for increased Medicaid reimbursement and private pay rates, and provides hundreds of local jobs.
Occupation:Policy Director, for the Ranking Member, NYS Senate Aging Committee
Experience:I am running for the County Legislature because I believe that I have unique qualifications to effectively serve the public in elected office.
I have a BA in Law Enforcement from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. I later earned a Master's Degree in Social Work from The University at Albany. The combination of these two diverse academic degrees gives me the training and perspective to make better, more balanced decisions as the County Legislator representing District 3.
I have managed non-profit organizations, so I’ve had to create and work with tight budgets and control expenses. I was the Manager of the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services, so I have experience with county-level departments, program evaluation, providing services, and contract management.
Currently, I am the Policy Director for the Ranker on the State Senate Aging Committee, an experience that has broadened my exposure and increased my knowledge of the many issues affecting Older Adults. According to the demographic profile of Schenectady County, "Building Partnerships for an Aging Community", Glenville and Niskayuna are two of the three communities with the largest numbers of Senior Citizens. My unique experience as a provider of services, policy development and work in the State Senate Aging Committee gives me the ability to better serve the residents of District 3.
I have been endorsed by the Schenectady County Sheriff's Benevolent Association Local 3874, NYS Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, CSEA Local 885 and the Schenectady Area Labor Council.
Community Involvement:Festival Celebration Choir; Cantor and Choir Member, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Second Vice-Chair, Scotia-Glenville Democratic Committee
Family:Steve and I live in Glenville, in his childhood home. Steve attended Glenhaven Elementary School, is a 1974 graduate of Burnt Hills High School and a 1978 graduate of St. Lawrence University.
My parents, Raymond and Betsy Bern, married 57 years, live in New Rochelle, NY.
My brother Paul, sister-in-law Kim, and three year-old niece Naomi live in Syracuse, NY.
The steadily increasing tax burdens on all of Schenectady County and the growing size and cost of government and the regulations that come with it at all levels are our biggest challenge. We need to eliminate the non-essential and patronage jobs that have become part of our expensive system of government. As the first Vice Chair of our County Legislatures Intergovernmental Cooperation committee for its first four years,I feel we need to work more diligently on coordination,then cooperation and then where sensible and cost effective,consolidation in more areas of our county.Schenectady County residents who have followed me in the Legislature know that a vote for Jim Buhrmaster is a vote for common sense.We have plenty of laws,rules and regulations on the books already.We need to use them and enforce them,not create hundreds more. I believe a government that governs less,governs better. A vote for Jim Buhrmaster is a vote for the people,not the party. Exercise your right,vote Nov 8.
Additional party affiliations:Endorsed by the Independence Party too.
Occupation:President of Buhrmaster Energy Group
Experience:Graduate of Scotia-Glenville schools and Syracuse University,County Legislator 2003-Present,R-C Congressional Candidate in 2008,Member and Treasurer of Schenectady County IDA 2003-2010,Past President of Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce,Scotia Rotary,Schenectady County Council Boy Scouts of America and S-G American Field Service
Community Involvement:Freedom Park Board,Ellis Hospital Foundation Board,Twin Rivers Council Boy Souts of America Board,Scotia Rotary,Chamber of Commerce,Schenectady Military Affairs Council,Former member of New York State Superfund Management Board,Former member of New York State Diesel Tax Advisory Commission,Former member of N.Y.S. Dept. of Social Services HEAP Block Grant Advisory Committee
I believe that if I base my experience on my 25 years in Public Service in Schenectady County I have clearly shown to all and those who have worked with me can attest: I have the ability to learn, to absorb information and apply my own values and the values of my constituents to the decision making process. It is because of these values and how I was raised that I know I am the best choice to serve the residents of Glenville, Niskayuna and Scotia.
Additional party affiliations:Dem,Cons,Ind,WFP
Occupation:Assistant Director of Campus Safety Union College
Experience:20 year career with the Niskayuna Police Department
Community Involvement:Fire Commssioner Niskayuna Fire District One(5 year term), nuerous boards from Special Olympics, Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Niskayuna DARE Run
Family:Daughters Justice(17),Sophia(14) and son Thomas(11)
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