This year we’re giving candidates seeking office in the Finger Lakes the opportunity to let their voices be heard in a special Q&A feature. If you’re a candidate and would like to participate by completing a short Q&A session – click here. Your answers (which can be as long as necessary) will be published directly on FingerLakes1.com.
Dave DeLelys is running for Seneca Falls Town Council. His answers to our questions appear unedited below.
What prompted you to consider a run for office?
“I am running for re-election because of my 8 years of dedicated service believing in the Seneca Falls community and to continue to help my constituents. The record will show that I have kept taxes low and will continue to do so if re-elected. I am running plain and simple to continue to represent the people of Seneca Falls, their beliefs and positions.”
What are the three most important issues in your race?
“Keeping Taxes Low. Ensuring Local Law 3 remains in place. Infrastructural Development.”
What roadblocks stand in the way of addressing them? How will you be able to create change?
“I have always voted to keep taxes low, as recently as July 26th I was on the record stating I can not see raising taxes this year. I will continue to vote to hold the line on taxes while budgeting responsibly. The landfill is suing the town, looking out for themselves not the citizens of Seneca Falls and in order to keep the law on the books it is critical that Doug and I get elected. Kaitlyn and Frank are clearly for expanding the landfill and opening a new host agreement. As for infrastructural developments, money has always been an obstacle in addressing our infrastructural needs, remember we have 9.5 million dollars in reserves and are capable of addressing what needs to be fixed, however we have to look at grants and other options to save the taxpayer money.”
Holding local office is often a balancing act between keeping taxes low and maintaining services: How do you plan to achieve both?
“I have always held the line on taxes while doing the best I can to address the needs of our residents while at the same time weening off landfill revenue each year to establish less dependency on the landfill. I have voted to lower the amount of landfill revenue in our operating budget over the last few years and we have not seen a decrease in services to the people. This is possible, it can happen and I will always vote to keep taxes low while maintaining services.”
If you were elected tomorrow and given the ability to permanently change one thing about your community: What would it be?
“I would demand that New York State pay their fair share immediately for the Benton Pond drainage which is endangering our community. New York State is responsible for that situation according to the deed and this must be addressed.”
As a follow-up: What is one thing your community does right that you’d like to reinforce if elected?
“We as a community come together each year in our service industry for our people in a unified unmatched way. Our Police, Fire, EMS and public workforce are some of the finest in the country. I would like to keep up the moral and professionalism that exists within the departments of our fine services.”
Looking at your community over the next 10-20 years: What do you see? Are the actions being taken now good for the long-term sustainability of it?
“Right now the two most important things for our future are continuing the funding and DRI Projects that will make amazing progress and change in our community paired with grants and bonds, as well as Local Law 3 continuing being held in place to ensure 2025 closure of Seneca Meadows.”
Rural communities in the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York are getting older. This poses challenges on a number of fronts (whether it be related to services or attracting a younger population for that long-term sustainability). What would you like to see happen to make your community better for aging population, as well as a place for people in their 20s and 30s to call home?
“We do need more senior living options, this is a fact. I would also love to see more people decide to raise their children here. We have one of the best educations around with Mynderse Academy, The community center, our heritage (WHOF), Vince’s park and Cayuga lake are also wonderful things Seneca Falls can offer to the younger generation. The canal setting is also critical to driving tourism through our town. Odor from the landfill is truly an issue for all visiting so if SMI could also get their odor under control perhaps others would move here. The new Governor of NYS clearly loves SF and has visited many times with her family. I believe having her in office also opens the door to greater possibilities for a brighter future!”
People want to see change. So, give us the elevator pitch: Why should voters choose you this November? What differentiates you from any other candidate for local office?
“I am the longest serving member of the board. I was also on the village board. This town has seen an abundance of positive change since I took office 10 years ago and will continue to see progress going forward. This is why.”
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