On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Malta Republicans will vote in a primary to see who will run on the Republican line for town board. Three candidates Donna Gizzi, Peter Klotz and Tara Thomas are vying for the two four-year positions.
Each candidate says they bring a unique perspective on how to govern Malta, but all say that their first duty is to serve the citizens.
`We need to listen to what the people want ` that’s what we’re there for,` said Gizzi, an incumbent who has served on the board for a year and a half.
Said Thomas, `Being an elected official, you are on call 24/7 for the benefit of the community.`
Many issues have emerged as hot topics for the election.
Klotz said he feels `the kind of development that’s going to be happening` is key. He said the expansion to the town done through projects such as the Saratoga Hospital, Park Place along Route 9 and Ellsworth Commons (`a rather large mixed-use development`) would be a focus of his term in office.
Gizzi said she too feels that expansion is a critical point. She said working on community projects, such as the expansion of the community center, are just as important.
`(This is a) pay as you go community,` said Gizzi regarding her stance on funding those projects. `I don’t want to change that. We don’t need to burden them (tax payers) any more.`
Thomas states that growth in Malta and proper use of taxes are the main issues of her campaign.
`I believe that we will be facing overdevelopment in the future, and I feel that it is important to preserve our quality of life,` she said.
Thomas said that being friendlier toward small businesses and bringing more cultural offerings to Malta, such as the arts and music, would benefit the people greatly.
The three candidates bring a variety of experience to the table.
`I’ve been on the town board now for a little over a year and a half,` said Gizzi, adding that she worked for former supervisor Dave Meager for 15 years.
She said she has a history of `getting the job done` in Malta, such as helping create a multi-use pass on Ruhle Road South ` also known as the `Ice Cream Trail.`
`That’s my forte, bringing projects to fruition,` she said. `I like to listen to what people say, let them know I hear and do everything in my power to get them what they need.`
Klotz is also no newcomer to community service.
`Over the past several years, I’ve been part of several studies and committees that have helped compose the comprehensive master plan,` he said. `By applying those tools, we’ll get what we want to see.`
Klotz said that working on all those committees has taught him how to work with people from different backgrounds to accomplish common goals. He said his involvement with St. Peter Lutheran Church, the ambulance corps and the community is an expression of his love of the town.
`I’ve really come to know and love Malta,` he said.
Thomas, who hails from Luther Forest, said her community experience is key to understanding her as a candidate.
`My being a lifelong resident of Malta is experience in itself,` she said. She has also worked for the state for Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, in the Office of Member Services.
Thomas said working for the state has been exciting. `I get to follow legislation here in Albany,` she said.
She said her service on many committees in Malta, such as the Trails Committee, has led her to a growing love of her hometown.
`Running for office ` this decision has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m looking forward in serving the people of Malta,` Thomas said.
The upcoming primary is to determine who will run for the Republican Party. However, all of the candidates have been endorsed by other parties. Each will still have the option to run without the auspices of the GOP.“