Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion is selling his 3,200-square-foot home, but he has expressed his intent to stay local and chided his Republican opponent for seizing on the sale as a political topic.
Runion said he and his wife are looking to downsize and move into another home within the town. Both of his children have moved out and purchased their own homes, he said.
“We have our eye on another home in the Village (of Altamont) and we are negotiating for that purchase,” Runion said. “It isn’t really news. … There isn’t anything hidden about it. There is a big sign sitting in front of the house.”
Runion’s single-family home is located on 4.6 acres and has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, according to an online listing that puts the asking price at $450,000.
Republican supervisor candidate Mark Grimm originally brought the listing to The Spotlight’s attention. Grimm said he learned of the sale through a real estate agent friend, who noticed the home on a listing service. Grimm in an email said Runion “must be planning to move” and said he also owns a home in Florida. Grimm never explicitly stated he believes Runion was looking to leave the area.
“I thought it was a very curious thing, to say the least,” Grimm said.
Runion said he has been told Grimm sent out a “mass email” informing people that he was planning to sell his home. Runion said “most people were kind of angered” to see the email.
“I am not planning on leaving. That is ridiculous,” Runion said. “Maybe wishful thinking on Mark Grimm’s part.”
Grimm said he sent the email to people that he knows.
“It really shouldn’t be a political issue,” Runion said. “It is my personal business and I don’t think that bit should be invaded by a candidate for public office.”
Runion said he was not surprised to see Grimm weighing in on the matter and accused his opponent of negative campaigning in the past. He said Grimm has “never been involved in a positive campaign” and will resort to “bullying.”
Grimm, however, said while campaigning he has talked to “many people” who are selling their home or planning to sell their home, and said he wants to call attention to high property taxes.
“He is the town supervisor and people are selling their homes every day in the town because they can’t afford the property tax. To a certain extent, it is personal and to a certain extent it is a critical issue in the town,” Grimm said.
Grimm said he doesn’t believe Runion has done enough to address property taxes.
Runion confirmed he owns a home in Florida, but said his father has lived in the home for around a year. Runion said he pays the bills associated with the home, and his father pays for the electricity.
“I basically bought the house for my father to live in,” he said. “It was during the slow sales period down in Florida, so my wife and I go down for a week usually in a year and we saw this house. It was short sale and I thought this was perfect for a retiree to live in and it was very reasonably priced.”