MADRID - Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Madrid Town Council on Tuesday.
Incumbent Timothy Thisse, a Republican, will be on the ballot along with fellow Republican Jesse Barton and Democrat Garry A. Wells.
Mr. Thisse said he didnt make a snap decision before opting to seek a second term as a member of the Madrid Town Board.
I thought long and hard about it, he said.
What Mr. Thisse, 49, thought about was the personal side of his commitment to the town. He is chairman of its youth committee, which has significance as he and his wife, Cheryl, are the parents of a 15-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.
Mr. Thisse, a self-employed contractor, also enjoys being a member of the town board, which he considers a productive and friendly group.
I dont want to see that go away, he said.I have a vested interest in this community.
Councilman Anthony A. Cooper, a Democrat, is giving up his seat to run for town supervisor, against Republican William E. Hull to succeed outgoing Democrat Joseph A. Finnegan, who did not seek re-election after completing his first term in that post.
Mr. Thisse said it is clear the town has to always try to strike a balance between providing the services that its residents expect and keeping taxes down.
That isnt easy to do in a rural town with no big tax base-thickening businesses or industries and where taxes are slated to increase for a second year in a row in 2014, this time by an anticipated 3 percent.
Were very challenged, Mr. Thisse said.
He said he is pleased with the towns new wastewater treatment plant and the continuing repairs to the Mill Dam on the Grasse River. He also said it is probable that the towns water tower will have to be replaced.
They are, after all, services that the public relies upon.
You know what? Mr. Thisse said. People got to have that stuff.
Mr. Thisse lives at 139 North St.
Mr. Barton, 36, of 4247 Route 14, is a self-employed farmer.
I own and manage The Grasse River B Ranch, which is a seasonal business, and the rest of the time I am employed at a local farm, Mr. Barton said. My seasonal business is a goat dairy, where the milk is made into cheese.
Mr. Barton has lived in Madrid for seven years.
I am seeking election due to my concern for the present and future of our town and state and country, Mr. Barton said. The issues that concern me and the people are taxes, jobs and if those things are not fixed on a local level how will they be fixed on a county or state level.
Mr. Barton is certain that Madrid can grow and prosper with the right set of circumstances in place.
The potential for economic development is unlimited, he said. I some key factors that will promote development are lower taxes and cheaper energy for starters.
Mr. Barton and his wife, Krista, have been married for 13 years and have five children.
Mr. Wells is looking to expand his public service to the town of Madrid.
Mr. Wells, 70, of 2421 Route 310, is already a member of the town planning board. He is a retired General Motors worker.
He said his five years on the planning board have given him the experience to move to a new level of serving the town.
Im familiar with the issues, he said.
One issue is economic development. Rural Madrid, as Mr. Wells sees it, is a perfect fit for small businesses. Like hardware stores.
Were never going to get big businesses in here, he said.
Mr. Wells is sure that Route 310 is a perfect small business corridor with plenty of unused land with development potential.
Last year, the town approved the rezoning of 200 acres along the highway from residential-hamlet to residential-commercial to encourage economic development plans.
There is a lot that can be done, he said.
Mr. Wells also wants the town to see what it can do to reduce health care costs. The town, he added, can also cut expenses by sharing some of its highway departments equipment with municipalities.
A Lisbon native, Mr. Wells has lived in Madrid since 1968.
Mr. Wells and his wife, Joyce, are the parents of two sons and one daughter.