By CRISTINE MEIXNER
ARIETTA - No matter what happens in the General Election Nov. 5, there will be three new faces on the Arietta Town Board.
Councilpersons Marie Parslow and Henry Rogers are not seeking re-election, and Councilman James Farber has passed on. Jacquelyn Grier, a Republican, is running uncontested to fill the vacancy caused by his death.
There will be a race for the other two seats, among Barry L. Baker and Bradley Parslow, both Democrats, and Republicans Keith R. Ford and Christy L. Wilt.
Town Justice Gail A. Doherty, a Republican, and Daryl Parslow, who is running as an independent on the Law And Justice Party line, are running for two town justice positions. Justice William Hotaling is not running for re-election; he will become the town’s assessor instead.
Supervisor Richard A. Wilt, Superintendent of Highways William F. Parslow, Town Clerk Kenneth F. Parslow and Tax Collector Sharon L. Matthews are all running uncontested for re-election.
BAKER, 54, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Hartwick College in Oneonta. He is Hamilton County’s director of Real Property Tax Services.
Baker is president of Piseco Lake Association, secretary of Piseco Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Piseco School District Building Committee and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Northeast Parent & Child Society.
He chairs the town Zoning Board of Appeals, and was a member of the Planning Board before being appointed to the ZBA.
He has attended almost every meeting of the town board for the past several years. “I am very familiar with the actions, policies and procedures of town boards, town law and open meeting law,” he says. “I have worked with many municipalities in the course of my current and past occupations on a variety of projects and subjects.”
He is running for office because, “Our town, county and region face growing challenges as a result of the continuing spiral of declining industry, jobs and populations; combined with the pressure of external agency regulations and a climate of consolidations.
“Our communities cannot continue to sit back and hope those driving the bus will bring us back to the way things used to be. Either we choose to accept things as they are or we can step forward, take the wheel and try to map our own route.
“We also have the choice to elect people engaged in finding a way forward for their communities, or those who are merely along for the ride.”
Baker says he would bring “broad-based real estate, business development, managerial and human resources experiences to the table. I understand municipal funding, fiscal operations and budgetary processes.
“I was born and raised in Piseco. I am grateful for the opportunities and challenges I’ve had, and I am hopeful for the chance to be a part of the plan forward for our community.”
If elected Baker would like to see “expanded economic opportunities and capitalize on the strengths and assets of the community -- our waters, our airport, and our people.” He would work to “preserve, protect and promote the lakes and natural wonders that are the heart of this community and seek shared services solutions across departments and with surrounding communities by engaging along common goals and interests.”
Regarding current issues, Baker says, “At the core, we face the very same issues afflicting most Adirondack towns…a decades-past tourism model that has become the proverbial snake eating its own tail. At some point, the snake is no longer sustaining itself; it is creating its own demise.
“There are fewer businesses, fewer businesses doing well, a prolonged loss of economic opportunity and an accelerating decline in population. My position is we simply cannot survive on tourism as we know it and have to find the means to generate new opportunities.”
Baker and wife Laura “are the proud parents of two awesome children, Andrew and Emma.”
PARSLOW, 33, is a high school graduate. He is employed by Rhodes Construction Company Inc. as a carpenter.
He was a member of Piseco Volunteer Fire Department from 1997-2000.
As a son of Superintendent of Highways William Parslow and Councilperson Marie Parslow, he says he is “good” regarding familiarity with the board’s policies.
He is running for office “to help the town with making good decisions.”
As qualifications, he says he is an “Arietta native with knowledge of issues.”
If elected, Parslow would like to see “the Piseco Lake Dam issue figured out and see a future for children and young families in the town.”
Parslow has been married since 2011 to wife Jaime. They have one child, Josie.
WILT, 41, graduated Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell, Mont. She is employed by Hamilton County Economic Development and Tourism as an aide; by Alicia C. Miller Real Estate Inc., Wells, as a sales agent; and by Lake Pleasant Golf Course as a clerk.
Town Supervisor Rick Wilt is her husband’s uncle.
She says she attended one town board meeting during the past year, “due to prior work engagements than no longer exist. I will be attending all of them from here on out.”
However, “I have requested and read previous minutes to familiarize myself with their positions and policies, and I have a good grasp on operating policies of town governments.”
She is running for office because, “I wish to be more involved in the decision making process for the Town of Arietta, in which I have chosen to reside and raise my family. I am a six-year resident and property owner of the Town of Arietta, as well as a 19-year resident of Hamilton County.”
Regarding qualifications she says, “I believe the experience and skills through my professional careers will provide excellent insight into making good financial decisions for the Town of Arietta, as well as participate in, and help guide the planning necessary to provide maximum value for the citizens and visitors to our beautiful corner of the Adirondack Park for the least cost to the taxpayers.
“My desire to serve the citizens of Arietta is genuine, and I pledge to devote appropriate personal resource and time to this commitment.”
If elected, Wilt says, “Fiduciary responsibility will be my main goal, but the town website also needs some changes. I would like to see the agendas, resolutions, budgets and board minutes posted to the Town of Arietta website.”
She says the top local issue is “the budget. My position is, as always, the most impact for the least amount from the taxpayers.”
Wilt has been married since 2006 to husband William. He is a deputy with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. They have one child, William Wilt II, 5.
FORD did not return his election questionnaire.