Goldstein, first elected in 2001, reminds Lebanon voters that absentee ballots for town and county elective office have being mailed out and he encourages all town residents to participate in the Democratic process and vote by mail or in person on Nov. 2 at their polling place in the township.
Goldstein originally ran on a platform of open government and transparency, improving town reserves for future projects, challenging conflicts of interest and establishing a code of conduct for town officials. He also committed to ensuring that town residents decided how many Justices the town would have by referendum not town board fiat (which was decided by voter referendum) , what the terms of office for town officials would be (he successfully campaigned against a referendum that attempted to extend the term of the Town Clerk from 2 to 4 years that voters voted down as well), and that residents were informed and consulted regularly on town and county issues. He oversaw the town’s response to the attempts by the natural gas industry to exploit local residents and initiated a local road use law that ensured town taxpayers and property owners would be protected from the costs associated with natural gas impacts to roads and infrastructure.
Goldstein said he has achieved those goals at the local level and looks forward to another term to ensure that the township and the county emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic successfully and with improved health, safety, rural broadband and economic development outcomes.
Goldstein said that he considers the more notable achievements in his 18 years of service as a county supervisor were ensuring at the county level that Madison County and New York State went with paper ballot and optical scanners for voting machines in the HAVA transition rather than the questionable touch screen devices. Goldstein, a Democrat, worked with fellow Supervisor Michel J. DeBottis, a City of Oneida Republican, and a coalition of residents from around the county including the greater Hamilton area, to become the strongest advocates for paper ballot optical scanners. This group of volunteers worked tirelessly to educate the public on the importance of having a permanent paper ballot record to ensure election integrity while he and DeBottis proposed having the most reliable voting system at the county level.
After initially being resisted by the Board of Supervisors, the incorporation of this paper ballot optical scanner voting system passed unanimously and was also adopted by the State of NY and all NYS counties. It was a coalition of rural Madison County residents who advocated against the touch screen electronic voting systems statewide.
Goldstein also said he was also proud of his role in contributing to town, county and regional efforts to restrict and regulate the development of natural gas through high volume hydraulic fracturing, exposing and reporting the actions of the natural gas industry to NYS and federal officials when local residents were misled, lied to, exploited or experienced violation of their property rights.
Goldstein testified in Albany to the state Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee on behalf of the Association of Towns at the first state hearing on proposed regulations related to high volume hydraulic fracturing development of natural gas in New York State that was eventually prohibited.
He also said his efforts at creating a model open government where town residents were surveyed, kept regularly informed of town and county pending actions and encouraged to attend meetings were well received.
Goldstein said he ensured the natural gas industry developer repaired all town roads to the Town Highway Superintendent’s specifications at no expense to local taxpayers by utilizing local government authority of town roads when natural gas development was very active in the township from 2007-2011 which involved over $500,000 in road repairs.
The companies involved eventually went bankrupt to the tune of $100 million in debt and the remaining producing properties were acquired by Minard Oil of Texas.
In the last few years, the Town has:
— expanded its responsibility for ice and snow control of county roads in the township to ensure more timely snow removal
–has maintained a successful equipment replacement schedule and road repair program
–has engaged in several successful hazard mitigation projects that have helped reduce flood impacts
–has become a popular location for agri-tourism and farm to market businesses
–has supported ag development projects that increased jobs and local resources for dairy producers
— has joined a municipal Community Choice Aggregation program for NYSEG electric users that generates electricity from renewable sources
–maintained critical town services during the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Goldstein says that his priorities for the coming term are:
- Continue the ongoing efforts at the town and county level to mitigate and contain the Covid 19 pandemic impacts on local residents through safety measures and use of ARPA funds to ensure local services and necessary supplies continue uninterrupted. Goldstein has served as Vice Chair of the Madison County Board of Supervisors Health and Human Services Committee which has overseen the public health department’s efforts during the pandemic and will continue to support the efforts by the county to provide timely, current information on the virus, testing, vaccination and public safety resources.
- Continue to ensure that the town road repair and equipment replacement schedule is followed in cooperation with Town Highway Superintendent Alex Hodge and the Lebanon Town Board.
- Finish the goal of advocating for and ensuring availability of high speed broadband and internet for all town residents and particularly rural areas of the town and county through a recently obtained county grant through USDA.
- Advocate for receipt of federal FEMA funds for flood relief and hazard mitigation for the recent flood event of Aug. 22 that has left the town with $114,00 in road repair expenses and secure funds for a hazard mitigation project for a larger culvert for Billings Hill Road to divert and carry more water to prevent or mitigate future hamlet flood events..
- Continued support for consistent code enforcement for all town residents.
- Maintain the annual cleanup day events every spring in association with the Madison County landfill.
- Continue the town practice of keeping property tax increases to a minimum each year while maintaining essential services.
- Making the town office available for residents during emergencies for warmth, internet access and charging of cell phones which will be made possible by an automatic propane generator system designed to come on during outages.
- Continue being an independent voice in Wampsville while advocating for local issues and working for county programs and services that benefit local residents including funding for public libraries, Cooperative Extension, Community Action Program and other crucial nonprofits.
- Advocate for and work towards more local farm to market agricultural development and businesses for the township where internet access will be crucial while supporting and promote existing local businesses.
- Continue to work on expanding recycling and innovative projects at the county landfill while ensuring no local taxpayer dollars are used to operate the facility and adhering to the notion that “waste will pay for waste” and all costs will be continued to be covered by user fees and recycling revenues. Goldstein has been serving as the Chair of the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee for the Board of Supervisors for nearly a decade.
- Exploring local laws that encourage and permit small scale renewable energy projects for residences, farms and landowners while ensuring more regulation and oversight for larger scale renewable energy projects.
Goldstein says it has been an honor and privilege to serve the town’s residents since 2002 and he looks forward to continuing to do so in the coming two years.
“I encourage all residents to vote and participate in our sacred democratic process,” Goldstein said.