September 18, 2012 —
The race for a seat on the Tusten Town Board will be between Andrea Reynosa, the board member who was appointed to the seat by the other board members last year, and Ned Lang, who was a member of the zoning board of appeals before resigning last year.
Reynosa was the winner of the Democratic Caucus held at the Lava Fire House on September 17. The other nominee was Bernie Loehman, who was technically still a registered Republican; he changed his registration this year, but the switch won’t be official until after the November 11 election.
There had been speculation that some Democrats would nominate Lang to also become the Democratic candidate, but Democratic Committee Chairman Patrick Harrison said he and members of the committee were committed to having a registered Democrat become the candidate.
The Republican candidate was determined not by a caucus, but instead by a primary, which was held on September 13, with Lang besting town clerk Kathy Michell by a vote of 85 to 53.
One issue on which the candidates differ is gas drilling. Lang has posted “Pass the Gas” signs in town, and is in favor of gas drilling. Reynosa, who is also running on the Rural Heritage line, is opposed to drilling, and supported the zoning changes the town adopted that effectively zoned out drilling and other types of high-impact industrial activity.
Another issue is the proposed Big Eddy Waterfront Revitalization project planned for above the river and behind some of the shops on Main Street. Lang has been highly critical of the plan, and has a controversial sign opposing it in the parking lot of the Narrowsburg Inn, which he owns.
About $150,000 was spent on the design phase of the project, with about half of that coming in the form of a grant from Albany. The town committed to spending its share of the money on the project in 2009, before Reynosa was on the board.
Reynosa, on the other hand, is on the design committee that is working on that master plan for the hamlet, and which includes the proposed waterfront project. A rumor has circulated that the committee has proposed moving Veteran’s Park, and was brought up at the most recent town meeting, but that is not accurate. The park will remain where it is, although it may be enhanced.