Trying to do the right thing

By TED WADDELL
Posted 1/5/22

HORTONVILLE, NY — For Scott Matthew DuBois, the new supervisor in the Town of Delaware, the job is all about doing the right thing for taxpayers, while providing cost-effective services that …

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Trying to do the right thing

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HORTONVILLE, NY — For Scott Matthew DuBois, the new supervisor in the Town of Delaware, the job is all about doing the right thing for taxpayers, while providing cost-effective services that folks can afford.

DuBois grew up in the area, and in 1994 graduated from Jeffersonville-Youngsville High School, as part of the class he described as “The last of us to go out of the old, old school before the addition.”

After high school, he continued his higher education by studying the principals of accruals, the financial concepts associated with the principals of revenues and expenses, and picked up degrees at SUNY Cobleskill and Oswego, recalling of that career path, “For some odd reason, I chose accounting.”

Along the way, DuBois married his high school sweetheart, a registered nurse, and the couple moved to the Big Apple with DuBois’s dream of making “a million quick.”

“Things didn’t turn out, so we chose to come back home,” he said, adding that he joined a local accounting firm, and then worked his way up the county’s accounting ladder in the wake of what he referred to as “the DPW scandal.”

In 2008, DuBois took on the position of comptroller for the Town of Fallsburg, a position he holds today.

Asked why he decided to get into politics, he replied, “For me, everything happens for a reason... I wanted to get into it in the latter part of my life... finance is my life.” He added that while he was serving as a Town of Delaware councilperson, the upper echelons of the board started to ask him for advice on financial management, so it seemed fitting that he would toss his hat into the political arena as supervisor.

“I thought I’d give it a try,” replied the 44-year-old DuBois, adding, “I have a lot of knowledge [about all things financial], I handle it on a day-to-day basis.”

The Town of Delaware encompasses approximately 35 square miles, and according to folks at the Sullivan County Government Center, has 1,573 registered voters and a population of 2,203 full-time residents

The town includes the villages/hamlets of Callicoon, Hortonville, Kenoza Lake and Kohlertown.

Asked his political affiliation, in these times a somewhat a touchy subject approached with a sense of trepidation, DuBois fielded the ball by responding, “In social studies class, we had to choose... Mom was a Democrat, and Dad was Republican, and Mom said, ‘You’re going to be a Democrat.’

“It’s funny, because I don’t align [with either party],” said DuBois. “It’s more about doing the right thing, trying to save the taxpayer money as best I can and provide the best possible services.”

Standing on the eve of taking office as supervisor, DuBois inherited several projects that could be likened to an unruly bag of cats, each screaming for attention, all at the same time, during a lingering pandemic.

  • The town highway barn. “We desperately need it, but with COVID the prices are staggering,” said DuBois, noting that the last time the bids came up for a vote, he nixed the idea of spending about $4 million.

“It’s for about eight guys and a supervisor; that’s a huge amount for a small town... even with a 50/50 matching grant... the supply chain is broken and the cost of steel is way up.”

DuBois said the town might send out for bids in the spring, noting that another goal is rebuilding the fleet of aging highway department vehicles.

  • The town sewer system. “We’re in the process of possibly rehabbing” the existing location “with a new operator with good ideas... engineers are currently looking at it.”

DuBois said that when a new sewer plant was initially proposed, the estimated cost was approximately $13 million, but now could be in excess of $20 million, “before they put a shovel in the ground.

“For such a small district, even with grants, for a number of people that would be a crusher... I don’t know how they could afford it.”

  • The town water system. “The ball started rolling before me, but I know there’s a lot of old infrastructure in the ground,” he said, noting the regulations mandated by the Delaware River Basin Commission and the NYS Department of Conservation, “They want drinking water to come out of the sewers.”

DuBois said engineers are looking at alternatives to constructing a new water system, and the town is in the process of finalizing the acquisition of property between the old pump house and a new well site.

Adding to the mixed bag of cats, the town is reportedly in litigation with the Villa Roma Resort, which may be seeking a reduction in taxes.

The Town of Delaware board meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month in the municipal building, which is located behind the justice court. For information, call 845/887-5250.

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