Believing he has the background and the experience to lead Cobleskill, 40-year businessman Leo McAllister is challenging Supervisor Tom Murray for the town's top post.
Mr. McAllister, who's operated his own financial services and accounting business in Cobleskill since about 1973, received Cobleskill Republicans' endorsement for supervisor at their caucus Thursday.
Democrats haven't yet set their caucus, but Mr. Murray said Friday he's running again for what would be his third term.
"Leo's a great person. He's a great friend," Mr. Murray said of Mr. McAllister. "I've known him a long time. I'm glad we're giving people a choice."
Mr. McAllister said his decision to run was more a question of why he shouldn't run rather than why he should.
"I love Cobleskill. I grew my business here and I raised my family here," he said.
Mr. McAllister is a member of Cobleskill's Planning Board, served on the Cobleskill and then the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School board for 13 years, has served on the Workforce Solutions and Schoharie County Community Action Program and SUMY Cobleskill boards, and a longtime membe rof the Cobleskill Rotary.
All of those things, he said, have given him the ability to listen to and work with people-something he feels is lacking at all levels of government.
"I don't dictate," he said. "I'm not going to tell the Highway Department superintendent what to do...He's going to tell me what needs to be done."
That's especially important at the county level, he said, where Cobleskill needs to be more of a leader and have more influence. It's also important in dealing with the Village of Cobleskill and the college.
Mr. McAllister said taxes are one of Cobleskill's biggest concerns and he feels the town needs to work harder to encourage business.
"We can only cut so much," he said, adding, "If we'd had water and sewer [at the East End], Lowe's would have been here."
Mr. Murray has spearheaded efforts to extend water and sewer along the Route 7 corridor to Howe Caverns; seeing that project through to its completion is one of the reasons he's seeking re-election.
"I hate to leave things unfinished," he said.
Mr. Murray said he believes he and councilmen work well together and they've been able to strengthen the Highway Department to the point where it's gone from almost a zero fund balance to one of $800,000-$900,000 while increasing efficiency.
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Cobleskill Republicans also endorsed Liz Montario and RJ Mallery for council and Dawn Fiorillo and Gary Bywater for justice at their caucus.
Ten-year Councilman Sherwood Veith isn't seeking re-election for is Ryan McAllister, who will be ending his first term.