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Time to step up

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I have frequently called for activism on these pages.  Now, I stepped up and declared my candidacy for my town board.  The following is a colloquy between me and my local Democratic Committee regarding my candidacy.  I invite all and sundry to comment as you are so moved.

Why do you want to run as a Democrat for Town Board of Caroline?  I want to run as a Democrat for the Caroline Town Board for a mix of
reasons: My children have left the house, so I feel that I now have
the time and to devote to such service; I am dedicated to public service, and think I can make a significant contribution as a member of the general government; Caroline and the neighboring areas are vulnerable to sprawl and the attendant degradation of the environment and I want to resist that, and, politically, I think that it is important that the Democratic Party increase its representation in rural areas, and I will be active with Democrats in other areas to increase it.  By running myself, I think I can gain credibility and expertise that will be valuable in my effort to further strengthen Democratic Rural Representation in NY and the neighboring states.

How do you feel about Planning in our Town?  What about land use
regulations?  From your perspective, do we need more aggressive planning, or less?  Specifically, how do you feel about passing a junk or noise ordinance in our town?

I think Planning is wonderful, as long as there is a mechanism in place to implement the plans.  Without strict land use plans, sprawl is inevitable.  I was brought up to believe that the right to move my hand ends where the other fellow's nose begins.  I understand a certain segment of the population believes that a man's property is his to do with as he wishes.  I feel that when this sentiment is causes the community to stand by and
suffer as the land, air and water are degraded that it is an abuse of
property rights.  Clearly, when a property owner allows eyesores to develop
on his property he has extended his fist into my nose.

I will vigorously campaign for junk and noise ordinances drafted to closely
comply with, but add a level of stringency to, DEC regulations in these

*** How do you feel about the relationship between taxes and the
> services provided by our town?   Would you be in favor in a slightly
> higher tax levy with an increase in positive town services that might
> invite prospective new comers to the area and keep the current
> residents? ***

I think taxes are too high; I favor priorities to grow the tax base and an
aggressive energy independence program to enhance revenues.  I am unwilling
to commit to higher levies for positive town services without studying the
specifics and assuring myself of the indispensability of the services and
dearth of non-town taxpayer resources to defray the costs.

*** In twenty years what will the Town of Caroline look like?  What
> would you do a Town Board member to make this vision become a reality? ***

In twenty years, I expect that the Town of Caroline will increase its
population significantly.  I think the proximity to Cornell will continue to
attract both young professionals and mature workers.  But I think the
biggest growth potential for Caroline could come from retirees moving here
to enjoy the scenery, the Finger Lakes and the cultural amenities.  I think
the number one priority is to preserve the scenery.  If the scenery is
disfigured, the population will decline and the later generations will be
left with a declining population and ugly landscape.

To protect the scenery, I would enact planning that moves as much housing as
possible back from the roads, maintains green space on all properties and
limits dense development to well landscaped planned developments.  It is important to me to campaign in a manner that educates the public and allows for the
development of public sentiment in support of planning measures.  However, I
want the planning provisions enacted before my term ends.

What strengths and interests do you want to tell us about that
> would lend themselves to sitting on the Town Board?

I think that as a member of the Town Board, I can add a dimension of
experience with bureaucracy to the board.  I have spent my entire life with
large governmental institutions and have strong intuitions about whether
programs can be implemented.

I am a founding member of Carolina Green Dogs, the environmental auxiliary
of the North Carolina Democratic Party and will bring a very strong
commitment to environmentalism and progressivism to the Board when I am

*** Do you have any specific projects that you would like the Town
> to investigate and that you would coordinate? ***

I am very interested in Energy Independent Caroline and I am interested in
bringing artists, musicians, poets and actors into Town Hall for cultural

***  Are there one or two state issues that interest you as a New York
> State voter and influence the way you vote? ***

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Robert Chapman is greatly interested in developing political awareness among as many people as possible.
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