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On Tuesday, a forum was held in Rock Hill for candidates running for positions in the town of Thompson. As Election Day approaches, YNN's Eva McKend has more on the important debate.
ROCK HILL, N.Y. -- After more than 20 years, a new town supervisor will lead the Town of Thompson.
Republican Ramon Cedeira, Democrat Bill Rieber and Independent Jerry Fielding are all vying for the title. One of them will become the supervisor responsible for potentially ushering in casinos if the referendum passes. However, there is still the chance New Yorkers may vote to not expand gaming.
"We have to utilize what we have, and first, get them to grow. I think once we get these people to start prospering, I think we can get more people to come in," said Cedeira.
Rieber said, "We are going to have to rethink, tweak. We're going to have to live with what we have, work with what we have."
Another issue addressed was the number of tax exempt properties in the town.
"Exempt properties do have to pay for their water. They do have to pay for their sewer.
This is not free. They have to pay for their fire districts, library, things like this," explained Fielding.
Rieber added, "The laws that govern the tax exemptions are set in Albany. They're not set in the Town of Thompson. They're set in Albany, and that's where the problem is, and that's the only place it can be cured."
The idea of doing away with the county legislature form of government was also discussed. All of the candidates said they were not in favor of returning to the board of supervisors style of management.
"The county should look into a County Executive who is elected on a county wide basis, and who is answerable to everyone in the county," said Rieber.
"We should streamline it down into a few less people. Maybe we can get more stuff done," said Cedeira.
Fielding said, "Today, with population growth and the problems we have in Sullivan County, the legislative from of government we have now is apropos."
Other issues discussed included unemployment, and the relationship between the Village of Monticello and the Town of Thompson.
Candidates for town council and town judge also participated in the forum. It was co-hosted by the Monticello Rotary Club and Thunder 102.