MADRID The scheduled departure of Supervisor Joseph A. Finnegan has created a political vacuum that two men have stepped in to fill.
Contractor and remodeling specialist William E. Hull, calling himself one who is open to ideas, will seek the Republican nomination to face Anthony A. Cooper, a Democratic town councilman, in November.
Mr. Hull, 56, moved to Madrid in 2010 after living in Norwood for eight years. He is from the Albany area.
I am a visionary, one who is looking forward to see what can be, Mr. Hull said.
My family and I love being here in Madrid and have invested a great deal in the town. We have a vision of rehabbing the run-down places and fixing up the face of our town.
Mr. Hull emphasizes community involvement in helping the Town Council do its job.
There are many good ideas floating around that will add value to the quality of life for us and for the generations that will follow us, he said.
We have a rich history here in Madrid. Times have changed, and we must look forward to see what we can develop for long-term sustainability. We have a number of rich resources like the Grasse River, farmlands, a park, but most of all, great people who are not afraid of hard work and change.
Outgoing Supervisor Joseph A. Finnegan has, Mr. Hull said, done a fine job of leading us through some difficult times. I hope to build upon the great heritage that has been passed down through the years. When I am done serving as supervisor, I hope Madrid is a better place to live in because I was part of the plan.
Mr. Finnegan, a Republican and a former town councilman, has served as supervisor for most of one term and is not seeking re-election in November.
Mr. Hull said he is confident that the town has the capacity for economic development, and he is counting on its residents to play a role in helping to generate growth.
I believe that there is much ahead for us in developing of what we have and drawing in new business, Mr. Hull said.
There is much land around us that is sitting dormant, and I believe we have ideas and things not yet even thought of that will benefit all involved, he said.
The established success of the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum and the Madrid Bluegrass River Festival proves that Madrid has plenty of tourism potential, Mr. Hull said, so more suggestions are welcome.
There are a number of tourism ideas that are being developed and some still in the hearts of folks, he said.
Mr. Hull and his wife, Nancy, have four children, Lynita, Mark, Ben and Ana.
Mr. Cooper, 50, a two-term councilman, is a high school science teacher at Lisbon Central School. He said he feels ready to take his commitment to town service to the next level.
I have been a town councilman for the last eight years and feel that I can bring that experience to the supervisors position and continue the policies of fiscal accountability while providing services to the citizens of the town of Madrid, Mr. Cooper said.
He pointed to several achievements for the town that took place while he has been a councilman.
During my time on the board, a new wastewater treatment plant has been put into operation, a new code book for town planning was adopted and strong fiscal management was put into place, Mr. Cooper said.
If he is elected supervisor, Mr. Cooper said, he already knows what the Town Councils goals should be.
As elected officials, it is vitally important that we continue to control excessive tax increases, plan for consistent repair and upkeep of current infrastructure within the township and continue to grow the towns economy, he said.
I believe we need to continue to explore new opportunities for small-business growth while working with the agricultural community in our town to facilitate positive growth, Mr. Cooper said.
The towns centerpiece, the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum, is among the important tourist attractions, he said.
We need to do more to promote the museums that are housed in our community and explore ways to increase their viability in the tourism industry of St. Lawrence County, Mr. Cooper said.
A native of Star Lake, Mr. Cooper moved to Madrid 19 years ago. He lives in the town with his wife, Kerrie.