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Interview: Robert Ryan for Rosendale town council

A lifelong resident of Rosendale, Robert Ryan, age 52, is seeking election as town councilman on the Republican slate. The Tillson retiree’s extended family has called Rosendale home for over a century.

Retired from Coast Guard after 32 years, plus 13 years employment for New York State as a Level I plant utilities engineer, is the experience Ryan brings to this election race. He has never served public office before.

Working with a very restricted budget in the Coast Guard, he said, “I know what it means to set priorities when it comes to money.” Looking at local politics on the state and local level, he lamented, “I see how money us irresponsibly being spent. Seeing what’s going on in our own town, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.”

Ryan believes Rosendale has faltered under Democratic control. “To sum it up,” Ryan said, “we’re not moving forward at all, we’re just on a stationary bicycle. We have a number of town board members and our supervisor who always have their own personal agenda.”

He cited as an example failing infrastructure around town — problems which began manifesting themselves during the Rt. 32 bridge repairs several years ago. “We could have had a lot of this corrected,” Ryan indicated.

Detours around James Street were avoided to placate neighbors of a town board member, Rytan suggested, exacerbating and delaying road work. “You don’t pick and choose, you do it,” Ryan insisted. “Sometimes to get things, you have to give things.”

Regarding more recent foibles, Ryan discussed Joppenberg. “I can’t understand buying Joppenburgh Mountain, except for friends who have businesses on Main Street — they wanted additional parking.” Criticizing the opposition, he said “Their agenda is strictly personal, it’s what they want — and not what the community wants.”

Williams Lake is a perfect example, Ryan offered. “I can guarantee you [Democrats] have not been for it, they’ve been campaigning with Save the Lakes people. We need something concrete that will generate additional revenue. We have yeses and no on things we can do to create money,.”

Ryan pointed out disparities between certain projects, such as Creek Locks Commons. Democrats advocated for a low-income RUPCO development, but balk and stalled against a luxury hotel at Williams Lake. “There’s a lot of contradictions here,” he said. Additionally, “Parking and traffic wasn’t [raised as] an issue, in a very restricted area,” for Rosendale Theater Collective.

Concerning his party’s fusion ticket led by Jeanne Walsh, a registered Democrat, Ryan remarked, “It doesn’t matter what political party you’re affiliated with, I’m making judgment calls on who I feel would be on sync with the rest of the community, and help out taxpayers through these trying economic times.”

He said of the opposition’s leadership, “We already have a taste of what [ Dep. Sup. Jen Metzger] would be like, because she’s basically the supervisor right now.”

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