Names of candidates appear in alphabetical order.
County Legislature, Durham
Name: Patricia Handel
Family: Children, Robert, 30; Nikole, 28; Austin, 25
Place of residence: Cornwallville
How long you’ve lived in the county: 36 years
Occupation: Co-owner, Blackthorne Resort
Are you an incumbent: Yes
Party lines on ballot: Republican, Conservative
Previous elected office: County Legislator, 2011-2015
What do you think is the top issue facing the county? What would you do to address this issue if elected?
There are currently several major issues facing our community. We are experiencing high numbers of drug overdoses and usage. There are programs out there that are working on getting people the help they need, but we need to try and reach the people who are not asking for it. I do think the county is moving in the right direction with this, but obviously more needs to be done. We will never be able to completely eradicate this issue, but cutting down on it is a good start.
We are heading toward a crisis with our lack of ambulance service and it is now being compounded by so many hospitals being on diversion.
Lack of broadband and cell service in some of our rural areas is another issue. This should be available to every constituent in Greene County. We have made great strides in mapping out the underserved areas and I do believe that we are very close to seeing this come to fruition.
Why do you think you will be a good legislator? What are you most proud of accomplishing if you hold office?
I not only have eight years cumulative experience as a legislator, but as a business owner, I certainly understand how to balance a budget, how to make hard decisions even if it’s not the popular choice. I am not afraid to stand up for my constituents and what I feel is right.
Collectively as a board, I am proud that for the third year in a row, there has been no increase in the tax levy. Greene County is in the best financial condition that it has ever been in due to our fiscally conservative budgets. If I remain in my legislative position, I will continue to make sure that we balance our budget while making sure our community has the essential services they need and deserve.
County Legislature, Durham
Name: Brenna Rustick
Place of residence: Durham
How long you’ve lived in the county: 20 years
Are you an incumbent: No
Party line on ballot: Democratic
Previous elected offices: None
College: The College of Saint Rose, Albany
What do you think is the top issue facing your community? What would you do to address this issue if elected?
I think one of the issues we have that affects everyone in the county is the lack of transparency and communication with members of our government. We shouldn’t have to try so hard to be able to connect with our representatives. We should know what’s going on within our government. If elected, I will make sure I am present in the community that elected me. I’ll go to board meetings and community events, making sure to be approachable and listening to my constituents.
Why do you think you will be a good legislator? If you are a newcomer, what are you looking forward to accomplishing if elected?
As county legislator, I will make sure to attend all legislative meetings, and vote for the benefit of Durham and Greene County. I will make sure to listen to my constituents regardless of political party, and will work with those across the aisle to make sure Durham and Greene County is the best it can be.