Describe your background. What makes you uniquely qualified for this position?
My name is Joseph Betro and I am running for Chester Town Council. I am a third-generation resident on both sides of my family. My wife, Jeannine, my five children, and I have been residents since 2017.
For the past ten years I have worked in the private sector as an assistant general manager in my family’s restaurant, Delancey’s, located in Goshen. At the restaurant, I oversee the procurement of goods and services form outside vendors as well as weekly and monthly budgeting for the business. I believe these skills will make me a valuable asset to the town board.
In the last two years I have spent my time free time in the community coaching Chester youth basketball, baseball and soccer. I currently sit on the board for the Chester Soccer Club as the director of operations.
Why did you decide to run for town board?
The reason I have decided to run for office is that I have been witness to our children’s needs constantly taking a back seat in our town policies. My time coaching has given me a front-row seat to the poor conditions of our fields in our town parks. I saw the lack of preparation that took place in trying to put together a rec basketball league last minute. I again saw this lack of preparation when the town decided to try to attempt summer camp last minute, beginning to organize in March.
I saw the lack of care for parents and children of this town when the decision was made not to hold summer camp because they didn’t receive enough interest. This was due to many parents having little to no faith in many of the decisions made to change the summer camp from what it use to be.
The most important reason I am running though is because I care about Chester. This town means a lot to me; my grandparents moved here from New York City and opened businesses in this town. My parents grew up and attended school here. This is my home, and I want to help it continue to be the great town that I had the privilege of growing up in.
If elected, would you keep the town going the same direction or change course, and why?
If elected, I would like to help to change some of the issues of town hall. I think the biggest issue is a lack of planning and execution in some of the projects the town has taken on.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process?
I would also like to get more of our residents involved in the decision-making process. Currently there is no back-and-forth discussion between residents and the town board at town meetings. When a resident comes to speak at a meeting, they are told thank you and asked to sit down.
I feel that if our citizens have taken time out of their day to attend a town meeting and present an issue, they also have a right to hear an answer from the town board on potential solutions. The more we open up discussion, the more we can engage residents.