The Chronicle asked each candidate these questions:
1. Personal information. I.E. job, community service, some people include their families, etc.
2. Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you?
3. What is the most critical issue before the town or village and what can be done about it?
Here are their responses:
Goshen Town Board (two seats)
Douglas Bloomfield, Republican, Conservative, Goshen’s Best
I grew up in Goshen and graduated from Goshen High School. I went on to college and earned a degree in science. I served our Nation as a commissioned officer in the Army Corp of Engineers and as a company commander in Vietnam during the war. I went on to work for DuPont Chemical Company and held many managerial and technical positions. I am currently completing my sixteenth year as Goshen Town Supervisor and have decided to retire from full-time employment to continue serving citizens as a Town Councilman.
I am running for office for two main reasons: First, under my leadership as Supervisor, I have been a taxpayer advocate. I have facilitated implementation of financial objectives, strategies and plans. The result has been lower Town taxes eight of the last nine years. My goal as Councilman is to assist and ensure this performance continues.
The build out of the Town of Goshen is a critical issue to me. Farm land is being sold and leased and dozens of project applications are being pursued. The Town “Land Use Boards” and “Town Board” must evaluate and approve projects that meet “Zoning and Code” requirements and that are in the best interest of our Town going forward.
George M. Lyons, Republican, Conservative, Goshen’s Best
For 45+ years, I’ve called Goshen “home.” After graduating from Manhattan College, I began my teaching career. Thereafter, I earned two Master’s Degrees from Columbia University. I am the proud Dad of Jen and Sarah, and Grandpa to RJ and Cate. Being retired, I can work full-time as a councilman. I am also a volunteer EMT and current President of GOVAC.
I am running for office because I have a passion and responsibility to preserve Goshen as a great place to live. My government service has included positions of: Mayor, Deputy Supervisor, Trustee and Councilman. I hope that my “know-how,” my service ethic, my leadership and my availability to all, make me worthy of your votes.
The most critical issue before our town is to assure the quality of life for our residents and to support local business. Smart growth with appropriate zoning is essential. I will continue to require 50% open space for all new residential and industrial development. We’ve been controlling taxes for the past 10 years, keeping the town not only affordable, but one of the “15 Best Small Towns” (Smithsonian magazine). I will be vigilant in keeping operation costs and debt service low. I will work to control taxes through paying cash as we go, and seeking grants, efficiencies and precise financial management.
Ken Tschan, Democrat, Goshen Matters
Personal information: Orange County native; Goshen resident since 1995. Education: SUNY Cortland (BA) - Regent University (MA, MFA).
Experience: Community Education Coordinator (Desmond Campus); 10 years Recreation Leader/Supervisor (NYS Dept. of Corrections); 27 years Teaching-Artist. Goshen Lions Club (Charter Member/President). Knights of Columbus St. John’s. Cornerstone Theatre Arts (Founder/Director)
I believe we need to listen to our dedicated workers in Parks & Recreation, DPW, Town Hall, Public Safety, and throughout government services and hear what it is they need to best do their jobs. To assume that a part-time elected official knows best what a skilled and an experienced employee needs to succeed is misguided thinking. The best way to work for Goshen is to work with Goshen. And so, I ask for your vote.
Lack of transparency and open communication in town government. Without giving the citizens an open forum, a constant flow of information and a source for the public to be heard—all the other issues get thwarted. Shutting the people out of the process invites frustration, which leads to apathy, and that is a dangerous thing. Inclusion/teamwork/collaboration—these are not just words to me—they are the key ingredients to the way I work. Thanks.
Jeremy Zweig, Democrat, Goshen Matters
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in communications and municipal studies, I’ve had a 25-year career as a strategic communications executive, and now run a small firm in Goshen. I’m passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and am Vice President of the Board of Beautiful People, which runs adaptive sports leagues for kids in Orange County.
Goshen residents are asking for a role in what’s next for our town, and I’m deeply committed to a new level of engagement, transparency, and responsiveness. I’ve laid out a comprehensive plan at jeremyforgoshen.com to reform Goshen’s Board, make it more open, more humble, and put control back in the hands of our community.
Our area is changing, and with new industrial and warehouse sites, not always for the better. However, I see the great opportunity Goshen has in front of us to control our own destiny. Our Town government has lost touch with the people it serves, but our amazing community of hard workers, innovative thinkers and enthusiastic volunteers can guide the way. We will invest in our parks, pursue smart development, limit runaway Board pay and engage all of our citizens to help shape our future together.