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The Times
  • ELECTION Q&A: 118th Assembly District race — Butler vs. Chilelli

  • Incumbent Assemblyman Marc Butler, R - Newport, will face off against Democrat Joseph Chilelli for the new 118th state Assembly seat Tuesday.

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  • Incumbent Assemblyman Marc Butler, R - Newport, will face off against Democrat Joseph Chilelli for the new 118th state Assembly seat Tuesday.
    Here are their responses to questions regarding the new district and what their plans are if elected.
    If elected, what is the first piece of legislation you would introduce?
    Butler: The first piece of legislation I would like to introduce or act on — however it comes — is mandate relief for our counties, our schools and our communities. That needs to be a priority. In some of our communities, in our schools, they’re in no way going to be able to meet the tax cap.
    Chilelli: The first piece of legislation that I’d like to move forward is the right for public referendum. That has a lot to do with what is happening on the Herkimer County jail. When elected officials are spending public money — I’m talking multimillion dollar projects — residents should have a say in it.
    What will be your top three priorities if elected?
    Chilelli: Going around the district and talking with many citizens the top priority is by far the issue of jobs. I have always said government does not create jobs, but creates the conditions for allowing entrepreneurs and business people to want to come and invest in New York state. It is my intention to create the conditions and make our state more attractive to businesses. You do that by removing a lot of the regulations, restrictions and reducing taxes that keep businesses away.
    At the same time I believe we must do a much better job of promoting and marketing our region. This starts with a comprehensive plan that each town and village board will put together by articulating the positives each community has to offer, at which point it will become a regional plan. In other words, this all starts with town hall meetings by each town and village board asking its citizens, “Where do we want to be five, 10, 15 years from now?”
    As part of the marketing campaign we must also look to oversees companies. As a real estate agent I can tell you Central New York has some of the lowest real estate prices in the country and there are many companies oversees who would like to break into the U.S. market. The perfect example is the two Greek yogurt plants that were recently built in Fulton and Chenango counties, each employing over 400 people and utilizing a product that we have an abundance of — milk.
    As Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to push for more power generation from upstate, for what energy sources will you advocate?
    Butler: I have an open mind about hydrofracking, I’m listening. I tend to want to rely on science. I want to see what the Department of Environmental Conservation says. I’m not convinced about wind and solar — they may very well be future sources of energy — but it’s my understanding to make them work financially, it requires a tremendous amount of federal and state subsidies.
    Page 2 of 2 - Chilelli: We need to look at all of them. One thing I believe we need to do more of is small wind turbines. Many farms could use a small wind turbine. We’re always talking about large turbines, but I’m thinking about more on the smaller scale would be much more beneficial. As for hydrofracking, the state should not allow it. You cannot do anything that would jeopardize your water supply.
    What industries will you advocate for in your district to promote job growth?
    Butler: Obviously, I will continue to advocate vigorously for Remington Arms in Ilion. I think they need to be protected. On a more broad level, GlobalFoundaries and nanotechnology; we have a vision of bringing that success our way.
    Chilelli: I believe we’re not doing enough to market the area. I’ll be advocating local and regional plans to market what we have to offer. The first thing is to push this area. The second thing is, I believe in agriculture, which is our base. They don’t get a fair share for their product. The other part of this is the unique niche market, like garlic, or we could offer hops for the beer making region.
    Contributing: GateHouse News Service

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