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Penfield Post
  • Meet the candidates for Penfield Town Board

  • In this year's election, there are two open seats on the Town Board and four candidates running. Seats for town supervisor and town justice are also up for reelection, and both candidates (Tony LaFountain and John Lomenzo, respectively) are running unopposed.



    Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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  • In this year's election, there are two open seats on the Town Board and four candidates running. Seats for town supervisor and town justice are also up for reelection, and both candidates (Tony LaFountain and John Lomenzo, respectively) are running unopposed.
    Rob Quinn
    AGE 31
    OCCUPATION Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Jim Alesi
    HOMETOWN Penfield
    FAMILY Wife, Michelle, children, Mae, 3, and Robert, 8 months
    ENDORSEMENTS Republican, Conservative and Independence
    What is your definition of a public servant, or your philosophy of public service?
    As an elected public servant in Penfield, I know and understand the serious responsibility you have given me. That is why it is important for me to be available to you. I have never considered my role as councilman as part-time, and I never will. I have dedicated myself to meet as many residents as possible, either through daily interactions as your councilman, one-on-one meetings with residents, or going door-to-door in neighborhoods throughout Penfield. I want residents to know I am easily approachable and accessible if they have questions or concerns.
    What specific experience, either professional or personal, do you have that would uniquely inform you as you tackled the duties of the elective office you are seeking?
    I have had the tremendous experience of serving as your town councilman. I have been chairman of the Public Safety Committee and Community Television Advisory Board, liaison to various business associations, community groups and service organizations, and have met thousands of residents in dozens of neighborhoods in Penfield. My experience as a medic and driver with Penfield Volunteer Ambulance also has prepared me well for the challenges of serving on the Town Board. I have more than 10 years of experience interacting with state and county agencies, elected officials and local organizations to assist constituents with questions or concerns.
    What do you think is the single biggest issue facing Penfield in the next two to four years?
    The single biggest issue facing Penfield taxpayers in the next two-to-four years is no different than the single biggest issue facing Penfield taxpayers this year and every year: keeping the cost of town government spending under control and our taxes down while providing taxpayers the best possible programs and services. As councilman, I was proud to vote for the 2011 town budget that kept our tax rate flat. This year, the supervisor’s proposed budget is 2.3 percent less than last year’s budget, reaffirming our resolve to reduce government spending, and reinforcing my commitment to lean and responsive government, productive town employees and innovation.
    Linda Kohl
    Page 2 of 4 - AGE 53
    OCCUPATION Town council member, homemaker, community volunteer
    HOMETOWN Penfield
    FAMILY Husband Ken, daughters Kristina, 19, and Rebecca, 17
    ENDORSEMENTS Republican, Conservative, Independence
     
    What is your definition of a public servant, or your philosophy of public service?
    My definition of a public servant is someone who holds a government position by election or appointment, and uses that position for the purpose of bettering the community, and helping others with specific needs or wants. My responsibility as a Town Council member is to work with the supervisor and other town council members to enact legislation that best serves the need of the overall town. My philosophy of public service is to find opportunities to become engaged in the community through town and community projects.
    What specific experience, either professional or personal, do you have that would uniquely inform you as you tackled the duties of the elective office you are seeking?
    As a lifelong Penfield resident, and longest serving member of the Penfield Town Council, my involvement and service to the community allows me to be uniquely informed of Penfield’s needs. I volunteer at charitable events that support our service organizations, including Penfield Rotary, Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis and Shepherd Home. I promote and attend our volunteer community groups, such as Penfield Symphony Orchestra and Penfield Players, and am a member of the Penfield Business Association. I graduated from Penfield High School and I raised my family in Penfield. I promote government and community activities in the town through the use of Facebook and Twitter and am also town liaison to the school board.
     
    What do you think is the single biggest issue facing Penfield in the next two to four years?
    The town of Penfield government has, and continues to be, sensitive to the costs to taxpayers. The single biggest issue to Penfield is maintaining a flat or low tax rate increase in the town budget while continuing to provide the necessary services Penfield requires, and the ability to meet state and county mandates. It will be a significant challenge to maintain the quality of life we now enjoy, without increased taxation. 
    Kellene Paul
    AGE 48
    OCCUPATION Teacher with the RCSD and a Site Coordinator for the Excel After-School Tutoring Program
    HOMETOWN Born and raised in Rochester, moved to Penfield eight years ago
    FAMILY Single parent with sons William, 17, Jordan, 12, and Kenneth, 29, and one granddaughter, Olivia
    ENDORSEMENTS Democratic and Working Families
    What is your definition of a public servant, or your philosophy of public service?
    Page 3 of 4 - A public servant is a compassionate, attentive team player who represents ALL residents of her town without prejudice. She makes sure that their concerns are heard and their rights are respected when decisions are made on their behalf. She mediates with diplomacy, but knows that compromise and unpopular decisions are sometimes needed. A public servant also believes in total disclosure; citizens have the right to ask questions and view all documents connected to public concerns; in a timely fashion and without additional cost to taxpayers.
    What specific experience, either professional or personal, do you have that would uniquely inform you as you tackled the duties of the elective office you are seeking?
    I was raised in a family that believed public service was a privilege and a duty. My mother, Beatrice Paul-Harris, was one of the first African-American female presidents of a public school board. My late-grandma, Patricia Roberts-Harris, was the first African-American woman to work in the White House who was not a slave or maid; Ambassador to Luxembourg and executive director of HUD under Presidents Johnson and Carter, respectively. I am a certified mediator with years of experience on policy and decision-making committees. I believe all issues can be negotiated and resolved in a positive and peaceful manner, with everyone leaving the table feeling successful.
    What do you think is the single biggest issue facing Penfield in the next two to four years?
    I believe the biggest issue facing Penfield over the next few years will continue to be the inaccurate property reassessments and how they give a false understanding of the flat-rate property tax. However, the biggest travesty is with our elderly citizens who are trying to down-size and our young families buying homes for the first time. Though the current board has settled many of these, only those who can afford to fight this injustice via costly lawyer retainers and fees will ever get that opportunity.  
    Tom Trevett
    AGE 69
    OCCUPATION Attorney
    HOMETOWN Rochester
    FAMILY Wife Margaret, children Monica, 42, Millicent Trevett Bleck MD, 41, Thomas Jr. MD, 39
    ENDORSEMENTS Democratic and Working Families
    What is your definition of a public servant, or your philosophy of public service?
    My definition of a public servant is one who volunteers his/her service for the common good, being open, honest and responsive to the citizens of your community. Being a public servant does not mean making public service your career, expecting to collect a pension and health benefits for the rest of your life on the backs of your neighbors. It means giving your time to your community for a short period of years, not having to raise money to fund your next campaign while trying to govern, and passing on a better government to the next volunteer.   
    Page 4 of 4 - What specific experience, either professional or personal, do you have that would uniquely inform you as you tackled the duties of the elective office you are seeking?
    I have practiced law for the past 45 years, and it is incumbent upon an attorney to serve his client to the best of his ability and to negotiate with adversaries to obtain the best solution possible. I have served as a town attorney and on various advisory civic committees. I have been active in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as former chair of the Rochester chapter and McQuaid Jesuit High School Board of Trustees. These varied activities have given me the necessary experience to serve on the Penfield Town Board, to deal with the tremendous challenges facing town governments in this economy.
    What do you think is the single biggest issue facing Penfield in the next two to four years?
    The single biggest issue facing Penfield in the next two to four years has to do with how Penfield can provide its citizens with the necessary services without increasing your tax bill. This means we must have an equitable assessment policy. Adopt a plan that is fair to all taxpayers not just those who can afford to take the town to court. Currently, 95 percent of sales have been for much less than the assessed value. Then we should trim the size of government so that it is adequate to meet the needs of Penfield, not oversized to maintain needs outside of our community. Require a candidate to sign a pledge to serve the whole term he/she was elected for and to stop the revolving door practice common to Penfield. And lastly, all board members should be responsive to resident complaints, not just the supervisor.  
     
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