What's going on in Germantown?

Register-Star article re: Joel Craig to run for Town Supervisor

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:30 am
By John Mason Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
GERMANTOWN — Germantown Deputy Supervisor Joel Craig, a Republican, announced Tuesday that he will be a candidate for town supervisor this fall. Current Supervisor Roy Brown, also a Republican, announced in January that he would not seek re-election. Brown has held the top spot since 2006.
Craig said he will be seeking the endorsement of the Republican voters at their spring caucus. His relationship with his party has been shaky: He ran for the board without their endorsement in 2010.
“Basically, they really didn’t want me to be cross-endorsed,” he said. “They wanted me to turn down the Democratic endorsement.”
Since the Democrats had endorsed him in the previous election, he felt turning them down now would be going back on his word, so he turned down the Republicans. This year, he hopes to get the backing of both parties; he said he looks forward to representing all the voters of Germantown.
Republican Committee Chairman George Sharpe Sr. said the committee members, Sharpe, David Crawford, Bruce Bohnsack and Joseph Phelan, have been meeting with Craig.
“We are pleased we have a strong candidate for the position of town supervisor,” the members stated in a press release. “Joel Craig has dedicated 20 years of service to the residents of Germantown and is experienced in almost every aspect of Germantown’s government.
“As is the policy of the Germantown Republican Party, the committee is in the process of scheduling a town-wide Republican caucus to be held in late spring. Our focus will continue to be the party’s open caucus process, which provides our Republican voters opportunities to choose from a viable list of candidates who want to serve all Germantown residents. Additionally, those Republicans who attend the nominating part of our caucus will also be able to nominate others who come forward to serve.”
The Germantown Democratic Committee also welcomed Craig’s decision.
“He will be the recommended candidate put before Germantown Democrats at their caucus for the official nomination as town supervisor in this fall’s election, Town Chair Kay Abraham said. “We couldn’t be happier that he has decided to run. It’s good news for Germantown. He has run successfully twice for Town Board on the Democratic line, and we are welcoming him again.”
“I initially wasn’t going to run,” Craig said. “But when I saw Roy (Brown) and (Councilwoman) Joan (Snyder) leaving, that’s lots of experience. I didn’t see anyone else running. I pulled some people together and we said, ‘We think we can make this work’; people I respect, who have been involved quite a while.”
Craig has served on the Town Board since 2008. During his tenure, he has also chaired the Rezoning Committee and served as Police Commissioner.
In a press release announcing his decision, Craig stated, “I want to use my years of experience to serve our wonderful community and to encourage the spirit of volunteerism that I found when I first moved here. We have such a diverse and talented group of residents who appreciate the small town ambiance that is Germantown. Working together we can continue to improve the quality of life for all our residents.”
Craig stated that he’s looking forward to continuing the many projects and initiatives that the Town Board currently has under way as well as looking at new ways to reshape and redefine town government.
“In this difficult economic climate we must look at everything we do and decide what needs to be continued, what needs to be changed and what needs to be discontinued,” he stated in the press release. “We need to be innovative and to explore better and more cost-effective ways to provide services to our residents.”
Specifically, he told the Register-Star he sees the most important issues in Germantown as:
* “The ongoing sidewalk project that never seems to end. Were hoping to get it started this year; if not, we’ll carry that forward.”
* An upgrade of the sewer system.
* Economic development: “Committees have been working hard, to brand Germantown and make it a neat destination to live in or visit.” Main Street, which was an eyesore a couple years ago with empty storefronts, but has come back with new businesses, is the main focus, but Palatine Park Road and Route 9G are also avenues for expansion.
* Recreational facilities: “I’d like to see more centralized planning on how we’re going to use them,” Craig said. The waterfront can also be developed, he added.
Craig was promoted to deputy supervisor in January after Austin Sullivan resigned.
Prior to joining the Town Board, Craig was a member of the Planning Board from 1993 to 2007, serving as chairman starting in 1996.

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