Bruno Schickel

 

Bruno Schickel is running on the Republican party line for Town of Dryden supervisor. Owner of Schickel Construction Co., Inc., Schickel is a lifelong resident of Dryden.

-What important issues is the town facing, and what would you do about them?

-Let's start with the gas drilling ban: Dryden did not need to be the test case. By being the test case they put themselves in the position of the taxpayers having to pick up a legal bill of $150- 250,000, and it was simply not necessary for the town to do this.

I think it's a very reasonable response to say we need to go very slowly and incrementally. That's an appropriate response to what we're hearing from other areas. I think Cuomo and Paterson before him have been doing that. I have my concerns about fracking but I think there's a balance that has to be struck.

-Do you have a gas lease?

-No. They approached me but I didn't sign.

I haven't read every inch of the (DEC) reports but I have reviewed them. It seems to me there has been a very significant change in attitude and approach since the moratorium was put in place. Now the gas companies are starting to push back and say the State is too tough, and I think that's a good sign that the State and the DEC are having tough regulations.

It appears that the regulations are being tough. The next step is they have to get their regulatory personnel and procedures to be just as tough. You can have the best regulations in the world but if you're not in a position to enforce them they're meaningless.

The incremental part of (natural gas development) is important. One of the biggest mistakes Pennsylvania has made is the speed at which things have happened. If New York goes slowly the state has more power to mitigate and soften the negative impacts. All the impacts are not going to be negative, but the velocity at which this stuff happens has a lot to do with keeping these things in balance.

There is direct economic benefit from natural gas development happening in Dryden right now; Cornelius and Whitmore Fence are benefiting.

There's a 21 percent poverty rate in Tompkins County. This area has a lot of people doing fine, but almost 25 percent of the population is not doing so well. We should not be turning away from something that has the potential to be an economic help.

-According to Henry Kramer, several of the Dryden Republicans went to Binghamton two weeks before the suit against Dryden's zoning amendment was filed, for an invitation-only meeting with gas company executives. Rumor has it that they invited the suit in order to affect the election. Did you go to the meeting?

-No. I haven't been involved with anything like that.

About the budget, the bottom line is the town has a big problem. I don't want to overstate things. If you look at the town's assets, they've dropped. If you take what they have projected for 2011 they're going to be deficit spending. The trend is very concerning.

They've been financing a significant increase in their spending by raiding the savings account; this just isn't sustainable. 41 percent of the unexpended fund balance has been applied to total town appropriations. I'm not suggesting anybody's done something wrong or that there's anything untoward going on, except for failing to see the obvious.

Dryden has a long history with both the Republicans and the Democrats of extremely prudent, careful saving for the rainy day. For example, they built the new town hall and paid for it with cash. When this administration came in they had a fund balance of $5.5 million. They've been acting like they've got money to burn and they've been spending it. That's a significant reversal of past administrations' pattern.

If I'm elected I can tell you one thing: I will not break that tax cap. We have got to live within our means, end of story. Revenues can be increased by doing what we can to develop our economy. This idea we should keep going back to the taxpayers and asking them to keep funding us is not good.

 

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