Watertown daily times walczyk announces assembly run with focus on north country jobs gas efficient suv 2015


“I am running because I think the people of the north country deserve a better option,” Mr. Walczyk said before a gathering of Republican and Conservative officials and supporters. “They deserve somebody who is going to be a watchdog for them in Albany. They deserve someone who is ready to be accountable and be that accountability watchdog.”

He said the cycle of watching the young people in the area leave after college to find jobs in other states needs to change. On the back end of that, when the parents of those children reach retirement age, they are finding it too expensive to reside in the state and they relocate to where their families have gone.

“So that is something that I am really going to focus on,” Mr. Walczyk said. “Not only do I want this to be a great place to live, work and raise a family, but also to retire and have a sustainable economic development plan for the north country.”

“Canton has a relatively low tax rate, believe it or not, but there is not that much property to assess that is on the rolls here in Canton,” he said. “That, coupled with flat CHIPS (Comprehensive Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funds) and flat state aid, equals increased taxes over time.”

He said each time someone in St. Lawrence County puts gas in their car, those taxes are supposed to go to the state Dedicated Highway, Bridge and Trust Fund, which would maintain the county’s roads and bridges, “but each year, Albany sweeps those into the general fund and pays for social programs in New York City with them.”

“The current job that I’ve had is Watertown city councilman and when the governor comes and gives you $10 million, you raise your fist in the air and you shout, ‘Hurray!’ and you advocate for your city and you spend that money the best that you can, but it doesn’t mean that I agree with the program overall,” Mr. Walczyk said. “I think to pit Massena against Plattsburgh against Ogdensburg against Potsdam doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

“I think the crony capitalism system needs to end and I don’t think that is the solution for economic development in the north country,” he said. “I think you need to address each project based on its merits. I would also like to see more tax dollars just stay locally in the community.”

“There is no question that I’m going to have some work to do, both in a lot of parts of Jefferson County and especially here in St. Lawrence County, getting to know people,” Mr. Walczyk said. “But that is one of my favorite parts of the job and getting that face-to-face in retail politics doesn’t just make for a good campaign, but it also makes for a good representative . . . And if elected, I am not going to stop showing up to your town and to your coffee shop and being a member of your community.”

Thomas L. Jenison, chairman of the county’s Republican Committee, and Henry ‘Hank’ Ford, the county Conservative Party chairman, stood behind Mr. Walczyk with Sheriff Kevin M. Wells, County Clerk Mary Lou Rupp and others who held signs with the words “Watchdog Walczyk for Assembly” and a logo that includes a dog in a crest.

“We know that St. Lawrence County is very important for your race,” Mr. Jenison said. “St. Lawrence County obviously has a few more Democrats than we have Republicans, so you will need to work hard and I know you will work hard and I look forward to working with you over the next five months.”

“He reminds me a lot of my great friend John O’Neill. There’s no such word in his vocabulary, ‘I can’t do it,’” Mr. Ford said. “So I know for a fact that he is going to do a great job. We are all going to have to work hard, of course. Addie has been there for a long time and maybe it is the right year for a change. We’ll see.”

In a statement prior to Mr. Walczyk’s announcement, Ms. Jenne said, “I usually have an opponent, and this year is no different. I look forward to talking to the voters about what I’ve accomplished, what I’m looking to do in the future and asking for their support.”