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Hirschey challenges Astafan for Jefferson County District 6 seat

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Political neophyte Jonathan L. Hirschey is challenging Michael F. Astafan for the Jefferson County Board of Legislature District 6 seat.

Mr. Hirschey said he is seeking election board because “I think I have the skills and experience to be an asset to the board.”

He believes the residents should be able to “depend on a fiscally responsible county government that is accountable to the people.”

If elected he said he would strive to ensure that belief.

“Our government needs to support solid economic growth that is consistent with community vision, as well as minimize unnecessary spending and waste,” the challenger said. “The cornerstone of my campaign is a hands-on approach: Going door to door to meet people and to hear their concerns and ideas on how we can improve our situation.”

Through his extensive involvement with municipalities, Mr. Astafan said he has a working knowledge of payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements, the county’s Department of Public Works, water and sewer departments and zoning and planning boards. In addition, he has had experience managing department heads.

Mr. Astafan said one of his greatest accomplishments as a legislator has been to aid in keeping the shuttle bus operating in the Carthage area. He learned the Wilna Champion Transportation Association was in danger of losing funding due to a lack of insurance. He worked with fellow Legislator John Peck and town of Champion Supervisor Terry L. Buckley to remedy the situation.

He said he helped to save town of Wilna taxpayers money by working with the town and county to reduce tipping fees for the demolition projects in Munns Corners and Natural Bridge.

When the bridge replacement project on Selos Road had a funding shortage, the legislator said he helped to find funding to finish the project.

On the county level, Mr. Astafan said, “I listened to my people in District 6 about the Safe Act. They were against it so I voted to repeal it,” when the Legislature passed a resolution urging its repeal by the state Legislature. He also supported the county’s local legislation concerning the street drug bath salts.

If re-elected, Mr. Astafan said he would like to see the county aid local first responders in the purchase of new radio equipment when the proposed change in radio frequencies for emergency agencies goes into affect. He also plans to “continue as a bridge between the district and county, expressing the needs of the constituents from District 6.”

In addition he hopes to “continue the ongoing discussion with county government to assist our district with spending bed tax funds to advertise our section the county to outside communities for snowmobiling, four-wheeling, fishing and cross-country skiing.”

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