HASTINGS – Now on to the town of Hastings and the race there for supervisor. Incumbent Republican Tony Bush is running against Mike Clark. Unfortunately, Clark could not be contacted for comment.
The following are the thoughts and views of Tony Bush.
Bush has been elected Hasting’s supervisor four times over the last eight years. This would be his fifth term.
On his accomplishments, he said, “We’ve developed the Lighthouse Park. We’ve been able to put a pavilion in there, picnic tables, docks for boating. At Wilson Road Park we’ve been able to work with the Girl Scouts. We’ve extended our parking lot there, because the parking was needed. We’ve worked with Pop Warner. Right now, we’re in the process of bringing in a community center at Wilson Road Park.
“My goal is, I believe the gateway to a town is through parks. So, I’ve been trying to invest what money we can into the parks, because you know how people love parks. And we just got a trail through the woods at Wilson Road going to Barker Road Park where we put a pavilion up. Now we have a 1.4 mile trail going from Wilson to Barker and back. So, it’ll be a nice cross-country trail. It’ll be good for cross-country skiing and it’s a nice trail to come and walk, a nature walk. It’s beautiful going through there.
“And just in the last six months,” he noted, “we finished a $20 million water project in our town.
“Bringing the water in, Dollar General has already committed and is almost built down in the north end of Hastings. That shows people by bringing water in, you will start getting people coming down, and we can start growing. In the last three years, the amount of people who are building houses in our town has been amazing. We’ve had a lot of growth with new homes. We’re heading in the right direction. We’re always striving to do better things in the town. That’s our main goal, and I think that should be everybody’s goal.
“We need more restaurants,” he said. “We need commercial restaurants, and the problem is, from what I understand, is we just don’t have the population. Aldi’s says we’re very, very close. We’ve got close to 10,000 people in town. That’s one thing I need to work on, and I have been working on, if we can get a major store like a Wegmans, Price Chopper, or something like that out here, people are really, really, striving for that. We have Walmart in Central Square. We’ve got Taco Bell. We’ve got Burger King. We’ve got McDonald’s. We’ve got Jreck Subs. But we don’t have any major chain restaurants. If there’s something I’m working on the hardest right now, Aldi’s, when I talked to a gentleman from Aldi’s, he said Tony, you’re very close. When we talked to Wegmans, they said, ‘it’s something we’ll look into in the future.’ This was two years ago. We talked to a couple major restaurant chains. They put a hose in the road and go by the count. Every time I’ve talked to them they’ve said, ‘You’re very close.’ So, the village is growing. In the last few years we got a bank, another auto parts store, now we’re getting a big, huge commercial car wash in Central Square. So, we’re growing. We’re starting to go in the right direction. It’s coming. There’s only so much land in Onondaga County. They’re going to come this way. We sit right on the edge of Onondaga County. So, it’s coming, just not as fast as we want. We are within an inch of getting there. I would say we’re one of the more business-friendly towns. We always help wherever we can to bring business in. My goal is not to stop business. My goal is to bring business in.
“My goal is to improve our parks and to bring good growth. I’ve been saying, my number one thing is to bring in a Wegmans or an Aldi’s or a Price Chopper. That would be my number one thing we’ve been working on. We’ll pursue it again this fall. We’ll send out all the same emails again, and one of them’s going to bite eventually.
“People want an opportunity to stick their nose in somewhere else, and it’s my job to bring these options in. When we talked to Aldi’s, they were the ones that gave us the most promise the last time we talked to them. The gentleman I talked to said, ‘We’ve been looking at your area ever since we talked to you two years ago, and you’re very close to being there.’ And south of Central Square we have water, gas, and sewer to offer on Route 11, and we have water and gas running north from Central Square. So, it’s something we’re definitely working on. We would like to see more natural gas in our town.”
The key, though, he said, is population. “Niagara Mohawk’s not going to run gas one mile to one home. And now we’re filling the gaps. These houses that are going up in our town right now are not cheap houses. These are $200,000 and $300,000 homes going up in our town.”
“We’ve been able to stay under the tax cap every year,” Bush said.
He had a revaluation of assessments done. “It made some people upset, but what people didn’t realize was that this hadn’t been done in years, and a lot of places worth a lot of money were paying a little bit of money. It makes a third of the town happy, keeps a third of the town even, and makes a third of the town go higher. So, it wasn’t very popular for me and my opponent took advantage of it, but it was the right thing to do. Some people were paying more than they had to, and some people were paying a lot less than they had to, and so, it all equals out.”
There is zoning in Hastings.
The town board is made of five people, including the supervisor, “and I get along great with my board,” Bush said. “We all work together very hard to do the best for the town and the people.
“I have nothing but positive things to say,” he concluded, “because that’s where we’re headed, positive. Everything’s been positive in our town. It’s a great place to live. Great neighbors. Good people. If somebody falls down, the town is there to pick them up. I’ve never seen a town like this in my life. If somebody falls down, there’s some type of fundraiser, or some type of activity to pick that person up. That’s the greatest thing about this town.”