Three file for two council seats

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:19

    Only Republicans make deadline; primary will winnow out one By Mark J. Yablonsky FRANKLIN — Three candidates, including two incumbents, have filed to run for council on the Republican primary ticket June 2. No Democrats filed to run. Incumbents Pat Barton and Gilbert Snyder, along with Thomas Kulsar, will vie for the two available borough council seats this year. Unless write-ins pop up on the scene, the two primary winners will run unopposed in the general election Nov. 3. Barton, a construction manager/developer, was first elected in 2006, winning the Republican primary by three votes before winning easily in November. He is this year’s borough council president, and has lived in Franklin for 35 years and is a 1977 graduate of the since-defunct Franklin High. “I guess I could sum it up in three words: making a difference,” said Barton about why he seeks re-election. “The property taxes that we control have come down in the three years I’ve been here. The main reason, also, is the dilemma we’re having with the state in terms of water, the sewage and the Highlands. I don’t believe there’s too many people in the state who have the knowledge and experience I do about this. “And the Main Street mine property — we really need to move into a redevelopment because nothing’s going on with it,” Barton said. Kulsar, 52, retired March 1 as a sergeant with the Franklin Borough Police Department, having served on the force since May 18, 1987. He served for 10 years on the Franklin Board of Education, and another six on the Wallkill Valley Regional school board. “I was born and raised in Franklin, and I’ve served the community my whole lifetime,” said Kulsar. “I want to keep serving the community, and I’m giving it a shot at running for council. I think that I hopefully can do something good.” Snyder is also a former borough police sergeant, and he was first elected to council in 2003 before being re-elected in 2006. Snyder, affectionately known to his colleagues as “Socko,” said he remains committed to keeping costs as low as possible, especially during the current severe economic climate. “There’s some unfinished business that we need to tend to,” he said. Snyder is currently a trustee with the borough’s exempt association. The economy is another area of concern. “We see what’s happening with the economy, and I think this state is putting the hammer on us. But we need to move on; we need to move past those blocks. I’m worried about the seniors with the burdens they must face. I feel it’s an injustice to them and the young families, too, to have put up with what they must do in these hard economic times.”