By Rob Montana
With at least 20 people announcing their plans to run for Tompkins County Legislature in the fall, Tompkins Weekly will be offering readers an opportunity to learn more about the people who will be appearing on ballots in September and November.
District 14, which covers part of the Town of the Dryden, has been represented by Mike Lane for the past eight years (and he has served on the Legislature for a total of 20 years). This year, Lane is facing a challenger in Nathan Busby, who is running on the Republican and Independence ballot lines.
To learn more about Busby, we asked him why he is running and about the issues he sees facing Tompkins County.
Tompkins Weekly: What are the top three issues facing Tompkins County?
Nathan Busby: I feel the top three issues affecting the people of Tompkins County are: 1) The attempts by the Legislature to take the right to vote for our sheriff, first through outright changes and now through the shared services plan.
2) The continually increasing tax burden on the people of Dryden and the county as a whole. The benefits that the legislators receive are a burden on the taxpayers and should be voided immediately. Serving in government is an honor, not a career.
3) The attempts to centralize power in the county Legislature. This could be combated by having an elected county executive like neighboring counties. This would separate the executive from the legislative branches of government. Also having an IDA board that is elected, consisting of one member per taxing jurisdiction. The current appointed board leaves little room for opposing views, which are needed to find the best solutions for the areas represented.
TW: What skills do you possess that would be an asset as a Tompkins County legislator?
NB: The skills I process that I feel would be an asset to the county Legislature would be that I’m a simple family guy. I’m not a doctor or a lawyer. The money I have is valuable to me. The money that the citizens of Dryden have is important to them. The Legislature’s first job is to be good stewards of the public’s money. It’s not government money, it is taxpayers money and we need to do all we can to have the citizens of Tompkins County to keep their money.
TW: What is something that would surprise people to know about you?
NB: Something about me that would surprise people is that I enjoy singing. While I’m able to sing in front of countless people, I get very nervous talking to crowds. This does not stop me from speaking to people, but I do feel self conscious.
TW: How would you balance the desires of your constituents and your own personal beliefs when making decisions as a member of the Legislature?
NB: The best way to balance my beliefs with the desires of the residence of Dryden, which is who I will represent, is to realize that my opinion is one of many and every voice deserves to be heard equally. I’m no better than my neighbor.
TW: Why should people vote for you?
NB: People should only vote for me if they feel their voice has been taken away. They should only vote for me if they want an IDA and legislator that understands how hard it is to raise a family in this world. Vote for me if you value your money and believe you can spend it wiser than the government. If you want someone who values Dryden’s voice over others, you should vote for me.
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