Rice to run for Shandaken Board

By Jay Braman Jr.
Longtime Phoenicia resident Tina Rice has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Shandaken Town Board. Rice, a 10-year member of the town’s Recreation Committee and well-known to residents who participate in the popular Shandaken ski program, said Tuesday that she would appear at the town’s Republican Party Caucus and ask for the party’s support.
If endorsed, Rice would face off against Democratic incumbent Doris Bartlett.
Two weeks ago Democrats came out to unanimously endorse Bartlett to run this November to continue her term for one more year, that year being the remaining part of former councilman Peter DiSclafani’s four-year term on the council. When DiSclafani won the supervisor’s race last fall he vacated that seat to take the top spot and in January the new Democratic majority appointed Bartlett to it until this coming election.
Rice, 40, lives in Woodland Valley with her husband and two children. She is currently employed by the New York State Thruway Authority, working as a toll collector at the Kingston exit.
A founder of the town’s ski program, she said that she decided to run because she felt the current administration might be playing fast and loose with the taxpayer’s money, pointing out a recent revamp of the Route 28 sign showing the way to the Hamlet of Mount Tremper where Supervisor Peter DiSclafani operates a restaurant called the Catskill Rose.
“I work hard for my money,” she said. “The people of this town should know where their money is going.”
She describes herself as “a fair person with no secret agenda,” and says she was not chosen to run by any of the special interest groups in town, but rather decided herself.
“I can only be who I am…I’m not hand picked by anyone, so that’s that,” she said.
Rice is also a member of Shandaken Area Youth Sports (SAYS,) a non-profit group that provides sports opportunities for kids like soccer. SAYS leadership has been embroiled in a dispute with Dean Gitter, the owner of Emerson Place, because of a disagreement over use of Gitter’s soccer field on the Emerson Resort property. Several years ago Gitter leased the land to SAYS but, according to SAYS official Chris Fisher, refused to renew the lease after five years.
Since the dispute began Fisher has used his private property as a site to display anti- Gitter signs, most notably those that urge readers to not support Gitter’s proposed Golf Resort called the Belleayre resort at Catskill Park.
Rice says that has nothing to do her decision to run for town board.
The Republicans have not yet set a date for the caucus, but it is expected to occur in mid August.