Rosa announces write-in campaign

Staff report
A Middletown Town Board member has announced his write-in candidacy for the supervisor’s position.

Jake Rosa, an Arkville resident, said this week that he will be seeking the supervisor’s position in the November 8 election.

Mr. Rosa has been on the town board for nearly two years and currently serves as deputy supervisor for Len Utter. Supervisor Utter has been in office for 12 years and decided not to seek another two-year term.

No candidates were endorsed by major parties, but three names will appear on the Independent ballot line: Marge Miller and Joe Moskowitz, both of Arkville, and Fleischmanns resident Wayd Jaquish.

Mr. Rosa, a professional logger, said he considered running for supervisor before the petition filing period ended, but was concerned about time constraints. Having spent considerable time helping the town deal with flood-related issues, he has had second thoughts.

In a letter to the editor announcing his write-in candidacy, Mr. Rosa wrote, “This year, two critical people in our government’s day-to-day operations, Town Supervisor Len Utter and Town Clerk Russell Schebesta, are retiring. Their retirement meant we would be going through a big transition. It meant that there would be new faces and fresh ideas. Together we would go through a learning curve as new people adjusted to their roles.”

He said he was initially excited about the possibilities of changes coming to the town government. The devastating flood forced him to reconsider his candidacy, Mr. Rosa said.

“My feelings changed August 28, after Irene came to visit our quiet little town. After the water receded and we assessed the devastating damage, it became quite obvious that this isn’t the time for on-the-job training for someone who, even with good intentions, hasn’t actively served in the political leadership of the town or county or been involved in our day-to-day operations since the flood.

“As deputy supervisor this past year I have been in the trenches. We have an immense amount of work to do right now and I am ready for the task,” he added. “Now is not the time for inexperienced leadership. We must rebuild our community. This mess will not be over with by January 1, 2012. It probably won’t be done by January 2014.”

Mr. Rosa said he plans to reach out to the community to learn about their concerns and ideas as he works to gain support for his write-in campaign.