questionnaire — len carson

LEONARD CARSON JR.

COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 13

Fifth and Sixth Wards, City of Oneonta

COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Oneonta

EDUCATION:

  • Laurens Central School
  • AAS in Fire Science, Corning Community College, Corning, NY
  • (42) National and/or NYS Certified course materials

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

  • United States Air Force: 1983-1987 ( Active) & 1990-1992 (Reserve)
  • Owner of Construction Technology: 1990-2000
  • City of Oneonta Fire Department: 1989-2015 (Call, PT, Provisional, Career)
  • NYS Fire Service Instructor: 2008-2015
  • Co-owner of DCMarketing: 2011-present
  • Otsego County Board Representative: 2016-present

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

  • Scout Leader with Troop 23: 1988-1992
  • City of Oneonta Pee Wee Football: 1996-2004
  • City of Oneonta Little League Baseball: 2000-2002
  • City of Oneonta Airport Commission: 2012-present
  • American Legion Oneonta Post 259: 2010-present

-Commander of Post 259:  2011-present

  • Otsego County American Legion Boys State Chairman-2015-present
  • City of Oneonta Memorial Day Parade Chairman: 2013-present

FAMILY:

Wife, Dellene Carson

Sons

  • Joshua & Octavia Carson
  • James Carson
  • Dan Wood

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT:

To provide an egalitarian environment for its people, by being small, nimble and providing a business-friendly environment. By doing so, our communities will grow, prosper and provide the services that they need.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:

  • Lack of Economic Development- from creating more of an opportunity for our existing businesses to attracting others. We need to strengthen our partnership with Otsego Now and our NYS Representatives by open communications focusing on a single vision.
  • Unfunded mandates from New York State Government

–Medicaid, NYS DMV, DOH are a few examples. The Medicaid unfunded   mandates accounts for $0.90 from every $1.00 collected on the tax levy.

  • Lack of a County Manager or Executive

–Board Representatives are consumed with managing Department Heads rather than implementation of the Strategic Plan; which provides the vision and direction of our county. This would also provide the opportunity to improve our relationships/partnerships with municipalities within our county.

  • Improving existing infrastructure- county roads and bridges
  • Updating the Emergency Services training center

–the burn-building has not been expanded or improved upon in more than three decades

–finalize the 911 Communication system

–more towers are needed

  • Development of documentation scanning and record-keeping for all departments
  • Partner with other counties on priority issues like Broadband and upgrades for existing natural gas pipelines.
  • Strengthen our Agriculture environment-creating a footprint for the Farmer Markets that can be used all year. This allows our local farm businesses to increase revenue by growing product(s) year around.
  • Staggered terms for Representatives and extend the term to 4 years. In 2016, seven new Board Reps were elected;  this does not provide continuity for Department Heads or our constituents.

STATEMENT:

During 2016, I chaired Public Safety Legal Affairs, our 911 Director pointed out a loophole with regards to wireless phone services.  Those without a contract, did not pay for 911 services as those of us with land lines and wireless phone contracts did. A resolution was passed by Otsego County legislators, this item was carried to and passed both the Assembly and Senate. This passage will mean more revenue to maintain our 911 Communication system.

Working with DSS Commissioner, Eve Bouboulis, a new model for housing our homeless was adopted and will save our county taxpayers more than $100k annually. More needs to be done with this issue and we are currently studying the “Tiny Home” concept to see if this can be applied to our current and future needs of homeless.

This concept has the possibility to reduce our local-share cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide the service needed.

Currently, our local municipalities are on their own to provide healthcare insurance for their employees. This methodology is expensive and does not provide annual cost stability. Partnering with our current and future County Treasurer, I have been hosting Town Hall meetings, introducing the Otsego County Healthcare Insurance Consortium. Basically, creating a insurance company, under NYS Article 47, for all municipal employees and providing a long-term healthcare insurance financial stability.  Our smaller communities will see annual savings of 15-20% and over all, the county taxpayers could realize $1M to $1.4M annual savings. We will need to stay focused and follow through on the process during 2018 to recognize a start date of January 1, 2019.

I have enjoyed working for my neighbors in the 5th and 6th Wards, City of Oneonta and  Otsego County residents in my first term. I hope you agree, my thirty-four (34) years of public service as a soldier, firefighter, community member and Otsego County representative has provided me the knowledge, experience and connections to serve our county residences with the leadership it deserves.

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