Editor’s Note: This is the final of seven profiles of the seven new members of the Otsego County Board of Representatives elected Nov. 3, and who take office Wednesday, Jan. 6. Review all the profiles at www.allotsego.com
BURLINGTON – A former code officer for the county and an employee of the state Department of Transportation, Dan Wilber, knows how the government works. “And I know how it should work!” he said.
It was this idea that inspired him to run for District 10 county representative, a race he won against Democrat Russ Bachman and incumbent Betty Anne Schwerd, who ran as an independent. “I thought it was time for a change,” he said. “I thought we could use some fresh ideas, fresh people.”
An Ulster County native, Wilber enjoyed an active and varied career before settling in Burlington in 2004.
He was fire chief with the Phoenicia Fire Department, a corrections officer at the maximum security prison in Ellenville, Security & Fire Safety director for the state Office of Children & Family Services, and a photographer with the Air Force Thunderbirds.
He also owned two vacuum-cleaner stores in Danbury, Conn. And Fishkill, as well as worked for his wife Alison’s Motorola franchise.
EDUCATION: Graduated Corning Community – Fire Protection
Currently Assistant Director NYS DOT Safety & Health
Former County of Otsego Codes Director
Former Director of Security & Fire Safety NYS Children & Family Services
Former Owner Operator of successful family businesses.
Served in the United States Air Force to include the Air Force Thunderbirds
Former Town Justice, Burlington, 6 Years
Former President Otsego County Magistrates Association
Volunteer Firefighter 39 years
Member of Edmeston Fire Department and Rescue Squad
Former Fire Chief of a Three Department District
Relay for Life Volunteer
FAMILY: Married to Alison Kramer Wilber
Two Children Daughter Rose – CPA Son Ayden – Masters of Kinesiology
IN TWO OR THREE SENTENCES, EXPLAIN YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT.
Government should be by the people for the people. Government should reflect the wishes of the constituents represented.
WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR ISSUES THE OTSEGO COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES FACES, AND HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THEM?
• Increased County spending. I will hold the line on spending and require justification for increased budget lines. Being a former department head, I have participated in the budget process and I understand the budget process.
• Rising Property Taxes and the inability of our residents to to keep up with those taxes. I will work to maintain low taxes and respect the 2% tax cap.
• Search for innovative ways to strengthen our economic development to increase the tax base, create jobs and grow businesses. Our young people need meaningful employment opportunities here in Otsego County.
WHAT QUALITIES/EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU THE BETTER CHOICE IN THIS RACE
I have both private sector business experience and government management experience to include being a former department head within Otsego County. I understand how government should operate and how business does operate.
IS THERE A STATEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH VOTERS?
I pledge to serve the people of Otsego County with integrity and respect. I will be open to new ideas no matter who presents them.