By Nathan Mayberg
GRAHAMSVILLE June 10, 2005 Two major decisions involving political powerhouses were revealed yesterday.
Longtime Town of Neversink Supervisor Georgianna Lepke (Republican) will be stepping down from her post to run for one of two town assessor seats up for election this November.
And Sullivan County Legislator Greg Goldstein will announce his candidacy to replace her.
The surprise revelations are scheduled to be made official noon today at the Town of Neversink Town Hall in Grahamsville.
Goldstein said yesterday that if he is elected, he will step down as legislator of District 3, which includes the Town of Rockland, most of Neversink, and a portion of northern Liberty. Goldstein would resign his seat effective December 31 and be replaced by an appointee of the remaining Legislature, which would hold a Democratic majority of 5-3 after his resignation.
In addition, he will cede his tenure of over 17 years as Sullivan County Republican Party Chairman when the committee reorganizes this September.
Goldstein said he made the decision once he found out Lepke would be stepping down: I never thought [Lepke] wouldnt be supervisor. This is an opportunity I dont want to pass up.
He said that the Town of Neversink is in a strong position financially, with no debt, due to the tenure of Lepke. It has approximately $1 million for truck equipment. I look forward to modest growth there. It is a wonderful town. It runs itself.
Goldstein will also take a salary reduction, as he doesnt intend to run the town full-time as Lepke did. He is also not sure who will be running against him on the Democratic side.
Goldstein said his legislative district has improved over the last three years. Hamlets such as Grahamsville, Livingston Manor and Roscoe have all seen improvements, he said.
He said hes trying to do whats right for Sullivan County. Sullivan County is growing and moving ahead. Ive really enjoyed what Im doing.
The legislator said he was still supportive of casinos in the county and hopes they come to fruition before the end of the year.
Regarding the landfill, he has moved from being a supporter of its expansion one year ago to a more pessimistic view. He now supports either privatizing it or ending it entirely, largely due to the financial burden it puts on the county.
Of his long tenure as chairman of the countys Republican Party, he said simply: Its difficult to give up, but its time for me to move on from there.
Goldstein was never challenged during his position as chairman and said he did not know who would replace him. He has been a member of the party committee for over 20 years.
Its been a good run. Ive enjoyed it very much.
Along the way, he said he has been able to help some people with Republican Governor George Pataki in office the last 11 years. He is happy to have met Republican titans such as President George Bush, former presidential candidate and United States Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, as well as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani when he stopped at the Roscoe Diner as part of his campaign for United States Senator.
Goldstein, a county native, owns the Misner Agency, an insurance company headquartered in Woodbourne.