By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO December 30, 2005 If everything goes as planned, Elwin Woody Wood will become the next Sullivan County legislator in the coming weeks.
He will replace Republican Greg Goldstein, who is taking on the role of supervisor of the Town of Neversink. Wood is expected to be appointed by the Legislature at the bodys reorganizational meeting in January.
An owner of two businesses in Roscoe, Wood, a Democrat, also served six years as county coroner and ran unsuccessfully against Goldstein for his seat on the Legislature in 2003.
Despite the fact that this will be an appointment rather than an election, Woods approach to politics is to listen to what the people in his district want, he said.
I strongly feel that you are elected to serve the people and listen to the people, he said.
He hasnt made up his mind on casinos but said five is too many. That is what he has heard from the majority of people in his district.
He said his personal beliefs are not as important as his districts. However, he believed that five casinos would be a heavy burden on the countys infrastructure at a time when the county is building an expensive jail.
On other major county issues, he is undecided such as the expansion of the county landfill and the possibility of creating the position of a full-time county executive. Wood said the cost of hiring a county executive would be one of the factors in deciding upon such a move. He said the voters of the county should decide such.
One of his primary concerns is fixing the bridge that runs near the Neversink Reservoir dam. The bridge has suffered substantial damage and is undergoing repairs, causing a taxing detour for drivers. He said that has affected the people in the Town of Neversink greatly.
But there is little that can be done until the spring time when the weather heats up and melts the snow, he said. He has spoken to Sullivan County Department of Public Works Commissioner Robert Meyer and New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. Gunther is working on funding to repair the bridge.
Another major issue the people of Neversink have had to deal with is the large parcel bill passed by the Sullivan County Legislature on party lines which raised taxes in the town by 73 percent. He said he would have voted against it. He is hoping the bill can be reversed in the State Legislature.
Wood was born and raised in Livingston Manor. He now resides in Roscoe. He owns Bob Lambrigger Realty Company and the Roscoe Little Store. He bought Roscoe Little Store two years ago, after it had been owned by the Bock family for about 60 years.
He got his feet wet in politics about 15 years ago when he campaigned for Elton Harris, who ran successfully for county coroner. Ray Pomeroy, a Town of Rockland Democratic Committee leader, asked him to get involved with the committee. He was appointed to serve as county coroner in 1991 and then ran successfully in 1992 for a 4-year term. He was appointed again to a one-year term.
Wood feels his business experience will help him on the Legislature. In addition to his professional career, he has volunteered for the Livingston Manor Fire Department, where he is an honorary member. He is a past member of the Livingston Manor Ambulance Corps. Wood is a non-active member of the Roscoe Fire Department and a past Captain of the Roscoe-Rockland Ambulance Corps. He is a past president of the Roscoe Kiwanis Club.
He plans on attending the board meetings of all three towns he will represent (Rockland, most of Neversink and part of Liberty).
Im looking forward to serving my district and Sullivan County, he said.