Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
December 3, 2013 Issue
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Carol Ropke Wingert

Wingert touts her tenure

Story by Kaitlin Carney
NARROWSBURG — November 1, 2013 — Carol Wingert is seeking re-election as the supervisor of the Town of Tusten.
Wingert was raised in the town, and learned from her parents’ example the importance of service to one’s community.
“I’ve really tried to listen to the people and vote how the constituents want. I am only one person, I don’t vote for myself, I vote for my community,” Wingert said, and cites a recent letter to Governor Cuomo written in support of casinos that she signed. Her personal feelings had to take a backseat to the strong support from the community in favor of casinos.
Wingert has many goals moving forward. She would like to continue, through the Local Development Corporation, to raise funds for the River Walk. Also, Wingert feels it is important to continue to protect the town against fracking, to not assume it is a dead issue.
“I want to bring income into the Town of Tusten through home sales and increased tourism. This town is a beautiful place to live, visit, and dine in… we need to continue to market that to bring commerce and jobs in,” she noted, adding that she also seeks to attract businesses, and to work closely with the developer of the former Narrowsburg School to ensure that the best possible project is done there.
Wingert is proud of the town’s increased fiscal responsibility under her tutelage: “With only a one percent increase in taxes with the previous budget, and a projected decrease in the budget and projected zero change in the tax levy, we’ve made this a priority,” she pointed out.
Wingert works hard with the board to be responsible to the taxpayers while providing adequate services within the budget. To that end, Wingert consolidated positions to help fund the current bookkeeper position.
As the position functions now, support is additionally offered to the Water and Sewer Department, resulting in a $5,000 interfund transfer to offset costs. This position has been crucial to the town facing a material weakness in its audit due to prior practices in the absence of a bookkeeper, and up to twelve violations resulting in over $50, 000 in penalties with the IRS and New York State.
“Our bookkeeper makes a fair wage, without benefits… but the position is invaluable. We have been able to immediately clear up the material weakness and rectify any deficiencies noted. Also, we’ve avoided incurring additional fees and penalties.”
As Carol Wingert embarks on another campaign for supervisor, she wants voters to know that her goals are very simple. “I’m honest, and I care. I care about my town and that’s why I do this. I’ve been here all of my life, and this area is very, very important to me.”

 Supervisor Candidate • Bernard Lohmann
An interview could not be arranged with Tusten Supervisor candidate Bernard Lohmann before we went to press.

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