ASHFORD – The Town of Ashford will have two councilman seats up for election this year on Nov. 7 with both John Pfeffer and William Heim running for their seats unopposed.
After serving on the Ashford Town board for three terms, John Pfeffer will be running unopposed for a seat on the board for his fourth term. Along with serving on the town board, Pfeffer has been a member of the West Valley Citizens Task force for 20 years, is a fireman and EMT for the West Valley Volunteer Hose Company and has served as president of the fire company for the past four years.
While Ashford might be a smaller town, Pfeffer said there are many challenges involved working in the town and keeping in contact with their representatives to continue in the process to better the town. But Pfeffer said he would be happy to continue this job as councilman and keep working to grow the town.
“I’m running for re-election primarily because I love the job,” Pfeffer said. “One might think there is not much to do in a little town like Ashford, but we have some fairly large challenges. Many of these challenges involve working with state and federal elected and appointed officials.
“In the past few years I have made it a priority to interact much more frequently with our leaders in Albany and Washington than has ever been done before, and the results of those interactions are starting to become evident,” he said.
Pfeffer said he is proud of the many accomplishments the Ashford Town Board has made over the past few years including the installation of a brand new municipal water system in West Valley, which will provide clean drinking water to over 200 homes and provides fire protection for the hamlet, and helping secure a grant for the reconstruction of the West Valley Hotel.
“To see one of our former ‘crown jewels’ brought back to life and bring people to our town will be a great thing for all,” Pfeffer said.
He would like to continue the ongoing projects the town board has been working on including getting broadband internet in the town, clean energy initiatives with the possibility of a solar farm on the Western New York Nuclear Service Center site and the formation of the Ashford Advocacy Coalition, which will work to seek out a fair share of the burden placed on the town for have to host a federal and state nuclear facility for 50 years without adequate financial compensation.
Along with the ongoing projects, Pfeffer added he would like to work on providing some form of senior transportation to and from the town and find a way to help their community based organizations continue to prosper in light of a declining population.
“We have an aging population and an aging infrastructure. In order to improve these, we need to make smart investments in both. I’m eager to work with our community to find the answer,” Pfeffer said. “The most important positive I see is how our community always steps up and pitches in wherever and however needed. Elected officials don’t make a community successful, the people in it do. We are only here to facilitate what the community needs and wants.”
After serving on the board for four years and living in Ashford for 40 years, William Heim will be running for his councilman seat unopposed.
Throughout his time working on the town board, Heim said he is proud of the other town board members and the many residents who have worked hard to grow and better the town, especially with the installation of the municipal water district in West Valley.
“I think we got some really good people working on the town board, I think we got some amazing people working to do things to benefit the town and I praise the town people who wanted to have the water system … my hat is off to the people who pushed for that,” Heim said.
While continuing with the town board projects, Heim said two of his main goals for the town is to bring in more businesses to Ashford and to find a way to lower taxes for residents, which he believes annexing the West Valley Central School is one way to do that.
“I would like to try and get some commerce into town and try to lower taxes,” Heim said. “With our small town, taxes are killing us and we are not going to get any commerce in here and people are not going to do anything because they can’t afford the taxes.”