Q&A with Colin McAllister, County Legislature candidate, District 8
Colin McAllister is a candidate for County Legislature, District 8. His opponent is Marianne Clattenburg.
If elected, what will you recommend to your fellow legislators for county priorities over the next five years?
While I look forward to working with fellow legislators to address the routine needs of the county, a major priority would be getting the county out of corporate welfare. Taking wealth from businesses and individuals to fuel the projects of the few is not morally right. I would also like to focus on challenging NYS mandates and their overreach into county affairs. Legal challenges are one avenue to actively resist the state’s control of our county budget and dictating how our elected government can operate. Together with the citizens of Genesee county and local governments in the region, I hope to come up with solutions to get power back to the local level.
What can or should the County government do to help foster business growth in Genesee County?
We need to work on getting the best tax rates for everybody year in year out, with no hoops to jump through. The county should focus on existing infrastructure needs and not projects we hope will happen. Mainly, the county should get out of the way for business wherever possible. I have faith that the business leaders in this county will excel with less government involvement.
Should the County build a new jail?
The consensus seems to be that we need a new jail to come into compliance with current regulations and, without more in-depth knowledge, I cannot refute that. Given bail reforms’ impact, the previous estimates need to be reevaluated with a fresh perspective. The focus of jail discussion needs to be a realistic look at the county’s needs and coming into compliance with state regulations, not potential revenue from housing overflow from other sources.
Are you satisfied with the way the County has been run for the past decade or so?
To a large extent, I think the Legislature has done its very best for the residents and businesses in Genesee County. The county could stand up to state mandates and overreach in some more substantial ways. As a county, we have been too absorbed in the race to beg a business to come to us when we should actually make an environment that all businesses and residents can prosper in.
What book first published in English since the Enlightenment has influenced your outlook on life the most?
That is a hard question. At this moment running as a third-party candidate, I would have to go with Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. With as much absurdity and excess as Hunter S. Thompson’s writing contains, it managed to challenge my thoughts on the two-party political paradigm and my understanding of politics in general. His writings provide insight into Nixon that I have yet to find elsewhere. To cover such a complicated time involving such complex people in an insightful way is impressive. Mainly, I have found in his writings, and in life, that conventional wisdom is worth challenging especially if you want meaningful change.