ERIN -- Residents in the Town of Erin will have two individuals to choose from when they go to the polls next week to decide who will fill an unexpired three-year term as the town's supervisor.

Incumbent Supervisor Dawn H. Schmidt is being challenged by resident Kenneth A. Austin on the Nov. 6 general election ballot for that position.

In an effort to help local voters make an informed choice when they cast their ballot next week, both candidates were sent questionnaires by the Morning Times. Only Schmidt submitted a completed questionnaire by the deadline set by this newspaper.

The following are Schmidt's answers to questions posed by the Times' editorial department:

Q: Please share with us some background about yourself.

Schmidt: "I joined Corning Incorporated in 1984 as Communications Coordinator in the Corporate Communications Division. During my career with Corning, I have held a variety of positions including communication services supervisor, accounts payable and employee expense manager, business services support manager, corporate real estate portfolio manager and manager business development. Currently as director of business development, reporting to G. Thomas Tranter, Jr., president, Corning Enterprises, I am responsible for business recruitment, retention and economic development in Corning's Gaffer District. I lead Corning Enterprises Economic Development and Community Development initiatives providing development and planning expertise, project management, grant writing, financial modeling and local and state government representation regionally. I am a member of the board of directors of Financial Institutions, Inc. Five Star Bank, Corning's Gaffer District, Chemung County Industrial Development Agency, Bethany Village, Incubator Works, Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG), Chemung County Land Bank, Corning Area Chamber of Commerce, Guthrie Corning Hospital (executive and finance committee), Project Seneca, I-86 Executive Committee, Chair of Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation (REDEC), Public Policy Institute of New York State and Treasurer of Watson Homestead Conference and Retreat Center, liaison to the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Committee and elected official as supervisor for the Town of Erin. I have my A.A.S. in Business Management from Cazenovia College and my B.S. in Business Management from Keuka College. I reside in the Town of Erin with my husband Rodney Schmidt and daughter where we own and operate Schmidt Valley Farm equine facility."

Q: What are your reasons for seeking office?

Schmidt: "To make a difference. Some of the most important issues of our day -- the ones that affect the daily life of the residents of our town -- are decided in the political arena. Politics matter."

Q: What do you believe the role of Erin Town Supervisor should be?

Schmidt: "The supervisor is part of the community's government, responsible for working with the board on setting and enacting policies and resolutions, and setting budgets, responding to residents and moderates town meetings while managing town employees."

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to voters prior to the election?

Schmidt: "Get involved in your community and vote in all elections. Your vote matters."


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