Shoba Agneshwar is the Conservative Party and Independent Party candidate for the Vestal clerk position. Agneshwar has served alongside the current clerk and was on the Vestal Town Board from 2015 to 2017.

Why are you running for your position? What experiences and perspectives do you bring to the table that will help make Vestal a better town?

“I am running for the position of Vestal town clerk because I want to improve how local governments provide vital services. Having been on the Vestal Town Board from 2015 to 2017, I have firsthand experience of working side-by-side with our current clerk. I have attended all the work sessions, town board meetings, fire commissioner meetings and have made the tough decisions of balancing budgets and making the necessary cuts while maintaining and improving town services. I was instrumental in consolidating the school tax collection at our town location which made it easier for our residents to pay their school tax bill. I also spearheaded the reduction of paper usage at all town board meetings by introducing the usage of laptops and tablets for all Board communication. If elected, I’ll continue to make improvements to the clerk’s office that will enable the office to function better for all of us.”

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue in Vestal and why?

“While there are many pressing issues in the Town of Vestal, the clerk’s office is a true representation of the breadth and width of services in our town. To that end, my priority will be to see where consolidation of services and economies of scale could be implemented to benefit the taxpayers of the Town of Vestal. In addition to housing all the vital records, licensing and permits, I would like to improve services, improve communication and improve the accuracy and transparency of the office.”

How do you envision engaging with the community and addressing the concerns they may have? More specifically, what would you do to engage Binghamton University students in these community issues?

“Since Binghamton University has such an important and visible presence in Vestal, it is vital that the clerk’s office keep all channels of communication open to ensure critical information be shared with students and staff in a timely manner. I will make it a priority to reach out and establish strong relationships with the student-run organizations and the administrative staff at Binghamton University. Although a town clerk’s position is one of the oldest in local governments, most people have no idea what a clerk is or does and the important role that a clerk plays in the daily functioning of a town. We live in an age where a high level of accuracy, transparency and access to town records is expected by the public. I will work hard to disseminate information so that there is a clear understanding of how local government is working for all of our residents.”