Andover’s Ryan Clark Wants To Be Mayor

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Clark Has Jumped Into the November Election as a Write-In Candidate

From Staff Reports and Interview, 9/13/21

Ryan Clark is a well known Andover guy. He graduated as a athletic standout in 1998 and attended nearby Alfred State College. Like many other Andover graduates, Clark found a career in the oil and gas industry, which is still keeping him plenty busy. Ryan lives with his family in Andover, with his wife Erica, and children- Addyson, Finn, and Cash. 

When asked about his mayoral aspirations Clark has all of the answers you’d expect from a hometown guy. Specifically he has a vision of more community participation in government and more attention to improving village infrastructure. We asked Ryan a few questions about his candidacy and his ideas for the future:

WS: What was the ‘ah ha’ moment in this decision to run for mayor of Andover?  This late in the game, what made you jump in ?

RC: I have always wanted to be involved in my local community – some time around a year ago, I read an article (that I had read many times in the past) about the history of Andover and how it came to formation.  My ancestors on my Mother’s side, Marsha Baker Clark,  were some of the first settlers in what was then called Bakerstown. That history and their vision they had for our wonderful little village is what has almost ignited my passion for running. I believe that Andover is a wonderful village to live in and think I can bring some fresh new ideas that will continue to make Andover a place that people want to live and run business within. As for the late entrance, if I am being honest, I thought that I had time to still be on the ballot.  

Below is a brief article that mentions my family and their settlement within Andover. 

https://www.alleganyhistory.org/index.php/places/towns-and-villages/a-e274/andover24/andover-related-articles/2402-a-brief-history-of-andover

 WS: Andover is uniquely situated with the intersection of Route 21 and Route 417, one of the busiest intersections in the county.  Why does retail trade seem to have such trouble in a place with high traffic, much more since Tall Pines successes? 

RC: Businesses that are currently open within the village are thriving. As you may have seen, there are building improvements being done to the former Blarney Stone, which I hope will soon be a great addition to our area. I think that one of the major issues with new businesses opening in Andover, is the sewer and waste water issue. All of the current buildings have their own septic systems—which seems to be one of the hurdles business owners face in regard to expansion.

WS: It seems as if federal infrastructure cash is going to start making its way down to local government.  Have you thought about a few of the major infrastructure projects Andover has to tackle sooner, rather than later?  

RC: I have thought about a few projects that would be beneficial for Andover to tackle, which would include the waste water/sewer system. One of the problems with doing so would need to be assessing how that would impact residents’ taxes. We don’t want to install something that will cause taxes to greatly increase for our residents. Therefore, we will need to assess how these infrastructure projects will impact our community long-term. As many people are aware, some of our streets and bridges are in need of repair, which is something that also needs to be taken care of sooner than later.

WS:  Andover as a community just sent a bunch of humanitarian aid to neighboring communities in Steuben county who were overwhelmed by flood waters. Is Andover ready for a disaster like that ? 

RC: I drive through those neighboring communities on a daily basis and the destruction it has caused is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, I don’t think Andover is prepared for a disaster like that, but who truly is? The last flood that took place within Andover was 1972.  With the Andover Ponds, East Valley Creek, and Dyke Creek all located within the Village, combined with being surrounded by hills- a severe storm could wreak havoc. 

WS: How was growing up in Andover different than your kids lives in the same town today?  What has changed the most and what has stayed the same? 

RC: Technology is one of the main contributing factors to the change in everyday life from then to now. When I was growing up, I would have to physically walk to a friend’s house to be able to play video games etc. Now, children can utilize the internet to do so and never leave their house. Kids can send a text message, picture, video of what is going on—so their friends can experience life without having to be present. I do think that plays into the shift in life from when I was a child to where our children are now.

 One of the things that I think is wonderful about our village is the ability for our children to be able to safely commute to their friends’ houses, ride their bike, or utilize the school grounds for pick-up games and recreation. In addition, we are a small, tight-knit community. Everyone knows everyone, and also looks out for one another. I recently had a parent in the community stop me and say  “If you see them out doing things they shouldn’t, don’t be afraid to address them. they’re my ‘it takes a village child”. I am grateful that, that has remained constant- growing up we would walk to our friends’ houses, or meet up down town. Children today are still able to do that. 

WS: Look into the future when your kids are running for local office, around 2045.  What does Andover look like if you have your way? 

RC: I truly hope to see Andover thriving—yet still a place where children can walk to their friends’ house while having a neighbor be able to say ‘hi’ and call them by their name. I want to see Andover continue to be a tight-knit supportive community, but I would love to see it “booming” for Andover. A restaurant, a bar, a market, small stores—businesses that can keep money within our village to support our residents and business owners. I want there to be resources for community individuals and new business owners. 

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