Profile: Tyre Town Council candidate Tina Macdonald

The decision to run for public office is an entirely personal decision with completely personal implications. The job though is anything but personal. Whether it’s the scrutiny one faces when voicing a stance on an issue, or the loss of all things personal – public office requires a dedication to life beyond ‘self’ in every sense of the phrase. In local elections, the stress, scrutiny and investment required is only magnified. Tina Macdonald is the embodiment of the process. Being described as strong, powerful, and an “advocate for the community” by supporters, she is a lifeline to a community where many feel stagnant ideas have dominated the political process for decades. A graduate from South Seneca Central School and then Finger Lakes Community College in 2001, she has spent her adult life wondering when the opportunity to work “less than 7 miles from home,” would finally present itself. A conversation with Tina reveals the optimism associated with her candidacy for Tyre Town Council. That optimism isn’t just shared with the friends and family who are making her run possible.Gary Schlegel, owner and operator of Magee Country Diner located just down the road from the site of the proposed Lago Resort & Casino, has expressed intense support for her. He said in part, “I am a strong supporter of Tina for Tyre Town Council. She has supported the casino, hotels, wineries, and restaurants locally, as well as supporting lower property taxes. She has done it without funding or assistance from the Oneida Indians, too.” For Schlegel, these are the no-brainers that make Macdonald the ideal candidate for Tyre Town Council. Macdonald can still recall every event the night of her decision to run for Tyre Town Council. It was a December night, and she had attended a public hearing on Lago. To her supporters, her ability to see such a problem with the scope that she did, as Christmas approached with a young son at home – it was one of the first times her true grit and determination made their presence felt. “I knew immediately after I left,” says Macdonald of the necessity to run and be involved in making Tyre a better place.Before her son Gavin was born, she worked for a small business in Tyre. Her time with D.C Rauschers, Inc. in Tyre was what made her realize that more business would have a positive impact on the community as a whole. However, it has been her time utilizing her degree in Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management that enlightened her to the positive impacts that Lago Resort & Casino would have on Tyre, as well as Seneca County. Macdonald has received a great deal of support throughout her campaign. The challenge, in her estimation, has been the difficulty in navigating the increased tension in the town of Tyre. Like many, she understands that Seneca County is not what it once was. The things that made the county, which includes Tyre, successful over the last several decades – are not the things that will ensure its success in future years. She told a close friend shortly before making the decision to run that, “We need to focus on what we have to offer visitors, so they may want to move here.”Information that her campaign characterizes as “misleading” has been the focal point of every election in the town of Tyre. Combating misinformation, dealing with intimidating and threatening phone calls, as well as questionable polling tactics from groups against the Lago project have only solidified her stance in support for Lago Resort & Casino. She remains optimistic about what Tyre will be 10 years from now. High speed Internet access, town water, parks to play in, little league teams to be a part of, and businesses to retain adults who want to have a life, job, and family in Tyre – are just a few of the things she is fighting for in this campaign. Pamela Brand, a 32-year-long resident of Tyre has said of Macdonald that she will “will listen and act on all concerns from Tyre residents,” and “not be swayed by outside organizations that do not have the best interests of all Tyre residents.” For Tyre residents who feel as though their community is being hijacked by a minority of the population, or by special interests from outside the community, Macdonald is a breath of fresh air.If she is elected, she will be the only female member of the Tyre Town Council. Her competitiveness in high school, when she was a three season athlete has clearly translated into political competitiveness as an adult. Covert Supervisor Mike Reynolds, who happens to be her uncle, tells her repeatedly that she speaks too quickly, and that her message would be received better if she could just slow it down. Like anyone ambitious, speaking fast is a bi-product of being heard, and being supported when conventional wisdom would have made that support unlikely. For Macdonald, hearing about the Lago Resort & Casino, fully understanding the positive impact it could have on Tyre, as well as surrounding communities played a crucial role in her decision to run. However, that decision was made for her when she saw the lengths to which opposition to the Lago project would go, in order to protect what her campaign believes has become the status quo. Her motivation is serving the community she loves. Her motivation is serving the community that she calls home. Her motivation is to make the community better for generations to come.The first prerequisite of politics is an understanding that nothing is promised. However, it isn’t just a political future that hangs in the balance in Macdonald’s campaign. Her campaign, as well as her supporters believe the future of Tyre hangs in the balance – reliant on her election, to ensure that the status quo is ended.* This is a candidate profile and not a paid advertisement or endorsement

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