Presidents return to Frankford

There weren’t enough candidates to bother with a town election in Frankford this year, but Council President Robert Daisey has reenlisted, and former-Council President Maynard Esender has returned to the fray as well.

The election was scheduled for Feb. 5, but instead council will simply reorganize at the Feb. 7 town meeting.

Both men recognized it could be difficult to find volunteers for town government, especially because Frankford is such a small town.

While Daisey figured the population count was up to 750 or 800 people, he said it was a “transit town.”

He expected only 200 or so residents were registered to vote in town elections.

Esender noted the large Hispanic population, and a decreasing percentage of homeowners in what was becoming more and more a rental community.

He said some of Frankford’s immigrant families had begun to buy homes, though.

Both men anticipated an update to the town’s comprehensive land use plan (CLUP), which was approved in 1999 (the state requires an updated CLUP every five years).

“We’ll be developing the town for the people who want to spend the next 15 to 20 years here,” Esender said.

According to Daisey, Frankford has plenty of room to grow internally, even without annexing any new land. “We have a golden opportunity to have a really sharp looking town,” he said.

However, according to Esender, developing the small town everybody dreams about is tricky.

On one hand, he said real estate investment was the best way for poor folks to better their lots. If they can acquire financing and keep up with their mortgage payments, their net worth will appreciate.

“Frankford has a lot of land,” Esender pointed out. “It could be filled with modest, working-class houses, and become a nice community, with garden clubs, civic organizations.”

On the other hand, “The problem is, if people are able to build for $150,000, they just turn around and sell for $250,000,” he said. That means working-class people have to keep pushing westward as they look for a place to settle down and raise a family.

Esender joined the town zoning board in 1992, and then council in 1993. He served as council president from 1995-1997.

He has stepped in to fill the vacancy created by Council Member William Johnson’s departure last month.

“It’s not like I have a lot of time, but I decided to make time,” Esender said. “There are a couple of things on the griddle that have to be taken care of.”

Daisey joined council in 2003, and served as president in 2004.