When I was thinking about getting into local politics, I felt it was important to know what it entailed. For two years, on my own time and my own dime, I attended budget meetings, workshop meetings, and board meetings. I learned it was a lot more than just attending two board meetings per month. I was blessed to meet a councilman who took me under his wing and show me the ropes. That man was Steve Bradley. Steve taught me everything he knew so if I decided to throw my hat into the political ring, I would know exactly what to expect. Steve was a registered Democrat, and I am a registered Republican, but those titles didn’t matter to either of us. We both shared a love for our town and knew the true role of a councilman is to serve the people – all the people. On a local level, service should always be about people and not party.
Thank you to everyone who supported me four years ago. It's hard to believe that my first four-year term is coming to an end. During that time, Steve Bradley passed away and, while our town lost a wonderful man, I also lost a true friend. I will always remember the kindness he showed me. He was a special man who had a deep impact on my life, and I will never forget him. As a matter of fact, there have been times during my tenure when I asked myself, “What would Steve Do?” This is why I decided to seek reelection. While I feel that I have done much to improve our town, there is still much more to be done.
What is the role of town government and a town board?
The role of town government and its board is to maintain, grow and improve local infrastructure which includes drinking water, sewer, roads, broadband, and sanitation services. It also includes community services such as parks and recreation. Local government works on a community's economic planning efforts, to build on their official community plan and role of shaping community growth. An example of this would be the Nevele property.
How is all of this funded?
The revenue to do this is provided through local taxes and grants. We as a board have worked hard to provide these services while keeping tax increases to near zero for the past four years. We work very hard to spend your money like it’s our own because it is! We have done this and continue to do this despite the inflationary pressures of the present economy.
What I've done for the past four years as your town representative to hold taxes down and provide these services:
Everyone on the Town Council has responsibilities which we call Liaisons. Some we do on our own while others we share with other board members.
My liasons include:
Liaison to Wawarsing Water District shared with Cassie Spoor:
We have had the responsibility to bring to fruition the $22million water district paid for by the DEP. This project requires constantly working with contractors and town residents as the district is coming online.
Liaison to Napanoch/Kerhonkson Water/Sewer District shared with Cassie Spoor:
This project lined the Kerhonkson water lines using large grant.
Transfer Station shared with Bill Brown
Brought credit/debit card transactions so that residents no longer need to get money orders when bringing material such as tires, old furniture to the station. https://newsatomic.com/news/2023/06/03/credit-card-use-at-transfer-station-expected-this-july/570cDx
Sponsored the creation of the town’s First Responder property tax credit for volunteer EMS and Fire Volunteers. First responders in good standing are entitled to a 10% assessment reduction on primary residence. This will help attract volunteers for these services. When a town has volunteers for these positions, it avoids having to increase taxes if the town had to pay for professional firefighters. It has been estimated to cost $5million per year to fund these services with professionals.
I was able to cut town IT costs by 70% while securing and protecting town electronic information. I helped the town better utilize NYS contracts and secured a town dotGov email and website.
When COVID came along...
I was asked to manage the town’s Project Resilience during the Covid Pandemic. I coordinated the towns team that delivered meals to 700 people 3 times a week for months. With a little local army of resident volunteers, we helped local restaurants survive while providing needed meals to our most vulnerable residents who were mandated to stay indoors.
We also needed to quickly change the way we do business...
Transparency of government meetings to the members of the community is key to our society. Supervisor Houck tasked me to develop and implement a plan for Remote video meetings using Zoom and Smartboard. We utilized the new Open Meeting Law which allows for meeting participation through video conferencing using Zoom. I created a town YouTube Channel and Facebook pages as well as expand the use of the Public Access Channel 23 on Spectrum where video of town meetings is available. We also still had many large projects like the Wawarsing Water district that could not stop just because of the pandemic.
Town Meetings Go To YouTube, Short-Term Rentals & Broadband Solutions — NewsAtomic
Town representative to the Ulster County Broad Band Task Force:
This is a Citizens Commission for Digital Inclusion. The goal is to bring lower cost and complete internet to all our residents. I sponsored the Town signing an agreement with ArchTop Fiber as part of their plan to bring Fiber to the town residents and a product that is better and cost competitive to current provider. As the town resource, I also assist residents looking for solutions that are becoming available now.
Brought Credit card transactions and online pay capability for town taxpayers during the current tax season. Other fees-based services such as water/sewer bills and building permit applications are next on the agenda to make it easier for residents.
Implementing a new phone system at the town hall which will save the taxpayers $8000 a year and bring easier interaction between residents and the Town Hall Services they require.
Managed the town Wi-Fi project at Lippman Park:
This brought internet to the park and transfer station as well as reliable phone service providing for much more reliable 911 service.
My Message to every town voter:
As you can see, I’ve proven that I have the time, energy, and skills necessary to take on the responsibilities required to do the job as a Town Council Representative. As an analytical thinker and problem solver, for the last four years I have brought my knowledge and expertise to benefit our town and its taxpaying residents and business owners. I will continue working hard over the next four years for everyone regardless of party affiliation. I’m asking for your support once again in seeking another term as one of your representatives to the Town Council.
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” ― John F. Kennedy (in his 1958 speech at Loyola College)