John Thomes, County Legislator

Why are you running for this office?

I have the experience and already have a good working relationship with the other legislators and staff, as well as the town and village officials, which is critical for getting things accomplished. I enjoy helping people and feel that my greatest responsibility is to protect our community and to make our citizens’ lives more enriched. I believe that Dutchess County is moving in the right direction and want to continue to be a part of that.

What are your qualifications for the position?

I am currently in my fourth term as Dutchess County Legislator of District #23, with an attendance record of 98%. Before that, I served as the Village of Pawling Mayor for three terms and was on the Pawling Village Board for four terms, as the Police Commissioner and Street Commissioner. I was also the secretary of the Pawling Joint Sewer Commission for four years. I am currently the chairman of the Family and Human Services Committee, a committee that helps the underprivileged in their daily struggle to survive. I am also on the Benefit Assessment Committee and the Stop DWI Committee, as well as the Government Services Committee.

What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?

I hope to continue to be instrumental in achieving a continued quality of life for my entire district, and everyone in Dutchess County. I am very proud of the fact that, working together, we have already been successful in lowering your county property taxes, and will continue strive to do so. I will continue to listen to the people of the community and to work for a better county. I am proud of the fact that the county has just purchased three fully electric cars, and hope to discover new ways to help with our environment. (The county has plans to place an electric car-charging base in Pawling).

What is your educational background?

Two years of college.

What else would you like voters to know about you – your family, pastimes, special interests or activities?

I have been a full-time resident of Pawling since 1958, helping my father, Gus Thomes, in the family business, Horn & Thomes, Inc. Funeral Home, since I was 10 years old. My wife and I bought the funeral home from my parents in 1985. I have served as President and Vice President of the Pawling Fire Dept., as well as a member of the Rescue Squad and Fire Police. I have also been the President of the Pawling Lions Club, the Jaycees, and the Pawling Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Grand Knight of the Pawling Council Knights of Columbus. I am currently an active member of the American Legion, F & AM, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, and Rotary Club. I am also a substitute driver for the Pawling Community Resource Center, pitching in when needed.

My wife, Debbie, and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary this year, and I have three great kids, two of which work with me in the family business; four awesome grandchildren; and two wonderful sons-in-law. I have adopted several rescue dogs over the years,; the most recent is Lucy, a rescue dog from Alabama, whom I adopted this past summer while at a Hudson Valley Renegades game. I enjoy running, especially on the Steinhaus Rail Trail – I’ve completed 31 marathons and countless other races – I plan to run a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning with several members of my family. I also enjoy attending Hudson Valley Renegades games at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill.

I have served my country in the Army Reserve, and later the Air National Guard at Stewart IAP, serving during Desert Storm, receiving the Meritorious Service Award from the United States Air Force. I retired in 1994, after 24 years.

I continue to enjoy my community by supporting scout dinners, fire department events, chocolate festivals, food drives, walk-a-thons, church dinners, senior activities, tag sales, and more.

I will continue to support my community and the people of Dutchess County District 23 to the best of my ability.