2019 ELECTION PREVIEW - TOWN BOARD - ELECTION DAY - TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5

October 30, 2019

Coleen Snow

 

Why are you running for this office?

I am running because my family and I love the Pawling/Holmes Community and I relish the opportunity to make our community even better through an inclusive vision, honesty, positive attitude, and team building skills. I have been impressed with the positive changes in our town and especially at the Recreation Department, which I want to be a part of the continuing progress.

 

What are your qualifications for the position?

I have the leadership, commitment and experience necessary to be a Town Board member. I have lived in this community for 21 years and have been volunteering for the past 18 years. As a six year Pawling School Board Member, five years as President (an unpaid position), I gained critical skills in managing a $34 million dollar budget, grant writing, and complying with board rules. During that time, I applied my fiscally conservative views to achieve a reduction in school taxes while ensuring funds were directed to critical improvements in academics.

           

In addition, I instituted a formal collaboration among the Town, Village, Chamber and School Board to tackle community issues as well as foster communication. Moreover, as an elected official, I fully appreciated that I was elected to serve my constituents. If elected to the Town Board, I will never forget that I am there to serve the community, not my own self-interests. I understand that my role is to work for and with the Pawling/Holmes community members. In addition to the Pawling School Board, I have served on the Christ Church Nursery School Board, Pawling Rotary, PTA, and PTSA. Finally, I have developed excellent listening and mediation skills through my training and 25 year career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

 

What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?

I have been listening to members of the community at Town Board meetings, as well as past podcasts for a very long time and they have inspired my platform. My key issues include a community-wide vision for smart commercial growth that respects our beautiful surroundings. Second, I would advocate for a revisit to the health care benefits. At the Town Board meeting of 9/11/19, there was a discussion and eventually a resolution to increase the contributions towards their insurance. While I feel this was a good starting point, we can always look for ways to do better. I will advocate to eliminate health care benefits for part-time elected officials commencing each new term of office. I also commit to analyzing and sharing with the community compensation packages of comparable New York towns to establish fair compensation that attracts qualified residents to serve on the board. Third, the Pawling Town Ethics Board was a bipartisan volunteer panel of residents established under New York State law to render advisory opinions to the Town Board on ethical issues, such as conflicts of interest. You can read about it in our Town laws: https://www.ecode.360.com/13550871. In 2014, the Town Board did not reinstate the Ethics Board and their decision never received much publicity. I am committed to understanding that decision and working to reinstate it. When conflict issues are raised and vetted by an Ethics Board, the Town Board itself and the community at large can be assured the Town Board is acting in an ethically responsible manner. Fourth, I would like to continue to spearhead efforts between the Town and Village boards to help reduce taxes through sharing of certain services provided by the Town, Village, County, and nearby municipalities. Building Inspectors are one example. The Town appoints one part-timer and the Village another. That does not seem cost-effective. Finally, I have proposed a bold community-wide Green Initiative that would reduce our carbon footprint, reduce energy costs, boost eco-tourism, and preserve our beautiful community for generations to come.

 

What is your educational background?

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Utica College of SyracuseUniversity and a Masters in Social Work degree from Fordham University. I have been a Social worker for the last 25 years. I currently have a private practice here in Pawling. I have been passionately serving the Pawling/Holmes Community since 2009.

 

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I am the proud mother of three children, all of whom are products of the Pawling Central School District. I am blessed to be married to a wonderful, supportive, and loving husband. I adore our dog, Crystal. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy time with my family and friends as well as attending our school sports events.

 

Phil DeRosa

 

Why are you running for this office?

Over 55 years ago, my family moved to Pawling/Whaley Lake.  Pawling embraced me and my family and so for over 25 years, it has been my goal to give back to Pawling. I served on the Planning Board for 16 years before serving on the Town Board since 2011.  I have contributed in all departments, the highway department/transfer station, buildings & grounds, and at town hall.  Just ask the town employees about me!

 

What are your qualifications for the position?

•   15 Years - Shorehaven Homeowners Association President

•   1992 - Mayor Anderson appointed me to Village of Pawling Zoning Review Committee

•   1996-2011 - Member of the Town of Pawling Planning Board

•   Member of two Parkland Committees

•   2000-2006 - Village of Pawling Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator

•   Worked on two master plan review committees

•   2011- present - Dutchess County Planning Federation Board of Directors

•   2011- present - Town of Pawling Town Councilman

 

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

To continue protection of Pawling Master Plan and Zoning regulations. Continue improvements on town buildings, parks, transfer station, golf course and support road improvements. It is important to expand opportunities in Holmes/Whaley Lake.

 

What is your educational background?

•   1968 graduate of Pawling High School

•   Studied hotel & restaurant management at SUNY Delhi

•   30 year union carpenter

•   1999 graduate community leadership at Glenwood with Professor John Nolan

•   2001 NYS certified building inspector

•   20+ years zoning/planning training courses

 

What else would you like voters to know about you?

What voters should know about me is that I moved to Whaley Lake in 1964 and graduated high school from Yonkers.  I am retired, built my current house. My hobbies include golf, hunting, motorcycle riding and working on property. I have two step sons, one daughter, three grandkids, two great-grand kids. I don’t vote party lines, I vote for Pawling.

 

Reid McGrath

 

Why are you running for this office?

Pawling is happening right now. There’s a lot of positive development and it is important we have people on our Boards steering and guiding this development in an appropriate manner. The visions of the future (of my children’s Pawling) are what keep me going.

 

What are your qualifications for the position?

I’ve done the job for a year and I’ve learned exponentially in that year.

 

What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?

I think a sewer line to Route 22 South is vital to expanding our tax base and filling the vacancies we have in that environmentally sensitive area. I have been working as liaison to our engineers on this project and hope to continue to do so.

            I would like to continue to work with the PCF to see that the dirt is utilized in the Great Lawn project in the immediate future. It should be one of our biggest priorities at Lakeside. I would like to see the Whaley Lake Dam restored to its historic level. I would also like to keep working with our Recreation Director to increase events and programs in our parks for our taxpayers as well as to draw people from neighboring communities to Pawling. I want to keep supporting our Highway Superintendent so he can keep paving roads and kicking butt.          

 

Last year I campaigned to end the lifetime health benefits for part-time elected officials and this was something that I vocally pressed while in office this past year. As a Board we compromised with each other and ultimately voted to eliminate them for anyone who was voted in after January 1st, 2018, which was a necessary step for Pawling.

 

I would like to be very frank on this subject of what I no longer want to accomplish: I no longer feel a need to eliminate health-benefits for town board members or other elected officials. I totally and admittedly eat crow on this subject. Last year I was influenced by other people and a lot of hoopla on social media; I did not know the full extent of the job and now I do. I am sorry if you voted for me last election and did so because of this stance on health insurance for elected officials. Everyone has the opportunity not only to cast their vote in this upcoming election, but also to come and run for office and take my job. With all of this being said, we have made a large stride in increasing the contribution to 30% of the premium which amounts to a Town Board member forfeiting his or her entire salary if they take a family plan, and most likely having to pay out of pocket for it in the near future.

           

I want to protect the employees we have working for us now and give them the option of a new carrier if we happen to find a better one (which we are working on), but never to force it on them because we have this penny-pinching mentality of the Town Board lowering the taxes for Pawling taxpayers. That is not going to happen. Or should I say that is not going to happen by pinching pennies and harming our employees. It’s going to happen by having our Board work as hard as possible, by building sewer lines, by filling vacancies on South 22; in a word, by increasing our commercial tax-base.

           

If you look at your Tax Bill, lop off the astronomical portion that is the School Tax, lop off the County Tax, the Fire Department and Library Tax, and finally get to the number that is the Town Tax and the number that the Town Board is responsible for utilizing in order to pave and salt your roads, clear the trees around them, maintain your Buildings and Grounds, beautify your parks and golf-course—Etc.. This number is not too much to ask of each taxpayer. We need to stay under the Tax Cap but we need to reach it. We have infrastructure to fix in Pawling.

 

What is your educational background?

Pawling High School. SUNY NEW PALTZ. Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, cum laude.

 

What else would you like voters to know about you?

I have a wife and two kids who are all rather adorable. I love to run all over Pawling and dabble with some iambic pentameter when I have time. I have a book of poems being published by White Violet Press coming out this winter.

 

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