Public service is a privilege and a responsibility, and our candidates embrace this concept in the work they do and the lives they lead. In discussing their values and principles, they use words such as fairness, compassion and empathy to describe how they approach their roles in public service, and in discussing the qualities they would bring to the Claverack Town Board they mention respect for all constituents, diversity in backgrounds and experiences, a desire to represent all constituents with integrity, ensuring fairness and equity in a government that is accessible to all.
We will utilize our deep roots in the community to help strengthen and support local businesses, and to attract new business. Our combined work experience will enable us to identify, apply, and manage grants and funding to support Claverack's existing needs and future growth. We understand the need to balance the rights of individual property owners with the responsibility to protect and preserve our small town, farmland, and rural atmosphere.
A number of our neighboring municipalities have had success in building effective tourism efforts in their community, and we plan on duplicating this success in Claverack. Development of a Tourism Board made up of Town Board members and members of the community would begin this process.
We will commit to develop the section of the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail that runs through our town. The rail trail linking Claverack to other towns would be another way to bolster our growing and thriving community.
The Town Hall:
We need to move forward with a new permanent town hall. The town hall project plan has not been presented to the community by the Town Board, and represents perhaps the best opportunity to engage and involve the community in developing a building that would satisfy not only the needs of town employees and court officials, but also provide a Claverack gathering space, a single location where all Town business is conducted, fostering a greater sense of community.
The Comprehensive Plan:
We understand that in order to achieve our goals and to get things done for the benefit of the town, we must work together to solve problems. The Town has been deficient in following its own Comprehensive Plan, last introduced to the public in April 2008 following a two and a half-year period of analysis, strategy and public hearings. The Plan states the expectation that a new Comprehensive Plan be developed every ten to fifteen years, with a review of the Plan every five years. Not only has there not been a review in this period, but many aspects of the Plan have not been followed. We pledge to bring a new Comprehensive Plan to the public that will be developed with the community’s input and implemented to guide development in the Town as intended.
Where the Claverack Democratic Committee stands on these issues.
We recognize that many constituents, especially our younger generations, struggle to find housing, for renters and buyers, that is affordable and safe. This impacts the community’s ability to establish a viable future for all constituents, as well as supporting economic development, educational services and our overall quality of life.
We support Governor Hochul’s efforts to strive to increase housing by at least one-percent over the next three years. The State of New York provides municipalities with access to funding to address these issues. We intend to identify, support and leverage these opportunities where viable.
One solution to these challenges is the support of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by our Town government. An ADU is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. ADUs would support incremental housing options currently lacking in the hamlet and town. This can be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.
Another solution may be in rezoning and development opportunities with a focus on affordable housing for area workers and our younger generations. Focus on serving the needs of these constituents rather than the building of luxury homes or glamping developments would better serve the community. This also would be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.
Community Involvement Results in Better Government
We have a community of talented and innovative people willing to participate in helping to improve our town and the lives of its constituents. This is an asset that is currently not being leveraged by the Town Board. Success in this area begins with transparency and accountability, providing continuous access to and awareness of all Town Board efforts and activities. We commit to encouraging a public bidding process and requiring three bids for all expenditures to insure fairness in this process.
Communication with the community is essential to a thriving town. For greater transparency, and to make it possible for everyone to have a view into town government, the town should post video recordings of town board meetings in addition to the minutes. Claverack should have an email alert and robocall system for emergencies to help keep neighbors informed and safe.
To attract more community participation and increase the town’s ability to address vital issues, the board should establish new subcommittees for Housing and Tourism, and strengthen the existing Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Climate Smart Committee.
Columbia County Democratic Committee’s Values and Platform
For more information about the above and additional issues, read the Columbia County Democratic Committee’s Values and Platform Brochure
Paid for by the Claverack Democratic Committee. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Claverack Democratic Committee, PO Box 514, Claverack, NY 12513
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org