CLAVERACK SUPERVISORS’ CANDIDATES FORUM CANCELLED
Kathleen Proper has the vision and plans to move Claverack forward for everyone.
Claverack, NY – Claverack voters have been denied a chance to hear from the two candidates running for Town Supervisor. The bi-partisan Claverack Supervisors candidates’ forum would have given voters an opportunity to hear directly from Kathleen Proper, Democratic candidate, and Kippy Weigelt, Republican incumbent, regarding their positions on improving the town government and residents’ quality of life.
The event was scrapped when Weigelt declined to participate. In an email, John Lee, Republican Town Chair, stated that Weigelt “will not be participating.”
Proper was looking forward to addressing voters’ questions and laying out her vision for tackling the current issues and future needs of the Town of Claverack when she is elected. Proper stated, “While I’m disappointed that the candidates’ forum will not be happening, I’m looking forward to continuing to engage with Claverack residents in the weeks leading up to the election. I encourage anyone who would like to discuss the issues and my positions to contact me directly.”
“It is very disappointing that this event will not happen,” said Stephanie Sussman, Democratic Town Chair. She added, “The voters of Claverack deserve an opportunity to hear directly from each candidate to be able to compare and contrast their ideas, visions, and plans on how to move our town forward over the next four years.”
Proper, a lifelong resident of Columbia County, Human Resources professional, runner, wife, and rescue dog mom, is focused on the many issues facing Claverack. Like other towns in Columbia County, housing affordability and accessibility, lack of good paying jobs, smart economic development, broadband access and affordability, and the impact of climate change are some of the challenges facing Claverack and its residents; and Proper has plans to address these issues.
“Throughout my career, I have worked with people of all backgrounds, at companies large and small, and I have a track record of getting things done. I will bring the same spirit and skills to the role of Town Supervisor,” said Proper. She added, “I see a bright future for our community, but only if we seize the moment.”
Proper will focus on small businesses and housing for essential workers. She will utilize incentives to bring the right businesses to Claverack, ensuring that residents have a clear and easy path to start a small business. Working closely with Claverack’s Zoning and Planning Boards and seeking resident input through resident-led committees and town surveys, Proper will ensure that new construction projects in town satisfy the need to provide affordable options for residents.
“The housing crisis in Claverack is one of supply and demand that has been heightened during the pandemic. As people from the city bought homes in Claverack, longtime residents were happy to seize the opportunity to sell their homes for much higher prices than ever before. Yet, the stock of housing has not increased. Young families, renters, and seniors cannot afford to live here anymore, and we cannot attract new residents who need workforce housing. The very first step should be a housing survey and inventory that could be done by a resident-led committee,” said Sussman.
Proper, who cares deeply about preserving the rural character and green spaces of Claverack, is a member of Claverack’s Climate Smart Community Committee (CSC). As Supervisor, she will develop climate smart policies to reduce utility bills and bring energy-efficient solutions to town, including supporting the CSC’s recommendation for building a new sustainable, net zero town hall, while reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
In addition, Proper believes broadband should be treated like the utility it is and will work to ensure Claverack residents have the reliable and affordable coverage they need to work, learn, and receive medical care. There have been many missed opportunities for state and federal funding regarding broadband, as well as infrastructure, education, and senior and youth services, among others. Proper will seek out available grants and will coordinate with our state and federal representatives to receive funding opportunities.
When elected, Proper, along with Brenda Shufelt and Brian Yorck for Town Board and Nat Drake for Town Clerk, will lead an open and transparent board, giving residents the greatest opportunity to stay informed through access and participation in their town government. They will also develop and support resident-led committees to assist the town government. Town hall meetings, quarterly newsletters, and hybrid recorded live streamed and in person monthly meetings will allow residents with various work schedules, families with young children, seniors who prefer not to drive at night, and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to see our town government working for them and with them.
“We need new leaders who have vision and ideas to move Claverack forward, and Kathleen Proper, Brenda Shufelt, Brian Yorck, and Nat Drake are those leaders,” said Sussman.
To learn more about Kathleen Proper and her vision for a Claverack that works for everyone, visit properforclaverack.com. For information on all the Democratic candidates running for town office, visit claverackdemocrats.org/candidates.