Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 9-7-23
Chris Mayville’s approach to town board seat
As, many of you may already know I am running for a seat on the North East Town Board. I have had the privilege of speaking with many of you the past few months while collecting signatures to secure a spot on this November’s ballot and I look forward to speaking to many more of you.
While this year’s election appears to be uncontested, it is easy for people to become complacent with getting out there and getting to truly know the issues and concerns. I want you to know that that will not be me. I will continue to be an active listener who will be an advocate for transparency, community engagement, and to be vigilant and balanced with respect to how and when our tax dollars are spent.
Some of the other areas I have focused on based on my discussions with you are addressing the need for workforce housing by working together with all stakeholders. I would work to develop a tiered, measurable plan focusing on the current housing needs and establishing parameters to prevent over development.
Another area of importance is in the Long-Term Facilities and Infrastructure planning- It is important to maintain a running assessment of future needs and develop a capital improvement plan budget for the new highway garage and Town hall. We need to ensure that planning for the upkeep of those taxpayer owned entities is well planned for so that there is not a huge capital improvement burden in the future.
I would also like to see us work towards instituting quarterly round table discussions with all of the local taxing entities — I believe if we can discuss our various needs and plans together, we will be able to find more opportunities for shared services and staggered planning for those projects that may require an increase in taxes.
One of the other areas of concern I see is seeking ways to increase community engagement and participation at municipal meetings. It is important for citizens of the town to be informed and aware of issues. We need to educate the residents about all the different platforms they can access for local information. With the ability for citizens to participate remotely via Zoom we need to ensure that the information is easy for people to find and access including but not limited to agendas, meeting hyperlinks, rules regarding public comment at meetings and ways to meet the needs of those folks who may require alternative methods for participation based on auditory or visual needs.
Lastly, we need to bolster our existing recreational resources with more organized activities and opportunities for youth, adults, and seniors in the areas of music and the arts, as well as more organized health and wellness activities.
We live in an area with so many beautiful facilites both natural and man-made it seems that with more collaboration with the village and perhaps picking the brains of our neighbors north and south we could expand opportunities for residents of all ages.
Again, I look forward to the opportunity to continue speaking with and listening to your thoughts and concerns and would appreciate your vote on election day.
Candidate for North East Town Board
Meet the county candidates on Sept. 9
The 2023 election will be an important one for Dutchess County. Anyone interested in meeting the four Democratic candidates have an opportunity to do so THIS weekend. The Dover and Amenia Democratic Committees are holding a garden party/brunch on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Dover.
Come, listen to and ask questions of Tommy Zurhellen (county executive), Anthony Parisi (district attorney), Kenya Gadsen (county clerk), and Jim Rogers (family court judge). RSVP to -DOVERNY-DEMSemail@example.com; for the location (someone’s home). Hope you can attend — they are all impressive and inspiring.
for the Amenia
Appeal to speak on county’s waste plan
Come out and speak up Thursday, Sept. 7. at 5:45 p.m. on the sixth floor of the County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie before the County Legislature Environmental Committee votes on the proposed Solid Waste Management Plan for the county— unfortunately it continues/expands incineration and doesn’t go nearly far enough with composting (you also have another opportunity for public comment Monday, Sept. 11. at 7 p.m. before the full board vote).
The county incinerator in Poughkeepsie emits seven pounds of mercury annually— enough to poison literally 3,100 lakes of 20-acre size in our region, making fish too contaminated to eat; DEC and EPA data both show that it is by far the largest industrial polluter in the county.
It also puts 100,000 tons of global warming pollution into the air each year too in carbon dioxide equivalents— the last thing we need in the ongoing worsening climate crisis— and its emissions are the cause of ten million dollars’ worth of health problems yearly according to New York University.
Ninety-five percent of what use can be recycled or reused according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance; San Francisco’s recycling rate is over 80 percent; Los Angeles’ is almost as high— Dutchess’ rate is 35%.
Montgomery County (MD) and Minneapolis have both enacted comprehensive zero-waste plans— before their contracts with incinerator companies like Wheelabrator have run out— Dutchess should do the same.
The fact is that incineration is far more polluting than landfilling, burning coal, or any other form of energy, according to the Energy Justice Network; 300 new green jobs could be created in recycling, composting, and reuse according to Neil Seldman of Zero Waste USA.
Former Clearwater Environmental Director and current Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene has long called for the closure of the Dutchess incinerator; the Westchester Alliance for Sustainable Solutions has convinced many local elected officials and candidates to endorse their Zero Waste Pledge to shut down their own toxic county incinerator in Peekskill.
Join our weekly Zero Waste Dutchess Zoom online teach-in’s on Facebook and help us do the same.
Former Dutchess County Legislator (2004-2019)