2015 Endorsed Local Candidates
East Fishkill Town Supervisor
Born and raised in East Fishkill I have a real commitment to our town. In fact my ancestors include a Hessian Soldier from the Revolutionary War and his Indian wife buried in Wiccopee. In 1991 I was fortunate to be hired as a laborer in the Highway Department. That job allowed me the stability to go to night school and in 2007 I graduated from Marist College with my MBA. Working in Highway and then in the Building Department provided a background in town operations and in 2005 I was elected Town Supervisor.
Taking office in January of 2006 it seemed like a different world. Jobs were plentiful, home building was booming, and IBM had just built a new chip fab a few years earlier. But there were signs of change to come: lax mortgage industry lending standards created a housing bubble and IBM sold the West Campus. Soon we were mired in very difficult economic times, challenges we still face.
Yet, we have done things that have made our Town a model. We brought in very talented staff in-house for legal and engineering that we had formerly contracted out. Not only did we save money, it has enabled us to take on serious challenges very efficiently. We have kept town taxes low by reducing labor through attrition, contracting out work that had previously been done by staff while setting high standards for performance and inspection, installing computers on salt spreaders, and changing employee medical insurance plans to name a few changes.
Currently our town is rated AA2 by Moody’s Service, we have a nearly two million dollar fund balance and we are working hard on expanding our economic base passing laws for more efficient industrial development and building needed infra-structure. In addition, we have: passed laws to protect wetlands and steep slopes, taken over, fixed, and operate several sewer and water systems for the benefit of those in the districts (who are also the homeowners who pay for these acquisitions and operations), purchased the Lime Kiln Rec Center without using taxpayer money, and are working to bring water to the Hopewell Precision Superfund Site. And, on another note, we are currently working to bring a large sports dome into our area; we have upgraded the Leetown Rec fields, increased parking at the Rt. 52 Complex, and purchased a new machine for work on our fields all in this year’s very tight budget. Also, in regards to our Police Department, a recent survey for safe communities had East Fishill rated as 21st in the nation.
Our team of officials elected on the Republican line will continue to work hard for our community. As one taxpayer told me a few years ago, “East Fishkill still has a small town feel to it…East Fishkill is the biggest small town I know.” And we are proud of that.
East Fishkill Town Board
The Town of East Fishkill has been my home for almost thirty years. I care about this town just as much as you do, and I promise to continue to do everything that I can to make sure that it remains the great town that it is for our children, grandchildren and the many generations that will follow.
As a member of the Town Board, I have worked throughout the years with our other elected officials to keep our taxes low, while still providing excellent services to our residents. We have made many improvements and changes to our way of doing business to make everything run more efficiently. There is still much to do, and I would be honored to continue to do what I can for our town.
By your vote in the past, you have entrusted me with one of the most important offices in our town and I truly appreciate the confidence that you have placed in me. Today, I once again ask for you vote because I believe that I have the experience that counts – the experience that I will put to work for you. Let’s work together to keep the Town of East Fishkill a great place to live, work and raise our families!
East Fishkill Town Board
I have been a small business owner in the town of East Fishkill for over 19 years. During this time I have learned many many things but in particular, the customer always comes first. This has made me successful in the restaurant business and I have put forth this work ethic into the political arena.
In 2012 the people of the Town of East Fishkill honored me by electing me to the Town Board. Since then I have shown them what it takes to make tough decisions while keeping spending down and continuing the Towns services. I have always put the residents first and I always will. I have learned a lot since 2012 thanks in part to some council persons and our Town Supervisor and all of the many many wonderful Town employees.
All my business experience has also helped me, especially when we are working on economic conditions in the town. I started a new television show on our own channel 22 called Spotlight on East Fishkill. Every month myself and Councilman Franco interview and highlight two local businesses. This has been a huge success for the businesses and the town people love to watch it.
I have assisted the supervisor on many other economic development issues and I am the liaison to the Planning And Zoning Departments in the Town. We have never broken the Tax Cap and I will continue this conservative financial approach into the future. I am very enthusiastic about continuing this work and being your Councilman for another four years.
Claudia D. Heckert
East Fishkill Receiver of Taxes
East Fishkill Town Clerk
During my first term I had technology installed to increase the efficiency of our daily operations. Within the first 30 days of taking office I had the BAS Town Clerk System installed and operating. During the past 8 years I have continued to build upon the technology that was implemented. I will continue to use technology to enhance the service within my office.
I have been an active member of Dutchess County Town Clerks Association for 8 years. For the past 5 years I have served on the Executive Board as Treasurer.
Much of what is required of the Town Clerk’s Office is mandated by state and local laws. I will continue to serve my constituents in the effective, courteous and timely manner in which I have been doing for the past eight years.
I believe that I possess the professional qualifications and experience to continue to serve you as Town Clerk. I would appreciate your continued support and vote on November 3rd.
East Fishkill Highway Superintendent
I started working at local farms when I was 12, and at 16 I joined Wiccopee Fire Company and the East Fishkill Fire District. I attended John Jay High School, Dutchess and Rockland Community Colleges, and graduated with a Degrees in Business and Fire Science. I was President of the Wiccopee Fire Company from 1995 to 2001. In 1999, I was honored to be elected by the residents of East Fishkill to the East Fishkill Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners. In 2010, I was appointed by my fellow commissioners to be the Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners in East Fishkill.
During my professional career, I was hired right out of school by Miller Brewing Company as an Operations Manager. In 1985, blessed with our son, Billy, our family moved back to Wiccopee, where I continued with my business, S&B Landclearing Corp. In 2004 I took on additional duties, working for Glenn Metzger in his construction business. In 2012 I was hired by The Town of East Fishkill as Highway Foreman to work with the Highway and Engineering Departments.
I have enjoyed the past 16 years as Commissioner of the East Fishkill Fire District, and if re-elected this fall I look forward to another term as commissioner!
But the most important election I face is coming this November, for the position of East Fishkill Highway Superintendent. As your Highway Superintendent, I will exhibit the same initiative and energy that has characterized my career and commitment as a volunteer fire fighter for the past 42 years.
I have and will continue to attend Town Board meetings, not only as an engaged citizen, but also because the Highway Department represents a significant portion of the municipal budget of East Fishkill. I will work, as I have all my life, as a member of the TEAM- with the Residents, the Town Board, all of the Departments at the Town Hall, the Police Department, the Fire District, and the Recreation Department. Ensuring the smooth operation of the Town of East Fishkill is a group effort! East Fishkill is a Great Place to Live- and to keep that title requires commitment, knowledge and teamwork by our elected officials, our volunteers, our employees, and our residents.
I have known Dennis Miller for 40 years, and graduated John Jay with his lovely wife Catie. I wish them all the happiness in their upcoming retirement, and I thank him for his endorsement and his confidence in me. I look forward to continuing Dennis’ legacy as your Highway Superintendent.
2015 Endorsed County Legislator Candidates
Dutchess County Legislator – District 12
Dutchess County Legislator – District 13
Growing up in the shadow of Will Rogers, in Oologah, Oklahoma, cheering under the “Friday Night Lights” in Odessa, Texas, and tasting my first leadership role in the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma are moments in my life which have led me to establish roots in Dutchess County. The people, beauty, and history of Dutchess County help me to connect my prior experiences to serving our residents. As an elected representative of Dutchess County District 13 since 2010 and assistant majority leader, I have worked with many devoted community residents on several county and town committees.
I am honored to continue to serve on community committees, such as LaGrange Recreation Board and the Wappinger Challenger Committee which turned Dutchess County Community Block Grants into a rubberized surface Little League field. As liaison to the Dutchess County Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, I have witnessed the impact of system wide assessments on domestic violence services leading to change and prompting a regional roundtable discussion. As chairman of the Dutchess County Tick Task Force, I have the honor of working with community members dedicated to educating residents regarding the prevention of tick borne disease, as well as advocating for improved treatment avenues for patients. Last year’s Tick Task Force Education Forum has led to expanding access of information this May through a live webinar.
I believe the first step in solid representation is to be a good neighbor. Good neighbors create neighborhoods where people want to live, which link together and establish great communities. Great communities are a hallmark of Dutchess County and knit together our past, present and future. As an elected representative, wife, and mother I strive to serve others and think local first.
Dutchess County Legislator – District 21
As your Dutchess County Legislator for the last 13 years, I have a proven voting record of being for lower taxes and smaller government, — in particular, a government that focuses on efficiently performing key functions such as the Sherriff’s Department, Emergency Services, maintenance of county roads, bridges and parks, and services to our local veterans, seniors, youth and families in need.
Over the years, this has meant carefully scrutinizing every budget and spending proposal to weigh its true merits or flaws. In some cases, — like the current 2015 county budget, which performs all the key government functions while at the same time reducing county property taxes, — I have been an enthusiastic “yes” vote. In other cases, — like some past budgets which included tax increases that I opposed, — I was an adamant “no” vote.
In all cases, my “yes” or “no” votes were based on serving your best interests, both as county taxpayers and as county residents who rely on key county government functions.
I currently chair the Family & Human Services Committee of the Dutchess County Legislature, — a committee which I have served on for all of my 13 years in the County legislature. This committee does important work in the areas of community services, family services, youth services, domestic violence prevention, veterans affairs, mental health & hygiene, Office for the Aging, and the Board of Health. These government activities directly affect almost every family and person in Dutchess County in one way or another, . . . and because of that, I put my full heart and soul into seeing that these activities are done right.
I also serve on the Public Safety Committee of the Dutchess County Legislature and I am a steadfast supporter of our Sherriff’s Department and other local law enforcement. I am a member of the Council on Addiction and Prevention Education (CAPE) and I am an advocate for their work and the work by local law enforcement in the fight against heroin and other substance abuse. I have also recently assisted the East Fishkill Police Department in obtaining a grant to fund anti-drug programs in our local schools.
I am 100% committed to serving you as best I can. It has been a great honor to represent you in the Dutchess County Legislature, . . . and I humbly ask for your support to continue serving you for another two years.
Dutchess County Legislator – District 23
I wish to raise money in the private sector to restore the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program in Dutchess County. I feel that money given now to keep this program flourishing will ultimately help in a big way to save money in the future by helping to keep young people from going down the wrong road and having to be incarcerated, a big drain on the county’s money. As the song goes “Teach them well and let them point the way.”
I also want to continue the Dutchess Rail Trail down through Beekman and continue through the Whaley Lake/Holmes area. I have run on the rail trails and I am very impressed that they are relatively easy to maintain, and they get a lot of use year round. The Walkway Over The Hudson is a great asset to our people, and I think the Whaley Lake/Holmes section, if created, could eventually join the up with Putnam County.
Both of these projects are massive, but I believe I am on the right track.
When I first started running for the county office, I had a conversation with the co-owners of Valley Auto Parts in Pawling, Rodney and Tom. They expressed to me that the high taxes in Dutchess County (Town, Village, School, and County) were driving people and businesses out of the area, and I have heard this from many, many more people. I have remembered that talk we had during my past 3 terms, and I have listened to each vote on our agenda. I have not voted against every spending issue, as some of them are necessary, but I have, and will remain vigilant; I don’t want to spend your tax dollars, or mine, unless I can see a very worthwhile reason.