Town Supervisor Updates

Highlights of the Workshop Meeting 5.5.18

The Town Board went immediately into Executive Session Saturday morning in order to deal with the selection of a planner for the Town to help with the Carvel Development Project as well as details on a number of opportunities which have come up around bringing Town Hall back into town. We adjourned with many things still on our list to discuss but ran out of time. We want to continue meeting like this, at least the Saturdays before Town Board meetings and will discuss this again at our regular meeting this Thursday night. Many exciting opportunities are presenting themselves and town input is sorely needed. Look for ways that you can be a part of the decision-making for the future of Pine Plains in the coming months!

The Community Garden is in full swing and volunteers are always needed. And Anthony Silvia is carving our new Town signs as we write. Look for them this summer!

Highlights from Town Meeting 4.19.18

We had a long, productive meeting on April 19th, 2018. Highlights include the hiring of Kerri Yamashita as a Special Prosecutor for our court, the passing of a decision to provide Disability benefits to employees contingent on further study as regards the category of employee for this (years of service, for instance, or full versus part-time), the hiring of Kyle Gillis as Beach Director, and the Highway Departments plans for fixing roads this summer. We passed an Arbor Day Resolution and welcomed Mark Wilson to town as new head of our Triathlon (June 30th! AND to include a children’s race and later start times!) Mark runs Triathlons for a living and feels confident he can bring more and more people to ours as he builds our reputation as a beautiful place to race. Bob Couse suggested a Town Cleanup Day. We will be looking into how to do this. The Town Board is currently interviewing Planners for help in going forward on the Carvel Development Project. We hope to meet with Durst representative, Yale professor Alex Felson, this coming Monday in a series of meetings all day.

We are also selling the Old Library. If you are interested in this lovely-but-in-need-of-renovation old building on prime Pine Plains real estate, please send an email of interest to supervisor@pineplains-ny.gov as we are preparing an RFP for the sale. I neglected to mention at the meeting that Sandy Towers is starting to work on the Community Garden once again out here at Town Hall. She really would love to have some help this year, and can be reached at 845-514-5550. The food harvested here is taken to our own Food Pantry once a month, but Sandy is open to new ideas for the distribution, since once things begin to grow there is A LOT of food available to families. Students are welcome to come help and bring food home. April Stark, a teacher at Seymour Smith, has brought her students to help plant, and Town Justice Dave Humeston is a regular volunteer. Join them! Call Sandy to give her your ideas! Many of you may not know that the Town has a vibrant Seniors Program, with trips and events provided free and for a nominal fee. This past Friday, we all went down to the Westchester Musical Theatre, had lunch and saw a fabulous production of Sister Act. Kathy Rigano, Town Secretary, and Ray Christiansen are to be commended for booking these excellent adventures and taking care of everyone who goes. Even the bus ride was wonderful—it was a chance for friends to catch up with each other, to meet new people, and to see the countryside from higher up than a carwindow. As per usual, I sighed with relief as we crossed into Dutchess County, grateful to be living in such a beautiful place.

Highlights of the Town Board Meeting 3.15.18

This was a tough month for Pine Plains. We lost a number of beloved and important citizens. Two significant nor’easters swept through and knocked out power and roads for days. This brought to our attention the need for all of our departments to work together in emergencies, and for a plan of which all are aware. Warming and charging were made available at the Community Center and the Town Hall. Dry ice and bottled water for our area was delivered by Central Hudson to Red Hook. Most people stayed home and manned their generators, or came into town for a few hours to sit at diners with friends. Neighbors helped neighbors. We got through it. The County will soon be delivering a comprehensive emergency plan for the town, so that all systems work in a united way.

At the Town Board Meeting on the Ides of March, (not a time of evil, as Shakespeare had it, but a time for settling debts that goes back to the Romans!) we discussed a few of the following things:

The Old Library Sale: we will put it up for sale again ourselves, but this time with specific requirements for the renovation of the building, as it stands on prime real estate in Pine Plains.

We took a pledge to become a Climate Smart Community which will enable us to apply for grants with NYSERDA for energy-saving systems and an EV Charging Station.

The Trails Report was approved. Town attorney will draw up the necessary resolution.

We have launched a search for a Court Prosecutor.

It was nice to see students in attendance. We hope they learned a few things about good government!

First Durst Meeting Highlights

On February 24th, the Durst Corporation came to the Community Center to present their project in an informational town-wide meeting. Highlights of the plan include much more green space and land conservancy than the original plan, a trail system open to the public which would allow us to walk from downtown Pine Plains all the way to Lafayetteville, an Affordable Housing Fund to be administered by the Town Board for in-town housing, and the potential for numerous jobs associated with the building and maintenance of the development. The potential economic impact of the project was suggested, though there remains a discrepancy between this potential and both the forestry tax exemptions (upwards of $6,000,00) they have received, and their proposed use of common space, which may conflict with businesses already established in Pine Plains.  They spoke of being open to hearing about all of these impacts and more. After describing the development to us in a powerpoint, they requested feedback on the following aspects of the proposal:

  1. Layout and design of the project
  2. Size of the project
  3. Variety of housing and lot sizes
  4. Proposed public benefits a) Are all of them useful/up-to-date? b) Are there changes to be considered? c) Do any raise potential difficulties? d) Are there different benefits or amenities which should be considered?

You can read the NND on our website under About Us/Development. Please send your comments to supervisor@pineplains-ny.gov for inclusion in a report to the Dursts which they will address at the next meeting on March 17th at 10:30 am at the Community Center.

Town Supervisor Update

Intro to your new Town Supervisor! 

Darrah Cloud holds a BA from Goddard College and MFAs from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She has been a business owner in Stanfordville and Pine Plains since 1997, and helped revive the Pine Plains Business Association.  She is a Professor of Creative Writing at Goddard College and has taught at Vassar, Fordham, Wesleyan, and SUNY Albany as well. Cloud states: “When I was five my mother took me to my first play: it was the musical, Oliver! I never recovered. While other kids were memorizing Jimmy Hendrix riffs and Janis Ian lyrics, I was memorizing The Boyfriend, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Oklahoma. But if you know me, you know that I look nothing like a chorus girl, let alone a Broadway star. Plus I couldn’t sing. But that didn’t stop me: I became a playwright. What has this got to do with being Town Supervisor of Pine Plains? Everything. A lifetime of creating plotlines, tracking continuity, handling vivid characters and facing enormous obstacles with a too-small sword and a tiny platoon of underfunded crazy, valiant, and brave techies, prepared me well for taking office. It turns out that the diverse, creative, collaborative world of the theater is the perfect training ground for public service. (Take note, kids in the chorus of the Will Rogers Follies!) Our door is open down at Town Hall for those with energy to help the town attract new businesses and people who work hard, love mountains and lakes, want to send their kids to great schools, want to get involved in their community rather than sit at home… and love theater! Stop by. Attend a Town Board meeting. Get to know the people you elected to help keep the town running. Play a part in Pine Plains!”