Dear Pine Plains 11.8.2019

Dear Pine Plains,

 

Communication is so difficult in our current world: people don’t trust the newspapers—and don’t read them anymore, social media is full of misinterpretations, rumors and bullies, very few people attend town board meetings or community meetings, and ignorance abounds about how town government works, what can be legislated, and what is actually going on. So I would like to ask you each for a favor now: would you please forward this letter to someone you think has not signed up for it, who would benefit from knowing what’s happening in Pine Plains? This comes from an examination of the vote count this past Tuesday. I ran unopposed, but there were a number of people who did not vote that line at all, or wrote in a name of someone who was not running. So, in my mind, that means we have disenfranchised folks who don’t care for “what’s going on” here, but may not actually know what’s going on. I imagine they might have valuable things to add to our conversation. I’d like to hear what they have to say. supervisor@pineplains-ny.gov

The re-design of the Durst Project is moving along, and I spent 2 hours with their Project Manager Lisa Baker this morning, going over the timeline and their perspective on all the changes going on around town. When we do our Sewer Feasibility Study, we will also look into ways for the town to hook into the sewer treatment plant they intend to build. There are so many ideas on the table about how we might get the infrastructure to welcome new affordable housing, new businesses, and therefore lower taxes here. The Study commences soon.

I am now a graduate of the Land Use Law Center Affordable Housing Training. And I have a plaque that contains a quotation from Marcus Molinaro, who attended way back when he was a young mayor of Tivoli: “Building communities one conversation at a time.”

Monday is Veterans Day. If you’ve heard me speak on Memorial Day, you know that my dad served in the OSS during WWII, the precursor to the CIA. His job was to go under the lines, fake being a German soldier, and smuggle out people important to the Allies. He was 21 at the time. He never spoke about the work he did for our country, but he wore it every day. Sometimes deeply sad for no apparent reason, he was always kind, welcoming to strangers, and committed to his family, the company he started, and all the people who worked for him. He brought in profit-sharing at a time when nobody else was doing that. He was a classic Eisenhower Republican. Which is why I fervently believe in working “across the aisle” in everything I do for the Town. Labels don’t make the person; the lives we lead say everything.

Let us all remember what men and women in the service fought for every day, and ask ourselves this: is the life I am leading worth what they sacrificed? If you want to do more, come serve your town. Volunteer for a committee. Volunteer to coach. Become a part of Pine Plains.

Come to Town Hall for a cup of coffee and a conversation, Pine Plains!

Darrah Cloud