Tag: State of the Town 2020

State of the Town 1.2.2020

Just a few things since January 2018, which this Town Board has accomplished with the aid of numerous valuable members of the staff and committees:

Grant for EV Charging Station to bring Eco-Tourism into town

Grant for Comprehensive Plan Update hiring of Planners

2 Grants for a Sewer Feasibility Study which will cover all expenses

Sale of Old Library

Purchase of Ruth Pulver house for site for Town Hall or Municipal Parking expansion

Recovery Coach brought to town to help those struggling with addiction; continued work on this as funding was cut

Active Membership in Dutchess County Mayors and Supervisors Association,                  elected to the Board as Secretary

Co-creation and Membership in Tri-Town Affordable Housing Coalition with Amenia and Millerton and Membership and Founding Member in Quad-Town  Smart Housing Coalition (with Millerton, Copake and Ancram)

Re-vamp of Investment Policy for town’s General Fund, and reconfiguration of funds into interest-bearing accounts (annual revenue in 2019 approx. $20,000)

Held numerous town meetings at the Community Center to host the Durst Organization on the Carvel Property Development and to get public input, which resulted in their renewed interest in the project and re-design, soon to be revealed

Active support of new projects proposed for open land in the hamlet

Completed numerous climate-smart actions to achieve Clean Energy Community status at state level, including Unified Solar Permit Law and complete conversion to LED for Town Lighting, savings of $5-6000/year

Created a weekly newsletter for anyone with email or access to our website

Continued support for new website design, handled the implementation

Purchase and installation of an ice rink for Town Recreation

Extensive tree cleanup for Town Beach

Passed the use of Family ID for signing up kids to Recreational Activities

Active support of the Library and Community Center as well as our Seniors and our business community

Passing of a two-year-long Update of the Comprehensive Plan

Launch of Fund Balance Policy and Salary Raise Policy

Launched the writing of a Solar Law, still in progress

Launched Annual Town Clean-Up Day

Launched Playground Committee to build new all-accessible playground

Launch of Beautification Committee to re-build Town Park

Maintenance of a tight and necessarily small Municipal Budget so that people on limited incomes can continue to live in Pine Plains

We lost so many wonderful community members this year: we lost them to war, to cancer, to old age, to overdose. Each loss was deeply felt by the community and will serve as a reminder of how much one person can mean to a small town, and how important it is for us to not only maintain and endure but to do more in their honor. In 2 years of service here as Town Supervisor, I have seen what makes this place and its people so great, and what still holds it back.

In the Comprehensive Plan work we did this year, we were all surprised to find buried in the old Plan the notion that there was a rift between the townsfolk and the weekenders cited as needing to be repaired—and that was mentioned in 2004! We were looking for a place to put that in our new Date, but there it was! So I thought I would address that for a moment.

 

Here is what I hear on a daily basis in my office:

 

Weekenders! What is it with their attitude? They drive too fast. They think everyone born here is stupid. They drive “in” the “exit” at Peck’s. They don’t pay the plumber/electrician/housecleaner/contractor on time, or without complaining about the price. They ask for something to be done then change their minds once it’s done and tell you that you did it the wrong way. They question the integrity of the people they hire. They don’t want to meet anybody in town or get to know them, or participate in things here, they just want to hide in their houses. They don’t go anywhere but the Stissing House and the Platter. They only donate to causes their rich friends support, but never give to the Recreation Department or the Theatre Guild. They wander the aisles of Pecks Grocery in their pajamas. They like to say, Don’t tell anyone about Pine Plains we like it the way it is. What’s wrong with them?

 

Townspeople! What is it with their attitude? Don’t they realize how much weekenders and the people who moved up here have done to bring this place back from the brink? No one appreciates Peck’s Grocery more than weekenders! Weekenders donate to everything! Why is there this sense that people here resent those who have more, resent those who seem to get more when others have done the work, or worked just as hard, resent those who reap the benefits of this beneficent place, just because they didn’t grow up here? All they do is hang on Facebook and complain all the time instead of volunteering to make things better! They don’t come to town meetings. They don’t watch the meetings on the internet or read the website or the newspaper or come to community meetings or go to the Library more often… They don’t seem to care about Pine Plains anymore.

 

If any of this is familiar to you, then you know we have a problem. What about this: if we provide for not only a balanced budget, but a thriving, beautiful, healthy place to live, is not that an accomplishment of every tax payer and every committee member, every renter and every stay-at-home mom and every volunteer here? Rather than resenting each other, why not come together in the one thing we agree on: that Pine Plains is extraordinary. Let’s come together with pride, not resentment, and say, yes, yes this place is extraordinary, and I, with a lot or perhaps little to my name, was integral in helping to make it that way! I am proud of what we do for the people who live here and for those who want to visit and climb our mountain, and play sports with our kids under lights at night, I am proud to live in a place about which people say: I’ve never been anywhere as welcoming and kind as this!