Pamela Riggins is a school guidance counselor at Arlington Middle School in Poughkeepsie, a position she’s held for 19 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Cortland, a master’s in school guidance from the SUNY Oneonta, and a master’s in school administration from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She is certified for kindergarten through school superintendent. She has a five-year-old daughter.
If elected, what would be your top priority?
Some of the things we’re looking at are property taxes, property assessments, open government, expanding the tax base. One thing that needs to happen is, once a board is formulated it needs to research what kinds of business would be suitable for Saugerties. The board should work as a team, and thoroughly research it. Research should include what other towns are doing, and what results they are getting.
How does your experience make you a good candidate?
I have a master’s in school guidance, and have worked in the public sector for 19 years with parents and children. I have developed skills in communication, listening and assessing. On a board you’re doing that, listening to people and assessing their needs. That’s what I do every day. I also must work within budget, and I am familiar with the budgeting process.
Describe the role of town government.
Town government has to prioritize the town’s needs and to look at the times we are living in. People must be able to trust their leaders to do what they need. We need to look to the future. Our children’s future is at stake, and when we make decisions, it must be based on what is needed for 10 years from now, 20 years from now. You can’t predict the future, but you have to project what will work. We have to look at what we have to offer. What we bring in must help people in the future. Collaborating with other people is important – the more information we can get, the better decisions we can make. We should see what other towns are doing, collaborate with our school board and our planning board. Communication is the key in making decisions. In my job, we meet with parents and with teachers to get information.
How can the town board encourage economic growth?
We have to look at what government programs are available. We should look at our programs, and understand how the town feels about the things we might want to do. The board would have to collaborate and do the research. We should contact other towns, and see how they have handled the issues.
As you see it, what are the current board’s top priorities?
I can’t really comment on their priorities, I would rather not focus on this board. I want to emphasize the things I feel are important.
Do you think there would be negative consequences if candidates of the opposing party were elected?
I’m hoping anybody that’s elected would work in the best interests of the town. It’s a great place to live, and our future is the top priority. I would hope to do the best job I can and bring about positive changes, especially for children in the community and for all the current residents.