When it comes to local representation, residents of Rosendale only have half the usual number of decisions to make in the voting booth this Election Day, as three of the six races in the town are uncontested.
Incumbent town supervisor Jeanne Walsh is running unopposed for reelection to a second two-year term, having been endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties. Walsh’s campaign has emphasized completing such “unfinished business” as decommissioning the crumbling Binnewater Dam and final site plan review and approval for the Williams Lake Project. Top priorities for a second Walsh term include securing grants for replacement of the town pool and major upgrades to Rosendale’s public water supply infrastructure.
A more hotly contested race is underway for two seats on the Town Board. Republican incumbent Kenneth Hassett, who is employed as a business agent for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1262 and has served a total of 16 years as a Rosendale councilman, is seeking reelection. Hassett is committed to seeing “a significant start within my term” for construction of the Williams Lake Project and favors continuing efforts to make Rosendale a recreation destination. Other priorities in his platform include infrastructure improvements — primarily to the water supply system, but also roads and bridges — and finding a new home, “preferably on the Route 32 corridor,” for the Rosendale Farmers’ Market.
Also endorsed by the Rosendale Republican Committee is William Dietz III, third-generation proprietor of Dietz Tree Service, who is making his first-ever bid for public office. He will appear on the Conservative and Independence Party ballot lines as well. Dietz is running on a pro-growth platform, favors incentives for the return of small businesses to the Rosendale hamlet and lists replacement of the town pool and infrastructure improvements among his top priorities.
Running for Town Board with the endorsement of the Democratic and Working Families Parties are Jennifer Metzger and Christopher Pryslopski. Metzger is the chair of Rosendale’s Environmental Commission and was narrowly defeated by Walsh in the 2011 election for town supervisor. She is a consistent advocate for Smart Growth and environmental sustainability and has long spearheaded efforts to reduce the town’s dependence on fossil fuels. Priorities in Metzger’s platform include keeping Rosendale an affordable place to live, updating the town’s zoning code and leveraging both grant funding and volunteerism to enhance Rosendale’s recreational resources, like the Town Pool and its trail network. She advocates the creation of an Incentive Zone to foster development in the Route 32 corridor.
Pryslopski, who works as program director at the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College, is the chair of Rosendale’s Zoning Board of Appeals. A proponent of more open government, he feels that a broader cross-section of the town’s human resources could be harnessed to craft solutions to local problems. Pryslopski favors zoning that prioritizes “recreational, small-business and affordable residential opportunities” and wants the town to expedite review and adoption of the recommendations of the Zoning Review Committee. He also hopes to find a legal way for the Community Center to continue to host the Farmers’ Market in future years.