The year to come in Saugerties


Saugerties movers and shakers read the tea leaves for 2015



Greg Helsmoortel

Town supervisor

What do you think will be the big story of 2015?

Economic development. We’re getting more and more inquiries for Kings Highway. I think Winston Farm is back on the map, the list of sites businesses want to look at. Empire State Development has renewed its interest in [the site], Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. has renewed its interest in it.

Would development on Winston Farm affect the concert site?

It would depend on the size of the company or companies interested. Right now, the plan is for the concerts to take place, hopefully, for a number of years. There is developable land available that would not interfere with the concerts.


Do we know yet if there will be any concerts or events this year?

No. It’s still up in the air.

What type of businesses have been inquiring about Kings Highway?

Right now it’s tech companies. Decent-end tech companies are looking at both Winston Farm and Kings Highway. Right now it’s leaning toward manufacturing companies.

Anything in the works in town government? Proposals, new laws?

We hope to finalize our contracts with our unions in the early stages of 2015. [All town union contracts are being negotiated.] We’re not working on any large laws right now.

As supervisor, what are your goals for the coming year?

Economic development. [Councilman] Jim Bruno and I spend a lot of time on that. Continue to manage the budget as best we can. The economy has certainly turned around and that’s helping the budget. [Many of] our known expenses have been paid off, quite a few bonds have been paid off. Sales taxes and mortgages taxes have been increasing slightly.

What are the signs that the economy has turned around?

The real estate market is on fire again, which leads to mortgage taxes. I’m judging it mostly on the real estate market.

Do you plan to run for another term in the election this fall?


–Will Dendis



William Murphy


When you look at the village what comes to mind?

When I look at the future of the village, I see the people of Saugerties and how much and how hard they have worked to put Saugerties on the map, as a destination for tourists and for jobs. Events like the Sawyer Motors Car Show has grown every year, bringing more people, some of who have never heard of Saugerties, into the village. The annual Garlic Festival continues to be a big draw for foodies and lovers of garlic. HITS continues to draw equestrians and those who love riding from around the nation. And all three events bring money into local shops and businesses.

Do you enjoy being mayor?

It’s my dream job being mayor of the village where I grew up. My term expires this year and I will have to make a tough decision. While I haven’t made any announcement yet, I probably will be seeking re-election.

What type of improvements would you like to see for the village?

Besides seeking re-election, much of what I look at is a continuation of projects that are holdovers from 2014. We’ll be finishing the streetscape project. The project was shutdown in November for the winter and will resume as the weather warms. The largest intersection in the village at Main and Partition streets is slated to be done first, and that intersection will also be the site of a project that residents have been demanding for a number of years. The state Department of Transportation will finally be installing a new traffic signal to go with the new crosswalks the village is putting in. The signal, which will have walk and do not walk signs, will make the intersection safer for pedestrians.

Kids who make use of the Donlon Gym atop the Partition Street firehouse are now playing basketball on a new floor, whose installation was recently completed. A number of local businesses and residents donated to make that happen.

Also Johnson Controls, which is installing new boilers in all of the village-owned businesses and making those buildings more energy efficient, will be finishing up the job in the first half of 2015.

After that we go solar. We are looking at renting out space on the roofs of the Village Hall and the Boys and Girls Club to a company that will install solar panels. No company has yet been hired, but there has been interest from a number of companies interested in the job.

On the business front what do you see?

We’re a thriving community, with new businesses moving in along Main and Partition streets and this is something we will continue to work for.

-Robert Ford



Doug Myer

Highway Department superintendent

What are your goals for the Highway Department this year?

Continued implementation of the 10-year plan put into place upon my taking office in January of 2012. This includes refurbishing and repaving as many miles of road that money allows. Replacing drainage structures and culvert pipes that are aging and in need of replacement. Possibly replacing another mainline plow truck with wing assembly and sander. This replacement will be decided after the 2014 books are closed and moneys earmarked for the fund balance become available.

Projects planned?

It will be an exciting year for new projects if all goes according to plans. The Highway Department, along with the town, have applied for and will be receiving grant moneys from New York Rising. The Highway Department’s share of these monies will be applied to the installation of a new and properly sized concrete box culvert on Wilhelm Rd. This box culvert will mirror the one installed on Band Camp Rd. a year or so past. The second project will be the replacement of the culverts at the base of Platte Clove Mountain. This will be a major undertaking due to the depth of the two culverts being replaced. It is uncertain whether directional boring, pipe bursting or open cut methods will be utilized. We are looking at those three options right now.

Are you expecting a snowy winter?

Nothing like last winter according to all current predictions. Your guess is as good as mine. My normal reply is, ‘Ask me in May and I will give you a factual answer.’ I do want the residents in the town to know that the Highway Department is ready for any storms that may come our way. We have plenty of sand/salt mix on hand and all snow removal equipment is ready to go.

Do you plan to run for a third term this fall?

Yes, as it stands now, I would seriously consider a third term.

Anything else readers should be on the lookout for this year?

Please be on the lookout for our highway workers. This answer may sound humorous at first but it is from the heart. Last year we had an accident where one of our employees was literally run completely over by a vehicle. This occurred in a construction zone. Thank God this employee came through this traumatic situation alive and after months of recuperation has returned to work full time. We at the highway department realize it’s a busy and hectic world. We also realize it’s an inconvenience to be held up in a work zone. Please be patient and alert. The work needs to be completed and these employees have a family at home just as we all do, waiting for their return.

–Will Dendis





Joseph Sinagra

Police chief

What’s happening with the police department? What are your goals this year?

Our goals are to continue fostering public relations. We’re going to be taking a look at teaching in the high school regarding how the community should interact with the police and how the police should interact with the community. So we’re hoping to go into the upper grade levels and have an open dialogue with students, and basically explain to them the importance of cooperating with the police and also for my officers to understand the importance of cooperating with the community.

Our other big thrust is going to be a concentration in the area of narcotics. We’ve always been in that area, but there’s going to be a real concerted push coming up in 2015. We’re going to continue to push hard on the issue of pedestrian and vehicular traffic comingling with one another and getting along and respecting each other’s rights; particularly, pedestrians understanding the proper use of crosswalks, and when there are crosswalk signals available, that they’re required by law to use those, and getting motorists to be more cognizant of pedestrians and yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalks and understanding that they have a right-of-way to cross the streets when they’re in the crosswalks.

Technology, we’re always trying to foster better technology in the department. But again, we’re cautious with technology because we want to make sure the technology we bring in is actually a benefit to the agency. A lot of times departments get bogged down with too much technology and it tends to slow the process down rather than speed the process up. Training is always a top priority. I’m a firm believer that a trained police force is a professional police force and that many issues can be mitigated simply by having well trained police officers that understand the application of the law and that they’re enforcing the law in the spirit it was intended to be enforced. How’s that so far?

Good. You started off with police/community relations. Is that a reaction to national or local incidents?

I think it’s become a hot topic because it’s come to the national forefront. But I honestly think that since I’ve been the chief here, and I think even starting with Louie Barbaria’s administration, there was an effort to reach out to the community. Louie had a radio show. I not only do the same radio show that Louie did, I do a TV show that airs all month long. I attend village and town board meetings. I have an open-door policy; people show up here all the time now. Although we recognize in certain areas of our nation relations between the community and police are strained, I don’t believe that’s the case here in Saugerties.


Last year we talked about drugs in Saugerties, particular heroin, and whether use was increasing in Saugerties as it has in other parts of the Northeast. At the time you said, ‘check back in a year.’

We haven’t seen an increase compared to years past. Everybody thought 2014 would be the year— in some places in our nation there was an epidemic in the use of opiates. I think the use of opiates has been pretty consistent with the drug use that we were familiar with here. There was no significant noted increase in overdoses. Drug use is always going to be out there, unfortunately, but fortunately we, the police, will be out there looking for those individuals, the ones who are selling, and we’re going to arrest them.

Each year I pick something I think is the issue for the year, and for 2015 our real issue is going to be what’s going on with the drugs. We did some operations with the Kingston Police Department and New York State Police, URGENT [the county drug and gang taskforce] is up here working constantly. I’m not afraid to put out the message that we’re targeting this because then drug dealers are going to say, ‘You know what, Saugerties is not the place to be in ’15, we need to be someplace else.’

Although I don’t believe we have a serious problem, we do have a problem. I’d be a fool to say we don’t have a problem. But every community has a similar issue, some worse than others. I want to make sure that we don’t become one of the bad communities, that we’re a community that’s average and that’s what we can expect. We can never totally rid the community of drugs. It would be nice to be able to do that, but then it would be called Utopia and not Saugerties.

What kind of drugs would you be targeting?

We get heroin, we get crack cocaine. Crack cocaine isn’t as prevalent as it was in years past. Meth, marijuana. We’re not a state that allows the social use of marijuana so we will enforce those laws. And the so-called designer stuff, once we passed the local legislation that stuff disappeared, the bath salts and that stuff.

What kinds of calls are increasing?

We saw an increase in the number of domestic violence calls and I think that is somewhat of a reflection of today’s society. It seems unfortunate, but as each year passes people seem to become a little bit more violent, quite honestly. The days of self-restraint and just talking problems out versus getting into physical confrontations, whether it’s with a neighbor or a spouse or a significant other… We handle a lot of domestic calls in Saugerties, a lot. We’re right at the top of the list in Ulster County.

What about DWI?

That’s been pretty consistent. We’re making between 60-70 arrests a year for DWI. The message has been out there for almost 30 years now about DWI, and yet there are still people out there who believe they can get consume alcohol and get behind the wheel. I wish they’d heed the warnings because eventually they’ll get arrested and it will cost them money.

–Will Dendis




Don Dieckmann

Principal, Grant D. Morse Elementary School

What are you looking forward to in your building in the upcoming year?

I look forward to getting our newly ordered smartboards installed and in the hands of our primary teachers, who are eagerly awaiting this technology to incorporate in their instruction. We will be providing training for this technology for our teachers as the year goes on.

You’ve spoken in the past about bullying prevention as something you’re working on. Can you say a few words about some initiatives your building will be working on in the new year?

We have continued our Olweus bully prevention program. Our faculty has used the skills and techniques of the program with our students during our classroom meetings to discuss issues and teachers/faculty have utilized the on-the-spot intervention skills as well, to address incidents of bullying.

You also mentioned Student Council changes at the last Board of Education meeting.

The format has changed with our Student Council with Mrs. Tucker taking over the program. We will be utilizing the students more to encourage the students to speak on behalf of the student body. We had the first task for them to assist with the BOE presentation of our building. As the year goes on we plan on utilizing them more to assist with fundraising and organization of events.

-Dawn Green





Dean Fabiano

County legislator

What is the most important issue for 2015?

I think attracting business to the area is number one. We have to take the tax burden off homeowners. People are hurting and there are too many foreclosures. We have to do something about jobs.

How can that be accomplished?

There are a number of things in the works for Kings Highway and hopefully all the snags can be worked out. Water and sewage has been brought into the area and other improvements are going forward. The Niagara Bottling Company is interested in a parcel of land over there. I know there are environmental concerns, which I understand, but I’m hopeful that after it’s thoroughly checked out we can move forward. Again, I understand the concerns, but we’re talking about a potential 120 full-time jobs and taxes on 57 acres of commercial property. Saugerties has been seen as business unfriendly in the past and we have to change that image.

Any other issues you think are important to address as we look ahead?

I think this thing at the DSS where they require visitors to be checked for active arrests warrants is going to have to be dealt with. Like anything, there are two sides. Some people felt this was harassment, especially for older people, but they did make some arrests. We’ll have to see how that can be dealt with.

-Polly McCravey




Mary Wawro

County legislator

What is the most important Saugerties issues for the coming year?

I think the important issues are pretty much the same as they are for the rest of Ulster County. We still are in need of good-paying jobs. Saugerties is a wonderful place to settle down and raise a family, but without jobs, families will not be able to stay and enjoy all the things Saugerties has to offer. We need to create an atmosphere that attracts businesses in ways that don’t create a burden to taxpayers.

Another issue is the rapid growth of our senior population. We need to be proactive. Many things are impacted as age and health issues come up. Saugerties is one of the few communities in Ulster County to have hot meals served at the Senior Center. This is the kind of resource we need to support.

Then there’s the heroin problem in Ulster County that is impacting families from every social economic level. We need to come up with a user-friendly way to help families access existing programs. We need to be creative in ways to offer additional support to families.

What are the most significant changes you’ve seen in our community during your term in office?

I don’t think there have been any significant changes. I do see our community as one that cares deeply and comes together to support each other. Sometimes I think it is more significant to acknowledge the constant rather than change. For example, we owe our firemen and their families a huge debt. Our firefighters are just the beginning of a huge list of volunteers in our community.

-Polly McCravey



Chris Allen

County legislator

What do you see as the most important issues of the coming year?

It is imperative that more economic development comes to Saugerties. We need to bring more jobs to the area. Many of our residents commute long distances for better-paying jobs. Specifically, there needs to be some development along Kings Highway, which has received over a million dollars of county taxpayer funding in order to have water and sewage brought in. This infrastructural improvement was supposed to facilitate shovel ready projects being brought to the area. The residents of Saugerties are still waiting for these projects to arrive.

What types of companies do you envision along Kings Highway?

While I can’t really talk about specifics, there are companies that have shown an interest, and those are mostly technology companies. For example, there has been an interest shown in the old Treasure Chest building. There is a glimmer of hope.

You’ve mentioned health care as an interest. What would you like to see done?

I would like to see more funding provided by federal, state and county, as well as private sources. I also think there can be better coordination of existing resources. Another idea would be to have EMT technicians more intensively trained to spot signs of mental illness on intake.

What are the most significant changes that you’ve seen in the community since taking office?

Infrastructural improvements are arriving soon on Kings Highway in the form of more natural gas hookups. This will make those commercial tracts truly more shovel ready. Recently, a county legislator drafted a comprehensive resolution which outlined a specific policy for broadband Internet and fiber optic cable expansion across Ulster County.  I’m pleased to see a coordinated effort on the part of county and local elected officials and hope this level of cooperation will continue in 2015.

–Polly McCravey




Susan Bolitzer

Former president, Esopus Creek Conservancy

You recently retired from your position with the Esopus Creek Conservancy. How do you feel about what’s been accomplished?

Fifteen years ago a group of people got together to conserve 168 acres of land on the Esopus Creek. Steve Hopkins, in Saugerties Times, called us a “rag tag band of local activists” and I guess that’s what I was most proud of, the acknowledgement that ordinary folks with a vision could lead the effort. We became incorporated as the Esopus Creek Conservancy and began the development of an Esopus Bend Nature Preserve, which was officially opened in 2005. Scenic Hudson and the Dominican Sisters asked ECC to partner with them to protect the land on the Hudson that’s become Falling Waters.

What do you feel is the most important task or issue on the agenda for the Conservancy?

I grew up exploring the woods, and from those experiences I know that moving forward and into the future, if we are to continue to preserve our natural environment in the Saugerties area, we need to provide enriching experiences for children to have fun in the woods. Our school initiative with the Saugerties schools has brought virtually all of the Saugerties public school to Esopus Bend or Falling Waters during their third grade. ECC has expanded this initiative to the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club in the past year, and we plan to grow each of these programs in the future and add others.

What are you proudest of in terms of your time with the ECC?

Recently I joined a third grade field trip from the Riccardi School and showed the group how the recent rains have created a serious erosion problem threatening the Schroeder Trail. As we were leaving the preserve, a student sought me out to say, “When I grow up and I’m a man, I’m going to come back and fix that erosion problem in the trail.” And that’s how I know it’s all been worth it.

-Polly McCravey




Barbara Bravo

Coordinator, Saugerties Artists Studio Tour

Art Along the Hudson liaison for Saugerties

Anything new with the studio tour?

It’s a little early to know exactly what the highlights of this year’s tour will be, but we’re proud to say that since the inception of the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour in 2002, the tour has given nearly 100 Saugerties artists the opportunity to open their studios and share their work with everyone who has an interest in art. This year the Studio Tour will be August 14, 15 and 16, starting with our traditional members’ exhibit and tour weekend kick-off on Friday evening at Opus 40. This event is very popular and gets bigger every year.

We have several new artists applying to the tour for the first time, and it’s always exciting to welcome them into the tour community. Since they have yet to be approved by our new artists committee, I can’t be more specific. But each new artist brings something fresh and different to the tour.

Another tradition is our annual pre-tour exhibit hosted by the Historical Society. This year it will be in the Dutch Barn rather than the house. That opens some new possibilities for us because of the open space format; perhaps we’ll include more sculpture. And there will be a “Small Works” show at the Saugerties Public Library starting in January featuring the work of many of the tour artists. We’ll also be looking for other opportunities for a group show during the spring/summer season.

What do you see on the horizon for the local art scene in general?

Regarding the art scene at large there will be a change-up of the public art project sponsored by the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce. This year, instead of lighthouses, it will be old-fashioned pedal cars. There will be more information about that on the Chamber website soon.

Last year at this time we spoke about you becoming the liaison for Saugerties to Art Along the Hudson. Anything new with that?

Art Along the Hudson [a nonprofit regional association that promotes the Hudson Valley as a resource for the arts] is important to all art organizations, galleries, artists and businesses that feature art shows. Their sole purpose is to draw people to the Hudson Valley, making the Hudson Valley region an arts destination. It’s good for art and the local economy.

-Sharyn Flanagan




George Heidcamp

Chair, Saugerties Conservative Party

What do you think will be the big story in town government in 2015?

At this point, with the unprecedented raises the town has given to non-union and elected personnel, all while in contract negotiations with the town’s employee unions, I think one of the biggest stories in town government for 2015 may well be employee-union contracts and the resulting costly litigation.

County government?

I’m sure the biggest stories with respect to county government will center around the core issues of taxes and spending.

Have you spoken with anyone about seeking the Conservative nomination for supervisor this coming year?

While some individuals in the Conservative Party have expressed some interest about the possibility of running, it’s still a bit early.

The last election was a contentious three-way race for that office that split the GOP and conservative parties, which many believe handed the supervisor seat to the Democrat-endorsed candidate. How do relations between those parties (which traditionally support the same candidate) stand going into this election year?

During the 2013 Conservative caucus the membership overwhelmingly rejected the incumbent Republican town supervisor in favor of then-Republican Gaetana Ciarlante who, incidentally, received more votes on the Conservative line than any other candidate in town history. But the bottom line is that it’s the candidate and his or her values and position on issues that matter, rather than “relations” between the parties.

Any other predictions for the year to come?

Currently, there seems to be a nationwide trend toward the return to more traditional, conservative attitudes and values in many aspects of life across our entire country. I predict that there will be more conservative voices in town and county government in the years ahead.

-Will Dendis




Joe Roberti Jr.

Chair, Saugerties GOP

What do you think will be the big story in town government in 2015?

A big story will be the upcoming town elections.

County government?

Mike Hein is up for reelection and it will be interesting to see how his feud with Assemblyman Cahill will impact the race. I think [county Legislator] Chris Allen will face a tough reelection.

Have you spoken with anyone about seeking the Republican nomination for supervisor this coming year?

I haven’t spoken to anyone about supervisor. I plan on putting out a notice looking for candidates in January.

How do relations stand between the GOP and Conservative parties going into this election year?

We respect the right of the Conservative Party to choose candidates that share their principles. Hopefully the candidates endorsed by the Saugerties Republican Party will be acceptable to the Conservatives and vice versa.

–Will Dendis





Peggy Schwartz

Co-chair, Saugerties Chamber of Commerce

What’s your prediction about the business climate for Saugerties in the coming year?

My prediction for the year 2015 is that the “Shop Local” movement will continue to flourish. People in Saugerties are very aware of the importance of supporting their friends and neighbors, both on a social and economic level.

We hear there are some changes for the Chamber’s annual public art project this year, with the artists painting pedal cars instead of lighthouses. What’s happening with that?

The excitement is already high for the pedal car summer street art event. We are seeking sponsors and artists. Go to for information. We hope to attract car enthusiasts from both Saugerties and other areas.

Why pedal cars? Is that because of the annual car show?

Yes. Basically we wanted something symbolic, something associated with Saugerties. We had already done the horses, and the lighthouses, and then we thought of the car show — it’s a big draw for this area. Car enthusiasts are collectors, and the model cars will be all over the village during the car show, so we’re hoping that they’ll draw people’s interest. We’ll sell raffle tickets and maybe take some bids.

-Sharyn Flanagan




Judith Spektor

Member, Saugerties Farmers Market Committee

What do you see on the horizon for the Saugerties Farmers Market?

The public is more and more enthusiastic about the importance of buying local. The special thing about buying in a farmers market is that your consumer decisions carry great weight and farmers will respond to your wants and needs. Customers vote with their purchases to support local farmers to keep farmland in production and local food producers in business.

How long has the market been in operation?

The Saugerties Farmers Market will be in its 15th year of operation in 2015. It will open for the weekly summer season Saturday, May 23 (Memorial Day weekend).

Were there any changes made at the market this year that will continue on in 2015?

This year we changed the indoor markets to Saturdays, keeping consistent the day and hours with the outdoor summer market for the first time, and streamlined the schedule to two dates to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukah holidays for successful markets that will be repeated next fall.

Will the participating farmers and vendors remain the same in the coming year?

Each year there are changes in the market’s lineup. This year we bid a fond farewell to Jacob Diaz of Slow Roots Farm; he was a stalwart in the market and built a great following, but he has decided to take a different direction in his life. Although it will be a challenge to replace him, we already have the interest of two new young farmers who come with outstanding reputations and an infusion of new products.

The Saugerties Farmers Market has been fortunate to have Pura Vida Fisheries, a third-generation fishing family with five boats in Hampton Bays. They bring the freshest fish that starts out Saturday morning at 2 a.m. on Long Island and is delivered to our market by our opening at 10 a.m. This fish is fresh!

And Tom Maynard has been in our market since the first year and each year tweaks his offerings to include more berries and stone fruits than ever before. Blueberries will be never-ending (or more accurately, will go on for 14 weeks). Maynard Farm grows 27 apple varieties, seven pear varieties and more peach varieties than can be imagined, with a new one every 10 days from June 26 to Oct. 1. (Maynard has the earliest peaches in the Hudson Valley; a secret variety that he reveals to no one. ) There will be a new nectarine and a Green Gage 1680s heirloom plum ready for the public in 2016.

Whitecliff Vineyard — also in the market — buys Maynard Farm’s entire crop of seedless grapes and has become very territorial about them, as they have found Maynard grapes to be so superior that they do not blend them with any others. Maynard grapes are in a 2013 Cabernet Franc and a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc to be released in early 2015.

Joe and Laura Aiello of Mangia Bene Farm will return; they are forming a partnership with a farmer across the river to support and expand their meat and poultry farming. The Aiellos hand-raise — with great care — chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, pigs and rabbits, and now will add beef to their product line. They’re doing all of this while at the same time growing vegetables with an emphasis on Italian specialties. Joe and Laura are a tremendous resource and reservoir of knowledge not only about how to grow food, but also about how to prepare it; advice they freely give to all who ask.

Will there be any new demos or events at the market?

The Saugerties Farmers Market will sponsor a Kitchen Training Series featuring the basic how-to’s of cooking — everything from sautéing and braising to knife skills and how to save peak-of-harvest fruits and vegetables. In this way our customers will be able to use local food all year round.

-Sharyn Flanagan





Marjorie Block

Village historian, tourism coordinator

What’s the plan for the coming year?

For 2015, I want to keep pushing Saugerties as a tourism destination, and one of the ways to do that is online. We’re going to have a new, expanded website, which will include more information and more links to local venues and activities. It should be up in the next 30 days.

We just got a grant that will enable us to get a new computer and system for our archives. Key Bank just gave us $2,000 for this.

At the barn, the Historical Society will hold an art show this year, but unlike many traditional shows, this one will feature local artists with disabilities. Now that the barn is finished, we already have three events scheduled for the coming year, including weddings. The big show at the Kiersted House for 2015 is going to be fifes and flutes of the Revolutionary War.

The barn has been our focus for the last 10 years, and now that it’s done we are going to have fun out there. We’re going to let everyone not only locally but throughout the area know just how great Saugerties is.

–Robert Ford





Dominic Zarrella

School athletic director, coach

You’ve added a new job to your resume?

When the AD job opened up in the spring, I and a number of other people put our names in for the job. During the selection process, a number of School Board members, who knew me as the coach of the high school football modified program and as the wrestling coach, asked if I wanted the job. Then Seth Turner, district superintendent, who I worked with when we both taught alternate classes, called me and offered me the job. And now that I’ve taken the job I will still remain the varsity wrestling coach and will stay involved in the high school’s football program, a program that will get better in 2015.

Why so confident?

Several years of losing football teams will end in the fall. Over the last three years, we’ve won just two games. That will change. Both the modified and junior varsity programs have been successful so the varsity program should be successful as well.

What will change elsewhere with the sports’ programs?

Losing Chris [Curnan]to another school district means there was an opening as head coach of the girls’ lacrosse team, which will be filled by Nick Bernard, who has been the JV coach.

You sound excited about the coming year?

Our girls’ programs are going to be very good this coming year. We have a group of experienced, quality coaches.

The boys’ basketball team seems to be on a roll this year.

This should be the year for the high school boys’ basketball program. They have a number of standout seniors, and it’s tough on Head Coach Mike Tiano because it is the year they are expected to win it all.

What other sports do you see having a good 2015?

Baseball under the direction of coach Scott Wickham should be outstanding this spring, especially behind pitcher Nick Teitter. Wickham has knocked around the Saugerties High School coaching system, having coached some wrestling, football, and now baseball, and each time his teams have been successful.

Even though you’re new in the job, what problems do you anticipate?

One of the toughest parts of being the AD is having to be available 24/7. Before I became a coach and teacher I was in advertising and responsible for budgets and personnel, but it’s the calls when a bus doesn’t show up to take a team to a game or canceling a game because of the weather and having to work out the schedule to get it played. I really want to give Saugerties winning athletic programs. I really like Saugerties. It’s middle-class with a hard-working community and great kids.

-Robert Ford