Party: Independence Party
If elected, what would be your top priority?
As a board, our top priority is currently working with our department heads to present a budget to the public for 2016 that maintains services to our residents and stays well within the two percent tax cap. The budget process can be challenging, as there is the potential for labor contracts to expire, health insurance rates to increase and the unknown variables like a tropical storm/hurricane that can lead to unexpected expenses for any community. The marketing of our shovel-ready corridor for new business opportunities is also a major priority. Studying new ways to consolidate services with the village is another goal that we should put on the agenda. I personally would like the board to try through volunteer efforts to make a community dog park a reality, a vision of former Town Board member and Animal Shelter director Marie Post. Some of our greatest assets in our town that attract future home buyers and businesses include our community library, our excellent school system, our sports complex and our “Lifespring” adult education program. Our goal should be to maintain quality services for all residents at an affordable rate!
What experience do you have that would make you an effective Town Board member?
I have had the honor of serving on the board for three terms and have served as the liaison to many town committees and commissions. It has been a great experience to work with all of our Saugerties residents who serve on these committees. This really gives one the “total” picture of what makes this community special. Having served as former president of the League of Women Voters and on the LWV board, this experience was an excellent way to learn about building consensus and looking at all sides of an issue. In my role as an educator and Town Board member, I have negotiated labor contracts, prepared budgets and learned that one must be open-minded and reasonable. A board member represents everyone, not a particular special interest group!
What should voters know about you?
I have lived in Saugerties for 41 years and am married to Larry Thornton. Our daughter, Kate Columbia, graduated in 2005 from Saugerties High School. She currently is a meteorologist with ABC News in Syracuse. As a parent I coached softball, shared co-leadership roles with the Girl Scouts from Daisy to Senior levels. I am a member of the Girls Community Club, serving as former president, vice president and secretary. Currently I serve as the acting chair of the Esopus Creek Conservancy and chair their education committee. I am a social studies teacher at Taconic Hills Central School in Columbia County and serve as advisor to Student Council for the junior high.