New faces enliven race for Germantown board

GERMANTOWN—The only two contested offices in town this year are the two open seats on the Town Board. Four candidates—Republicans Andrea Dunn and Matthew Phelan, and Democrats Billy Kimmel and Andrea Provan—are running to fill those four-year posts. None of the four has run for office previously.

Councilman Joel Craig, a Republican, is cross-endorsed by the two major parties in his bid for supervisor. Mr. Craig, 51, moved to Germantown in 1988 from Ulster County. He has worked for the Dutchess County Office of Central and Information Systems in Poughkeepsie for 26 years, since 1994 as project leader.

Prior to joining the town board in 2008, Mr. Craig was a member of the Planning Board from 1993 to 2007, serving as chairman from 1996. He also served as vice chairman of the Germantown Park Commission for seven years and was active on a variety of the town’s committees. His current term as councilman ends this year.

Running in uncontested races are Republicans Joyce Vale for town clerk, a political newcomer; and highway superintendent Richard Jennings, tax collector Janice Mullins and justice Wendy Nack-Lawlor, all Republican incumbents.

The two Election Districts in town vote in the Kellner Activities Building, 54 Palatine Park Road. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Town Board

Andrea L. Dunn

Ms. Dunn (R), 32, is also endorsed by the Independence Party. Born in Hudson, she studied biology in college and now works in research and development for embryology at Taconic in Germantown.

Ms. Dunn, who has an 11-year-old daughter, is president of the Germantown Park Commission, a Little League board member and softball coach. Previously she was a Soccer League board member and coach.

Ms. Dunn served in the US Army from September 2000 to February 2009 as a medic/medical instructor. She was mobilized during Operation Enduring Freedom from March 2005 to October 2006 to teach pre-deployment trauma medicine to deploying reserve and National Guard soldiers. She was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, 98th Division (IT) Instructor of the Year, Instructor of the Cycle several times.

Ms. Dunn’s top issue, she told The Columbia Paper, is transparency. “One of the largest issues facing our residents is the need for our Town Board representatives to listen to our residents—to get their opinions on important issues, before the board votes. A Town Board and its community are a team, one that should not and cannot work without the other.

“With this in mind, we need to focus on distribution of information. Not everyone in our community has the schedule/means to attend our board meetings. There are other ways that my team and I support to involve our residents in their town.

“This one issue has the potential to eliminate other town issues and pull our community together, even more than it is.”

 

Billy Kimmel

Mr. Kimmel, 50, is endorsed by the Germantown Democratic Committee. A native of South Connellsville, PA, he holds a BFA degree from Ohio University and is a 20-year member of Actors Equity Association. He is proprietor of Smarty Pants Graphic Design and a member of the Germantown Economic Development Committee.

In his statement to The Columbia Paper, Mr. Kimmel noted that “the sewer district is facing a major overhaul in the next few years. The challenge will be to plan and schedule the repairs to minimize the inconvenience and figure out what the costs will be and how to pay for them.

“The Germantown Central School will be a major topic in the coming years. This exceptional school is one of the main reasons people choose Germantown; the challenge will be to maintain the quality of the teachers in the face of escalating costs.

“Economic growth! Germantown has enjoyed a rebirth of its town center with a new grocery market, a variety store and a historic inn, and has become a magnet for artists and entrepreneurs. The challenge will be how to embrace this growth and nurture it while we maintain Germantown’s wonderful rural appeal and setting.”

 

Matthew Phelan

Mr. Phelan, 36, who is endorsed by Republican and the Independence parties, was born in Hudson and holds a B.S. degree in Marine Transportation Operations. Currently he is marketing manager for Taconic in Germantown, a position he has held since January. Prior to that, he spent July 2008 to December 2012 in Silkeborg, Denmark, as international project manager for Taconic. He began his professional life as a merchant seaman, in the position of second mate aboard a U.S. flag bulk carrier for U.S. United Ocean Services, July 2001 to May 2008.

Mr. Phelan is a member of the Germantown Economic Development Committee and coaches Germantown youth soccer. He and his wife, Megan, have two children, ages 5 and 8. In additional, an exchange student is living with them for the current school year.

“As a native of Germantown,” Mr. Phelan told The Columbia Paper, “I am proud to have been raised in a culture that distinguishes us from other towns. The tranquility of our natural surroundings inspires people to join us as visitors and as new residents. As a town, we should embrace these opportunities, as they enrich our lives and support our local businesses. At the same time, we should evaluate proposed changes and activities to ensure they support our thriving community.”

 

Andrea (Annie) Provan

Ms. Provan, 50, is endorsed by the Germantown Democratic Committee. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, and attended high school there. She holds a B.A. degree in biology (pre-med) from the College of the Holy Cross and B.S.N. and M.S.N. degrees and certification as a family nurse practitioner from Pace University. She is a nurse practitioner in the Student Health Services office at Bard College.

She and her husband, Larry Cosenza, have two children, ages 16 and 13. Ms. Provan belongs to the Parent Teacher Student Association at the Germantown Central School and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

“The current bipartisan Town Board has done wonders for Germantown and I plan to continue and complete the work they started,” Ms. Provan told The Columbia Paper. “We need to hear what our neighbors want for Germantown, and brainstorm to make that happen. We must market the town’s best features effectively and make Germantown a destination, not just a stoplight on the way from Rhinebeck to Hudson.

“Finally, our children need reasons to stay, and new families / businesses need reasons to move here. I moved here for the lifestyle Germantown offers, and I want to preserve its rural identity while breathing new life into our town.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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