KINDERHOOK–Matthew Nelson is running against incumbent town Supervisor Patrick Grattan this November, while Timothy Oom and Deborah Simonsmeier are running for reelection to the Town Board against challengers Marcia Anderson and Jeffrey Ouellette.
Town Clerk Kimberly Pinkowski, Tax Collector Deidra Curtis and Town Judge David Dellehunt are all running unopposed for reelection.
Patrick Grattan, 63, is running for another 2-year term as town supervisor on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. He has held the post since 2010 and is a registered Republican. Mr. Grattan served on the Town Board from 1986-89. He was also mayor of the Village of Valatie from 1991-97 and was the chairman of the Valatie Planning Board from 1987-89.
Mr. Grattan is a graduate of Ichabod Crane, he has a B.A from Siena College, a M.A. from the College of St. Rose and J.D. from Albany Law School. He is currently employed by the state’s Office of Court Administration.
He says in his candidate statement: “The Town of Kinderhook will be challenged in the coming years to maintain services for all our residents. It is only with innovative ideas, such as acquiring the closed Martin H. Glynn School for Town and Village Office and its gym for recreational activities, that we can meet that challenge. The town must recognize that volunteer organizations provide significant resources to meet the needs of all the people. The town must continue to hold the tax rate down to make home ownership feasible for young families and senior citizens.”
Matthew Nelson, 36, is running for supervisor on the Democratic, One Kinderhook and Working Families Party lines on the November ballot. He is a registered Democrat. He is the vice president and mortgage officer at the Community Preservation Corporation, a statewide not-for-profit mortgage lender that finances affordable multi-family housing.
In the community he has been a coach for both the Northern Columbia Little League program and the town soccer program. He is a member of the town’s Board of Assessment Review, and the Regional Representative/Member of the Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council. Mr. Nelson graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a B.S. in social science.
He says in his candidate statement: “I am running for Kinderhook town supervisor with the belief that it’s time for new leadership. I have dedicated my life to public service, with more than 15 years of experience in state and federal government. My days are spent working to support the development of affordable housing and community development, with the rest of my time devoted to my young family–and the town of Kinderhook. Under my leadership, Kinderhook will continue to grow and prosper even as the special character, beauty and history of our town are preserved. I am a believer that all residents can and should play an active role in their community, and by working together we strengthen our towns, villages, hamlets and neighborhoods, making them better places for all to live.”
Marcia Anderson, 70, is running for a 4-year term on the Kinderhook Town Board. She is running on the Democratic, Working Families Party and One Kinderhook Party lines. She is a registered Democrat and is a former chair of the Kinderhook Democratic Committee. Ms. Anderson is also a member of the Columbia County Land Conservancy, the county’s chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and sat on the Ichabod Crane School Board from 1999-2006.
She is a graduate of Ichabod Crane and holds a B.A. from Antioch College and M.A. from Vanderbilt University. She served in the Peace Corps in Brazil from 1968-71.
She says in her candidate statement: “I am running for the Kinderhook Town Board to add a new voice to the board. I want to improve and expand recreation programs for youth and seniors. I want to protect and expand parkland in the town. I wish to protect open space and farmland and Kinderhook’s Comprehensive Plan to maintain the historic, agricultural and rural character of the town. The functioning of the Town Board should be made more transparent to town residents with timely posting of agendas and board minutes on the town’s website. If elected, I plan to insure that the design of commercial development reflects the town’s heritage. I will work for all residents of the town to make Kinderhook a better place to live.”
Timothy Ooms, 48, is running for reelection to the Town Board on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. He is a registered Republican who has served one four-year term on the board. Mr. Ooms was a member of the Kinderhook Town Planning Board for 19 years, vice chairman of the Columbia-Greene Farm Service Agency and is a member for the county’s 4-H Dairy Committee, Farm Bureau and Dairy Promotion.
He is currently a part owner in A. Ooms & Sons Dairy Farm.
He says in his candidate statement: “Over the past 4 years I have enjoyed working on the Kinderhook Town Board to maintain programs for our seniors, as well as our youth through our parks and recreational programs, keeping our roads safe for everyone by working closely with our Highway Program, achieving all of this without any increases in our taxes. I look forward to continuing to serve our community and making Kinderhook an enjoyable and affordable place to live!”
Jeffrey Ouellette, 45, is running for Town Board on the Democratic, Working Families and One Kinderhook party lines. He is registered with Independence Party. Mr. Ouellette served on the Ichabod Crane Board of Education from 2011-15 and was the chairperson for the town’s Kinderhook Board of Assessment Review.
He has an A.A.S. in marketing and worked in banking and finance for 21 years. Mr. Ouellette is a life member of the county Agricultural Society and a member of both the Old Chatham Club and the Kinderhook Lake Corporation. He is also a past president of the Savings Bank Officers Group III.
He says in his candidate statement: “A life resident of our community, I grew up in the Village of Kinderhook and am happy to call Valatie home. With an appreciation for our community’s past, I have a working knowledge of the current issues impacting our quality of life. Having completed a successful term as a member of the Ichabod Crane School District Board of Education, I was instrumental in bringing to vote and passing the Veterans Tax Exemption. An advocate for transparency and open government, I understand how this critical function is essential to the success and reputation of local government. Currently the town fails to utilize the full benefits of their website with missing and outdated information. Utilizing focus groups and listening to residents’ concerns, we can create a common sense plan for the future of Kinderhook.”
Deborah Simonsmeier, 65, is running for a second term on the Town Board on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines. Ms. Simonsmeier is a registered Republican and is director of constituent service for state Senator Kathy Marchione (R-43rd).
Ms. Simonsmeier is a graduate of Ichabod Crane High School and Columbia Greene Community College. She retired after 26 years in the Ichabod Crane School District working with students at risk. She and her husband own Wildhorse Wine and Liquor in Valatie. She is a life member of the Valatie Rescue Squad.
In her candidate profile, she wrote about “holding the line on taxes” and “safety and welfare of the community.”
“As your representative, I will continue to accept these important responsibilities, remain fiscally conservative and help create a stronger community. We must insure that our community continues to grow in a smart conservative way, making sure our roads and infrastructure are kept up to proper standards of safety. We also should focus on our neighborhoods, which must be a safe environment which our families can move around freely.
“I am proud to be a part of the movement to bring a satellite station for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department at the Martin H. Glenn Municipal Building. As our population grows and the number of senior citizens increases, we must continue to advocate for more safe and secure senior housing. It is our responsibility as a community to care for those who are in the greatest of need.”