Honoring Simonsmeier, K’hook board leaves seat vacant

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board opened its rescheduled regular meeting this week with a moment of silence for Councilwoman Deb Simonsmeier. The board cancelled the regular meeting earlier this month due to Ms. Simonsmeier’s death.

Ms. Simonsmeier was reelected to her seat on the board last November. At the April 26 meeting Councilwoman Patsy Leader that “out of respect for her and her family” the board would not fill Ms. Simonsmeier’s seat until next year’s election.

“There is no way we can fill her shoes,” said Ms. Leader. The board seat will be on the ballot in November of 2016 and whoever wins the seat will serve for three years, which would be the rest of Ms. Simonsmeier’s four-year term. 

Both Ms. Leader and Town Supervisor Pat Grattan talked about Ms. Simonsmeier’s service to the town and her volunteer work on the Valatie Rescue Squad. “No matter who you were, what your beliefs were, what you looked like, she helped you,” said Ms. Leader.

Resident Ed Simonsen also praised Ms. Simonsmeier’s commitment to the town during the public comment section of the meeting, but he was concerned that the board was not appointing someone to her seat. “I think the public is served by having a full board,” he said.

If the board did appoint someone to replace her, which would bring the board back to full strength with five council members, the appointment would only last until the end of the year. The seat would still have to be on the ballot in November.

The board closed the meeting in honor of Ms. Simonsmeier.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board passed a motion approving Local Law #1 of 2016, which clarifies language in the zoning law pertaining to digital signs. The board closed the public hearing on the law at the beginning of meeting with no comments from the public
  • Board members passed a motion saying that compost site tickets may only be used for the calendar year in which they are issued. Residents can bring brush to the compost site but they need a ticket, which can be purchased at the Town Hall
  • Mr. Grattan announced that starting in May the Climate Smart Community Committee would meet monthly on the last Thursday of the month at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building at 7 p.m.
  • The board accepted the grinding bid from Wood Waste Reduction Services in Glens Falls. It was the only bid that came in on time
  • Michael Heim, a Niverville resident, asked the board to look into the issue of trash and abandoned vehicles on the concourse in the hamlet. “The place is a disaster,” he said. Mr. Grattan advised Mr. Heim to “call me tomorrow and give me some addresses”
  • The board approved a motion to purchase security cameras for Volunteer Park on State Farm Road for an amount not to exceed $300.

The next board meeting will be Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email


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