COPAKE—The race is on in Copake this Election Day, November 7.
Four candidates are in the running for two seats on the Town Board and two candidates are going head-to-head for one Town Justice post.
The board seats currently held by Jeanne Mettler and Terry Sullivan are the ones up for grabs and the two councilpeople are seeking re-election. New to the political arena, Andrew Fisher and Richard Wolf are also vying for those seats.
Glenn Schermerhorn wants to hold onto the seat he currently occupies on the Town Court bench against a challenge from Jeffrey Judd, a member of the Copake Zoning Board of Appeals.
Candidate profiles for Town Board follow in alphabetical order:
Mr. Fisher, 65, is not enrolled in any party and is endorsed by both the Republican and Conservative parties in his run for his first four-year term on the Town Board.
He was born in the Bronx and holds a bachelor of science degree in political science.
He is retired from employment with Women In Need, Inc., “the largest safe haven and social services provider for women and families in New York City.”
He is a member of the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Committee, the Copake Broadband Committee, the Taconic Shores Planning and Revitalization Committee and the Copake Grange.
He is married to Patricia Fisher and is the father of two grown children and the grandfather of three.
In his statement of issues, Mr. Fisher wrote, “Before you vote, I thought you should know a little more about me. My business experiences are many and varied. I have directed operations in the fields of footwear manufacturing, music production, and medical equipment manufacturing. My most recent experience was with Women in Need, the largest safe-haven and social services provider for women and families in New York City.
“If elected, I will use my skills to achieve the following goals for Copake: maintain Copake’s unique character; promote responsible economic growth; ensure preservation of agricultural lands and the responsible use of open spaces; improve housing options for seniors and young families; improve/upgrade town infrastructure, specifically, broadband. I firmly believe these goals are achievable through active participation and collaboration, which are the hallmarks of our town.
“While we may disagree on some issues, I believe that we can all work together for the benefit of our town. Please feel free to contact me at or on facebook.com/andyfisher4copake.”
Jeanne E. Mettler
Ms. Mettler, 65, is a Democrat, endorsed by her party and the Working Families Party in her run for her second four-year-term on the Town Board. She has served on the board since 2012, when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Bob Sacks. She was elected to the post in 2012 and again in 2013.
She was born in Great Barrington, MA. She graduated from Roeliff Jansen Central School in 1970, earned a BA from Marymount College in 1974. She received her JD degree from Rutgers University School of Law in 1977 and her masters in teaching from Fordham University-Graduate School of Education in 2004.
She retired in 2012 after 34 years of practicing law, mostly criminal defense in Westchester County. She also was teacher of social studies at Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx from 2002 to 2005 and was named Teacher of the Year in 2005.
Ms. Mettler was chair of the Copake Comprehensive Planning Committee, 2008 to 2011; liaison and active participant of Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force, 2012 to present; co-writer of the monthly Copake Connection; member of Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour Committee; and was active in the creation of the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.
She serves as secretary for the Copake Grange and is on the Copake Community Service Inc., Board of Directors; Copake Front Porch Market, Board of Managers; Roeliff Jansen Community Library, Nominating Committee; Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, member; Roeliff Jansen Historical Society, member and Friends of Taconic State Park, member.
She was the first woman and first public defender to hold the position of president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 1996. She was a New York City Teaching Fellow, 2002 to 2005.
Ms. Mettler is married to Patricia A. Placona.
Her statement of issues says, “As a native of Copake Falls, I have a memory of what this Town was—and a real hope for what it can be again. In my youth, there were two working farms as well as professional offices and businesses in the Hamlet of Copake. Craryville, West Copake and Copake Falls each had their own stores and character.
“Copake is making progress towards recapturing its economic vitality. I want to be part of that progress. We must support local agriculture as well as other local businesses. We must create jobs for local people. We must improve broadband and assure that the Hamlet Plan is implemented.”
Dr. Terry Sullivan
Dr. Sullivan, 63, is an enrolled Republican endorsed by the Republican, Independence and Conservative parties.
She has served on the Town Board for the past three years after she won election in 2014 to fill the remainder of the term of David Paciencia who departed earlier that year.
She was born in New York City and earned a BA and MA at Queens College, CUNY. She did post graduate work at Lehman College, CUNY; and earned her doctor of audiology at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Dr. Sullivan is a speech-language pathologist at Fairview Hospital, Great Barrington, MA; an audiologist at the Community Rehab Center, Ulster County UCP, Kingston; a consultant at Camphill Village, Copake; owner of Sullivan Speech & Hearing, PC.
She serves as liaison to the Planning Board, Ethics Board, Environmental Committee and Broadband Committee; is a former Earth Angel; Ag Advisory Committee, THCSD; Grange member; and is a Zumba instructor at the Copake park.
She is licensed in both speech pathology and audiology in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. She was elected to the Advisory Council of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association from 2010 to 2015.
Dr. Sullivan is married to Joseph Ambrose. They have “three fur babies and several birds.”
In her statement of issues, the candidate wrote:
“Copake, like so many other towns, consists of varied groups ranging from generations of families born in this area, some of whom are struggling to make ends meet, to the hard working middle class and second home owners. How do we successfully blend these various cultures? We need to bring people together by getting involved, sharing our knowledge and experiences and by listening to one another. Your elected officials should lead by example and fairly represent all residents. I believe the priorities for the town should focus on fiscal responsibility, low taxes, promotion of economic growth in and around the hamlet, develop affordable housing options, support youth programs and seniors, local farmers and our veterans. We can accomplish this if we continue to be fiscally responsible, and mindful of the ever increasing unfunded mandates coming down from Albany.”
Richard T. Wolf
Mr. Wolf, 70, is a registered Democrat endorsed by his party in his quest for a seat on the Town Board.
He was born in Brooklyn and earned a BS degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1969. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law in 1972.
Mr. Wolf is retired as an attorney with the New York City Board of Correction (executive director and co-counsel) and was an adjunct associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Masters Program), City University of New York. He retired from both positions in 2012.
He has served on the Copake Board of Ethics since October 2014; is a member of the Copake Democratic Association, Friends of Taconic State Park, a supporter of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library and a Roe Jan Ramble volunteer.
He is married to Abigail Wolf and has two grown sons.
In his statement of issues, Mr. Wolf wrote, “I am an attorney who has devoted my entire career to public service, investigating cases of municipal corruption and running a government watchdog agency overseeing New York City’s jails, including Rikers Island. I offer my demonstrated leadership, organizational, and management skills to help the Town Board implement Copake’s Comprehensive Plan and ensure Copake’s bright future.
“I am a proven consensus builder. If elected, I pledge to work cooperatively to achieve Copake’s goals: to preserve its rural beauty, support its local farmers, and promote and improve the local economy.”
Copake Town Justice candidates
Mr. Judd, 59, is a Democrat running on the Democratic line for his first four-year term as Town Justice.
He was born in Rochester and graduated from Guilderland High School in 1976. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from SUNY Albany in 1981 (Regent’s Scholarship); and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1989.
He serves on the Copake Zoning Board of Appeals, 2014 to present, and has been vice-chair since 2015.
He is a partner at the Sholes & Miller, LLP law firm, Fishkill and Poughkeepsie, serving the Hudson Valley.
He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, federal district courts and New York State courts; was editor-in-chief, Cardozo International Law Journal; president, Caprdozo Entertainment Law Society; Who’s Who among American Law Students.
His past and present associations include: American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, American Association for Justice, New York State Trial Lawyers Association, New York County Lawyer’s Association, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Dutchess County Bar Association.
He is a Copake Theatre Company volunteer; Taconic Stage Company actor, volunteer and member of its board of directors; and is a founding member, Albany State Children’s Theatre Troupe.
He is married to Carole Coleman.
He submitted a statement of issues, as follows: “I am the only Justice candidate who holds a law degree! With nearly three decades of litigation experience, including many complex jury trials in federal and state courts, I look forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to better serve Copake.”
Mr. Schermerhorn, 71, is not enrolled in a political party. He is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties in his run for a second four-year term as Copake Town Justice.
Mr. Schermerhorn was born in Hudson. He earned a BS degree from Springfield College in 1968. He majored in history and American government and minored in physical education. He took master’s degree courses at SUNY Albany and MCLA.
He is a retired educator employed with the Taconic Hills School District for 49 years. He was a teacher, coach, Summer Enrichment Program director and athletic director.
He served as a former member of the Taconic Hills Board of Education and on the Copake Zoning Board of Appeals.
For many years he has been involved in Taconic Hills Youth Programs as a volunteer, coach and official.
He has been married to his wife, Cynthia, for 27 years and is the father of four grown children: Kyle, Shandra, Alison and Grayson.
In his statement of issues, he wrote: “I feel I have enforced the law in a fair, assertive and judicious manner during my four years as Copake Town Justice. I have transferred and utilized my educational training in conflict resolution to impartially enact judicial decisions. I have partaken of numerous courses offered by the New York State Unified Court System to enhance my knowledge and understanding of the law. Thus, I feel I am well-qualified to serve as Copake Town Justice for another four years.”
To contact Diane Valden email