Four seek two board seats in Germantown

GERMANTOWN—The top of the ballot here looks as it does in other towns across the county, but here there are races for two Town Board seats, which has drawn four candidates.

Ronald E. Moore II, an incumbent, is running for another term. Brittany DuFresne, also an incumbent, chose not to run this year. That brought three new names to the town ballot: Republican Lynn Clum and Democrats Kaare Christian and Sarah Jane Suarez.

Each is running for a four-year term.

The four candidates were each sent a questionnaire to fill out, and their biographies follow in alphabetical order.

In addition to Election Day, November 5, early voting in the county begins this Saturday, October 26 and runs through November 3 at three polling places: Copake, Hudson and Valatie. Anyone registered to vote in Columbia County can cast a ballot. For more information check with the Columbia County Board of Elections at 518 828-3115 or www.columbiacountyny.com.

Kaare Christian, 65, chairs the Germantown Waterfront Advisory Committee and founded the Roe Jan Watershed Community. He holds a B.S. in applied physics from Cornell University and is retired from Optical Imaging, where he was one of the founders and principals. They developed a medical instrument to detect retinal disease by mapping blood flow in the retina. He is married to Robin Raskin.

“This is a critical time for Germantown,” Mr. Christian wrote in his candidate statement, “because we’ve entered a period of growth and change, presenting opportunities and challenges. Farms are coming back, the hamlet is bustling and Germantown is firmly on the map as a weekend destination. My first work for the town was on the Waterfront Advisory Committee, where I worked to maintain access to the shoreline in the face of Amtrak’s efforts to restrict access. That unifying issue demonstrated to me the power of working together.

“We need to involve everyone in responding to our challenges; we need both political parties, residents of all tenures, and of all ages to get involved. Together we can make the right decisions to protect and enhance the town’s character, and secure our future.”

Lynn Clum, a customer relations supervisor for Gtel, has lived in Germantown for almost 40 years and worked for Gtel for more than 26 years.

Ms. Clum served on the Board of Education of the Germantown Central School District for a total of 20 years, including eight years as that board’s president. She also served on the Questar III BOCES board for seven years and is serving on the board of Tech Valley High School. An active member of St. John’s Church in Manorton, she is married to James.

Ms. Clum did not submit a candidate statement, but in an election flyer she is called “fiscally prudent” and someone who “will continue to apply her business skills for the benefit of our Town. She will advocate for projects that serve the Town as a whole,” the flier continues. “[Ms. Clum] has a keen interest in public safety and disaster preparedness and maintains a strong belief in keeping a positive community appearance.”

Says Ms. Clum in the flier, “I love the beauty and charm of Germantown and will continue to make children my priority, enhancing recreational opportunities for children, as well as adults and seniors.”

Ronald E. Moore II, 45, first won a seat on the Town Board in 2016. Since then he has served two years as deputy supervisor and three years as police commissioner.

A Republican, Mr. Moore is also endorsed by the Conservative Party.

Prior to his town board term, Mr. Moore served four years on the Board of Education of the Germantown Central School District, from July 2011 to June 2015. During that time he was vice-president of the board for one year and president of the board for one year.

Before his school board term, he served two years (2009-2010) on the Red Hook Economic Development Committee.

For eight years, he volunteered with Germantown Cub Scouts pack #115, as assistant cub master and committee chairman.

Mr. Moore is a graduate of Germantown Central High School and Dutchess Community College. For 19 and ½ years he worked in banking, most recently with Key Bank NA. He resigned from there in May 2019 and is now employed at the Columbia County Board of Elections as the Republican voting machine HAVA specialist.

Mr. Moore did not submit a candidate statement.

Sarah Suarez, 38, is a member of the Germantown Economic Development Advisory Committee and the town’s Parks Commission. She and her husband, Nicolas Suarez, own and manage Gaskins restaurant on Church Avenue. Ms. Suarez holds a B.S. in journalism from Boston University.

In her candidate statement, she says: “I feel a tremendous responsibility to stand up and give back to this community that has done so much for my small business and family. As a Town Board member, I will bring modern communication skills to the table and look forward to creating more ways for all of us to connect in our vibrant parks and waterfronts.

“Germantown will soon be updating its zoning laws and those laws will guide how our community grows. We need representatives who will work to ensure zoning reflects the bipartisan vision our community created for itself in the updated Comprehensive Plan. I believe we can bridge our citizens’ need for economic growth while preserving the rural character of the town we all love.”

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