Women now hold reins of power in Town of K’hook

VALATIE–Newly-elected Kinderhook Town Supervisor Patsy Leader resigned her position as
councilwoman at the start of the town organizational meeting Monday night and appointed Debra Johnson to the seat.

Ms. Johnson served on the Town Board from 2002 to 2010. Ms. Johnson’s appointment is only for one year. In November 2020, the seat will be open for a one-year term to finish out Ms. Leader’s term.

At the January 6 meeting, resident Ed Simonsen pointed out during public comment that Ms. Leader was the first woman supervisor for the town. And Town Clerk Kim Pinkowski said that there were more women than men (3 to 2) on the board now.

“There are four of us up here,” she said of the women at the board’s table. “This is going to be a great board,” Ms. Pinkowski said.

Ms. Leader said, “It’s refreshing to have more women than men.” She said that she had been sworn in to the County Board of Supervisors earlier that day, where four of the five new supervisors are women. But she also said that she was honored to be elected to the position, “as a community person.” And that she hoped the community would work together.

She asked the audience to bear with her as she led her first regular board meeting and, before that, as she went through the organizational meeting appointing committee members. The board also reappointed Loren Dawes for a term on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Jonathon Cavagnaro for a term on the Planning Board. Frank Gutto was appointed to the Board of Assessment Review.

The board also appointed former Town Board member Glen Smith as a substitute building inspector. Andy Howard will remain as town attorney and attorney for the Planning Board and ZBA.
Councilman Tim Ooms was appointed Deputy Supervisor.
The one committee that the board did not appoint members to was the Recreation Committee. Ms. Leader said that the appointments to that committee were on hold. “We have some moving around we have to do,” she said.

The board also approved changing the time for board meetings from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the first
Monday of the month. The board will hold monthly audit meetings at 6:15 p.m.

Town Board meetings are held at the Martin H. Glynn Building in Valatie. The next board meeting will be Monday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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