KINDERHOOK—Town Supervisor Patsy Leader announced last week that she will not seek reelection this November. She is currently serving her first term as supervisor. Ms. Leader was first elected to the Town Board in 2009 and served as deputy supervisor for six years before running for supervisor in 2019, when long-time Supervisor Pat Grattan did not run for reelection.
An email statement to The Columbia Paper from Kinderhook Republican Committee thanked Ms. Leader and announced the endorsement of current Town Councilman Timothy Ooms for supervisor.
“This was a difficult choice,” said Supervisor Leader in a press release. “It has been my absolute privilege to serve the people of the Town of Kinderhook and the County of Columbia.”
Ms. Leader is registered in the Independence Party and ran for supervisor on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.
“While we are sad that Patsy has chosen not to seek re-election, we are proud to support current Deputy Supervisor and Town Board member Timothy (Tim) Ooms for Town Supervisor,” the email from the Republican Committee reads, going on to say that Mr. Ooms “has shown that he has the dedication, experience, and leadership needed to carry the Town of Kinderhook forward” and that the committee “unanimously put our support” behind his run for supervisor.
Mr. Ooms co-owns and operates the Ooms Dairy Farm with his father and brothers and was first elected to the Town Board in 2011. According to the email from the committee, on the board Mr. Ooms acts as liaison to the Highway Department. He is instrumental in the budget process and “has helped implement common-sense fiscal responsibility.” Mr. Ooms has 19 years of experience on the Town Planning Board and served on the Farm Services Agency (FSA) Committee.
In her statement, Supervisor Leader said, “I have been very fortunate to work with some wonderful people in both town and county government. Holly Tanner does an outstanding job as County Clerk. At the town level, I am supported by numerous capable individuals who are also devoted to the citizenry of Kinderhook. They include Kim Pinkowski, the town clerk, along with Debbie Johnson and Tim Ooms on the Town Board.”
Kinderhook Republican Committee thanked Ms. Leader for her service, writing “specifically, we want to express our gratitude for your leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic. You have shown compassion, empathy and offered a helping hand to residents during these extraordinary times.” They also pointed out Ms. Leader’s accomplishments during her time on the board, saying she “helped acquire the historic Martin H. Glynn school building for $1, and repurposed it as a community center and government offices, paid down more than $1 million of the past administration’s debt, paved large stretches of major town roadways and helped implement fiscal responsibility, which has resulted in an upgrade to the town’s credit rating while keeping taxes low.”
Kinderhook is the largest town by population in the county. Two Town Board seats will be up for election this year as well as supervisor, highway superintendent and one of the town justice positions. The general election is November 2 with early voting October 23 to October 31. And there will also be primary elections held on June 22, with early voting starting on June 12. There is more information on the county’s website at https://sites.google.com/a/columbiacountyny.com/elections/
“We thank Supervisor Leader for her years of service to our town, and county,” said a statement from the Kinderhook Democratic Committee. “As we look ahead to this year’s election for town offices, including supervisor, town council and highway superintendent, we see an opportunity to nominate candidates that will represent the diversity of our community; a slate of candidates that is ready to step up and lead our town and plan for its future without regard to partisan interest, but rather with a sincere and dedicated focus on community first. We look forward to the campaign ahead and the opportunities it affords for all residents in the Town of Kinderhook.”
“These are challenging times,” Ms. Leader said in her statement, “but I am so grateful for the opportunities presented to me in which I could make an impact. In addition, the residency of the Town Kinderhook and I were all tasked with meeting challenges arising from this current pandemic. It has been quite the battle. I do see the end is near on the necessary restrictions imposed, and I feel confident that the next elected supervisor will be well supported and successful. I feel that my job is finished. I look forward to spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.”