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Two candidates seek open board seat in Copake


COPAKE—The only local political race in town this Tuesday is for one seat on the Town Board.

Lenny Barham and Terry Sullivan are in the running for the Town Board seat vacated by David Paciencia in July, when he moved out-of-town.

Mr. Paciencia served just six months of his four-year term leaving a balance of three years to be filled by the winning contender.

Copake voters cast their ballots at the Town Hall, 230 Mountain View Road or the Copake Park Building, 301 Mountain View Road, Tuesday, November 4 between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Profiles of the candidates follow alphabetically.

Lenny Barham

Lenny Barham, 65, is the Democratic candidate.

An enrolled Democrat, Mr. Barham serves as chair of the town’s Board of Ethics.

He was born in the Bronx and earned his BA at the City College of New York, his MA at Hunter College, and his master of education and his doctor of education degrees at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is now retired after 32 years as a teacher and administrator with New York City Board of Education and five years as a New York University instructor.

He and his wife, Shelly Matthews Barham, are the parents of one grown son.

In his statement of issues, Mr. Barham said, “I am running for the vacancy on the Copake Town Board because I love living in Copake and want to be part of its future. I want to assure and maintain the beautiful ecology of the area while also working to bring economic development to the area. Both of these goals will guarantee a viable and positive future for Copake.”

Terry Sullivan, 60, is an enrolled Republican, who is running on the GOP, Independence and Conservative party lines.

Born in New York City, Ms. Sullivan earned her BA and MA degrees in communication disorders at Queens College (speech-language pathology); her post-graduate degree in audiology at Lehman College in the Bronx and her Doctor of Audiology (2000) at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

She owns and operates Sullivan Speech and Hearing, PC. She has 35+ years of clinical, management, supervisory and administrative experience in healthcare as both an American Speech–Language–Hearing Association-certified speech-language pathologist and audiologist with pediatric through geriatric populations as well as 16 years experience as a college professor teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at the City University of New York.

She is presently a consultant at Berkshire Medical Center, Sharon Hospital, Great Barrington Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Ulster County UCP-Community Rehabilitation Center in Kingston and Camphill Village in Copake. She is in the process of developing outpatient speech-language therapy services at Fairview Hospital. She is licensed in both speech-language pathology and audiology in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

She has been elected to represent New York State on the Advisory Council of the American Speech and Hearing Association since 2010.

Ms. Sullivan moved to Copake fulltime in 2002. She has served as a member of the Town Ethics Board for four years and had been a licensed Zumba instructor for three and a half years at the town park.

She has organized and participated in numerous community events which have raised thousands of dollars for local organizations and groups such as Copake Town Park, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund, Copake 4-H Club, Salvation Army Toy Drive, Columbia-Greene Humane Society, Fundraiser for Hope and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, according to her list of community activities.

As a performer with the Earth Angels, she has helped raise money for the Dollars for Scholars program at the Taconic Hills Central School District and has provided free hearing screenings for two years at the Golden Gathering, a community-based health, wellness and quality of life event for senior citizens at Columbia-Greene Community College.

She and her husband, Joseph Ambrose, live at Taconic Shores with their three dogs.

In her statement of issues, Ms. Sullivan said, “Copake, like many other communities today, consists of varied groups ranging from generations of families born in this area, some of whom are now struggling to make ends meet, the hard working “middle class,” to wealthy part-time (many NYC second home owners) and full-time residents. How do we blend the various cultures to make Copake a successful and thriving “land of rural charm?” I believe the priorities for the Town should focus on fiscal responsibility, low taxes, promotion of economic growth, support of local farmers and help for seniors.”

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com.


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