By Ronald Hotaling and Cindy Rowzee
For Capital Region Independent Media
We are Ronald Hotaling and Cindy Rowzee, and we are running for the open seats on the Coeymans Town Board. We would like your readers to consider a few questions and to learn more about what we are hoping to accomplish.
Democracy is not an institution that should be taken lightly. It is not perfect; however, there is no better political system to replace it. By now, residents have been peppered with flyers, billboards, slogans, promises for a better year and how one person will work harder than the other. What this election comes down to is: who do the residents of Coeymans feel has their best interest in mind? Local government is only effective when the Community feels that those who represent them are accountable, ethical, transparent, efficient, inclusive and respect the rule of law. This is what we offer to the people of the Town of Coeymans.
We believe our positions are clear. Regarding the Town Hall proposal: As individuals who have worked in the current building, we can see it has clearly reached a point where it is necessary to consider an alternative space for the Town’s business. However, most people would not take a picture of a house they were building with no other data and accept the price tag without questioning why or how the builder came up with that number. More questions have arisen since the Board approved the project: Are there other areas in the Town that would be better suited for this project? Are there other buildings that could be re-done? Are we going ahead while prices are too high? Are we over-building for our community needs? Is the current Board being accountable, transparent and efficient when promoting this project?
The role of Town Board members is to serve the Community and to be accessible to those they serve. Currently, we feel the rules for public comment do not allow access for members of the Community to voice their grievances or concerns, unless it is an agenda topic or deemed “town business” — the definition of which has been subjective. Board members have a responsibility to listen to compliments, complaints and concerns. They also have the responsibility to speak up when they feel something is wrong, even within their own party. If elected we vow to speak for all, regardless of who voted for us. Are the current Town Board members being accountable, inclusive, and ethical or are they obligated only to the person who appointed them?
Currently, only one party sits on the Town Board and the Board members have acquiesced most of the duties they once performed to the Supervisor. A Town Board cannot function when it gives control to one person. All members have an equal vote and have a right to hold proper discussion in a public forum. We look forward to working with all members of the Town Board and those of neighboring municipalities as well. We will make sure that more open and public discussion takes place. We know that we will not always make everyone happy, but be assured: whatever decisions we make will be done with the proper research and consideration of the best interests of the Town.
We pledge to work together to operate from a community-based perspective when carrying out our duties, including: updating our local laws, collaborating with the Village, providing services for our residents and being fiscally responsible to the Coeymans taxpayers.
We intend to work with all members of the Town Board and Community. We will listen to everyone from the Community — without exception. We pledge to spend time out in the Community listening to residents. We will always be available by phone, email and unblocked social media. Our goal is to bring strong independent voices back to the Coeymans Town Board.
We’d like to extend our appreciation to your readers for their support and encourage everyone to vote on Nov. 8th.
Ronald Hotaling and Cindy Rowzee are candidates for the Coeymans Town Council.