By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA — Three candidates will be on the ballot March 15 in the race for two seats on the Ravena Village Board.
Profiles of the three candidates are presented in alphabetical order.
Republican Caitlin Appleby is running on both the Republican and Democratic lines.
Appleby grew up in Ravena and lived in the village most of her life. She attended school in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district and received an associates degree from Hudson Valley Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from SUNY Albany.
She said love of community spurred her to run for office for the first time this year.
“I love my village. I am raising my family here and I had a really good experience growing up here and that’s why I wanted to raise my children in the village,” Appleby said.
She has been involved in numerous community projects including organizing the Friendship Festival for six years, working on the annual Christmas parade for many years, and organizing town hall meetings on subjects such as underage drinking and substance abuse, she said. She is especially fond of the working on the Friendship Festival.
“That has been a blast. When I was a little girl, that was my absolute favorite thing during the year, and to be able to say that I am now organizing it feels very full circle for me,” Appleby said.
While working on community events has been gratifying, she said she wants to do more.
“I felt stagnant in terms of what I could do or what kinds of resources I could access to do things on a more grand scale,” she said. “Yes, I do community events, but my degree is in social work, so I am very interested in providing programs and resources for our residents. Community events are fun, but there are some social aspects that need to be addressed.”
Food insecurity in Ravena is one issue she would like to tackle by coordinating efforts by local food pantries to maximize available resources, she said.
Targeting young people and families is another area she would like to work on.
“A lot of substance use and risky behaviors — vandalism, truancy, school attendance — if kids don’t feel connected to their community, they don’t care, they don’t invest, they don’t want to be here,” Appleby said. “I really want to target the youth and make them love it here and want to grow up here and be invested in their village.”
Her long-term goal is to develop a community center where recreational and afterschool programming would be offered, along with tutoring and resources for high schoolers to find internships, she said.
“That is my ultimate, ultimate goal,” Appleby said. “I feel that we could do a lot of good work through a community center. It would be almost like a social service hub — that is my vision.”
She is a retired physical education and health teacher of 38 years, working her entire career in Averill Park. She is originally from Hudson Falls and has lived in Ravena for 36 years. She successfully ran for office for the first time in 2018.
“It turned out better than I thought it would ever be because I was able to do things for the residents here,” Muller said. “As my kids were growing up I was a coach here and I was involved in a lot of things with my children, but I didn’t have as much involvement elsewhere in the community.”
Serving on the board has been gratifying, she said.
Among the projects she has been involved in has been getting the village’s dog park up and running, and replacing the sign outside the village hall.
“I was able, along with [building inspector] Joe Burns, to negotiate a deal to get that great sign so we can keep residents updated on what is going on in our village,” Muller said.
But the area where she has had the most impact has been renovations at Mosher Park, Muller said.
“The biggest thing has been working as the liaison with the Parks Department and the grants we were able to get at the park,” Muller said. “We decided that this year we would get a grant writer, which was one of the things that I campaigned on [four years ago]. We did get a grant writer and thank goodness, because she has done really good work for our village with the grants we received for the recreational areas.”
The village secured a $200,000 grant for an upgrade project at Mosher Park, she said. If re-elected, she hopes to pursue more recreational projects.
“I have already talked to the grant writer about a rail-to-trail bike path from Ravena to Coxsackie,” Muller said. “She says that is a pretty good grant to go after, so I am going to be pushing hard for a grant for that and for other opportunities to get more programs in the park.”
Muller served on the village’s planning/zoning board of appeals for two years, and later was the village board’s liaison to that committee. She has an associates degree in early childhood education, a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in health education.[LL1]
Barbara Tanner is running for election to the village board on the Republican Party ticket. This is her first time running for office in Ravena.
Tanner was born and raised in the town of Coeymans, and moved to New Baltimore when she got married.
Her husband was chief at the now defunct New Baltimore Police Department. At the time, Tanner also served as dispatcher matron for the police force. The police department was actually located in one room inside her New Baltimore home, she said.
Tanner worked for the state for 21 years in the Tax and Finance Department, and also as a reading aide in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district. She lives in the village of Ravena.
“My reason for running for trustee is improving infrastructure, lowering taxes and revitalizing Main Street,” Tanner said. “I will work for all residents regardless of their political affiliation.”
Infrastructure is among her top priorities if elected to the board.
“I think the water pipes need work — we are having too many breaks and I am sure we can probably get some kind of a grant for that,” she said.
Tanner decided to throw her hat into the political ring now because she wants to get the village moving in a positive direction, she said.
“I like [Mayor] Bill [Misuraca], I think he is a nice guy, I just don’t see that the village is going anywhere,” Tanner said. “It just seems like it is stagnant. I don’t have anything against him personally, I just think we need somebody to write some grants to help us revitalize our village.”
Tanner is a member of the parish at St. Patrick’s Church, where she serves as eucharistic administrator and greeter, and volunteers at the food pantry. She is also a life member of the Cornell Hook and Ladder Auxiliary, and served as chairwoman of the Grievance Board in New Baltimore for 20 years.