New Paltz Central School District Board of Education member and candidate in the Village of New Paltz mayoral race Tim Rogers is now being endorsed by Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University and Democratic Party candidate for Governor in the 2014 election Zephyr Teachout, who received 90 percent of the vote in New Paltz.
“Tim is serious, careful, committed and extremely intelligent. I believe he will make a great mayor, because he brings a great blend of skills and values to the job, and leadership requires both,” Teachout said. “Fundamentally, he’s a great public servant, with a wonderful public spirit and an equally deep commitment to learning and the unsung, nitty-gritty work of making things work.”
Rogers is a property owner and community servant with posts on the Town Planning Board and Board of Education, which according to New Paltz Town Councilman Dan Torres, “are very demanding positions.” A popularly shared view by many supporting residents of the community, village resident Kamilla Nagy said that Roger’s extensive experience and well-roundedness adds to his positive attribute of finishing what he sets out to start.
Teachout announced her official endorsement of Rogers at a public event on Tuesday, March 10, at Shea O’Brien’s on 127 Main St. At the event, Teachout said that Rogers is “a true professional,” easy to work with, manages well and cares about the values which New Paltz residents hold, including energy renewal policies and education policies.
According to Teachout, she and Rogers have a shared vision of a renewable energy future, a more open and fair democracy and an education system that serves all of students and treats them like individuals, respects teachers and provides adequate funding.
“I believe many of the most important decisions are made locally, and that local power is the bulwark of democracy,” Teachout said. “A mayor can support all of these goals in his or her daily work — it’s hard work, but it’s critical, and Tim will be a wonderful leader.”
Rogers and Teachout met over half a year ago, when he volunteered for Teachout’s campaign long before most New Yorkers even knew there was a campaign. Teachout said that she and her campaign manager both noticed he was extremely responsible, effective and creative. According to Rogers, he spent many hours supporting Teachout’s campaign last summer, which included collecting signatures for her to get on the Democratic primary ballot and organizing the event for her to visit New Paltz back in the Fall.
“Zephyr resonates with so many people because of her sincerity and pure intentions. It’s apparent she cares deeply about many of the issues our community cares about. She works on important issues for the right reasons,” Rogers said. “She encourages me to believe that politics matter and should be accessible to regular people who want to serve and try to good for the whole community.”
Present at the event on March 10 was Torres, who spoke first expressing his support of Rogers for mayor.
“The Village of New Paltz is only about 6,000 people populated, but in many ways it is a microcosm of what we want our world to be,” Torres said. “If there’s someone I want to see lead this community and continue the village to consist of Main Street and local business, it’s Tim Rogers.”
According to Torres, Roger’s strength is that he cares about the “nuts and bolts” of politics and not just what is most attractive. He is preoccupied with what is important and his experience in this area shows in his performance in past positions.
During his speech, Rogers touched upon issues such as following through on more renewable energy and green initiatives, as well as New Paltz’s lack of partisan disagreements. Rogers also gave honorable mention to the accomplishments of civic activists such as New Paltz Village Mayor Jason West, who worked hard to support gay marriage years ago, along with New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet who challenged the building of a Walmart in New Paltz many years before that.
“I’m running for mayor because I support our tradition of being an activist community,” Rogers said. “There is significant amount of room for improvement regarding management within our local government. We need to work in conjunction with our village employees who do a fantastic job, but would appreciate higher quality support from the village board.”
Rogers’ speech was followed by questions from residents of the town, village and neighboring towns who attended.
New Paltz town resident Rhett Weires brought attention to the issue of miscommunication between board members.
“As reported in the paper up until last month, there has been difficulty with communication with Susan Zimet and Mayor Jason West,” Weires said. “How do you envision yourself communicating with the supervisor and on what issues do you think you could see the village and the town working together?”
“We don’t necessarily have to sit at the table and come up with a solution immediately. I believe in incremental steps to come up with solutions. I think committing to an ongoing dialogue is one of the most important things when you are meeting with someone you might not agree with,” Rogers said. “Looking towards the end result, trying to achieve things in increments by agreeing and building upon that is the goal.”
Roger’s opponents in the mayoral race include incumbent Mayor Jason West, Groovy Blueberry owner Amy Cohen and New Paltz Village Trustee Sally Rhoads. The election will be held on May 5.