In addition to the Village of New Paltz Mayoral election on Tuesday, May 5, elections for Village Trustee took place. Candidates Dennis Young and Don Kerr, with 448 and 369 votes, respectively, were elected New Paltz Village Trustees for the 2015-2019 term.
“I’m very happy, especially in terms of the team that has been elected,” Young said. “The community has placed their faith in us and I firmly believe that we will reward that faith by working collaboratively to protect and enhance our beautiful and unique community.”
Young is a successful business professional and possesses contracting and negotiating skills which he said will be helpful as the Village Board attacks infrastructure issues. His extensive project management experience will become vital in adhering to the impending Department of Environmental Protection shutdown for 2017 which calls for an alternative water source. Young said that skills such as these will go a long way in keeping the expenses of these infrastructures down.
“One of the things that kind of horrified me over the past year was the village board accepting Central Hudson’s first offer to convert to natural gas,” Young said. “The fact that they took the first offer just shows that there was a lot of money left on the negotiating table.”
According to Young, rather than taking money to convert oil to gas, the village could have used that money to run electrical lines through areas where there is no lighting such as Church Street or the Gardens for Nutrition. Young said that other useful mechanisms such as LED street lights which are becoming available from Central Hudson could have been negotiated.
“We have a really good board that is going to work very well together now,” Kerr said. “I hope we can serve as a model for how other boards can work together.”
In addition to his business experience, Young is currently an Environmental Policy Commissioner. Serving on the Environmental Policy Commission (EPC), Young intends to continue addressing the village and town’s most pressing issues which include drinking water, sewage, stormwater drainage and parking. He was appointed to his position on the EPC simply by attending many meetings and showing tenacity and persistence in matters which concern the environment.
Kerr also expressed his immdeiate concern over a Plan B for the 2017 aqeudeuct shut down. According to Kerr, the people of Plains Road, the area in which a water district may be created in lieu of the shut down, are completely opposed to this plan. Kerr said that he is concerned that there is no contingency plan for if Plains Road does not come to fruition.
Young is a father of three children in the New Paltz School District. Living in the village, Young said that one of the challenges facing the village currently includes the cost of living. Kerr is the former president of the New Paltz School Board and explained that during his term he always had the ability to find a way for all seven board members to reach an agreement concerning important issues.
“There is always room for improvement when it comes to communication whether you are talking about the college and the village board or the village board and the town board,” Young said. “Communication is the key to tackling problems collaboratively.”