I wanted to make you aware of upcoming opportunities to get involved in your town government and volunteer for the good of the community. I do my best to be your voice for this town, but there is nothing like participating yourself! Your opinion and input matters. Below are three distinct opportunities to get involved. Be part of it!
HAMLET PARK BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT
A beautification project was initiated last year at the Claverack Hamlet Park at the intersection of Route 9H and Route 23, with the installation of a sculpture of potted flowers on the south side of the park. This sculpture was made possible through a donation made in memory of Dennis Weigelt, who passed away in 2015. Dennis was a lifelong resident of Claverack and an avid gardener.
We’d like to begin planning additional upgrades to the park and are seeking interested individuals to sit on a committee to help brainstorm, design, and organize these upgrades. Donations are being sought as well. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email email@example.com.
TOWN HALL / COURT BUILDING PROJECT
The current Town Hall and Court Building on Route 217 is nearing the end of its useful life. The aging structure has cost town taxpayers several thousand dollars in maintenance in recent years, with additional repairs and upgrades needed.
It is our intention to form a committee to begin looking at the space needs of the Town Hall and Town Court, and to investigate whether it is feasible and prudent to keep the existing building and continue to invest additional dollars to maintain it, or if it would make more sense to relocate the Town Hall and Town Court to a new space. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOWN PLANNING BOARD VACANCIES
We are seeking interested and qualified individuals to sit on the Claverack Town Planning Board. In general, the Planning Board provides for the orderly growth and development of the town by reviewing and approving subdivisions, site plans, special use permits, etc. Interested applicants should mail a letter of interest and resume to the town office (PO Box V, Mellenville, NY 12544).
As you know by now, Key Bank announced last week that they would be closing their branch in Philmont effective April 29, 2016. This closure is likely related to the trend of large financial institutions moving away from brick and mortar spaces, focusing instead on electronic, mobile banking. It’s a sign of the times. It’s cheaper to run a website than it is a retail space. It’s more convenient for many to do their banking from their computers and smart phones than it is to go to a bank to process transactions. The problem is, for communities like ours, online banking isn’t necessarily the best option for large segments of the population. On top of that, many in this same demographic – like senior citizens – often do not drive, leaving them with few options to do their banking.
I recognize the affect this closure will have on Philmont and surrounding residents, and I – like those in Philmont village government – am determined to do my part to help mitigate this situation to the extent that government can. That said, I have already begun to petition and fight to bring a county shuttle bus service to Philmont. This system would provide residents with a means of transportation to-and-from Greenport to conduct banking and other business on a weekly basis. I am committed to making this happen for Philmont, and will fight to make it a reality.
Let me also say this. Key Bank’s abrupt closure of their branch in Philmont speaks to the value and benefits of small businesses. We have already seen at least one small local bank show interest in helping the residents of Philmont in Key Bank’s absence. Small, locally run businesses care about the communities they operate in. Yes profit is important, indeed vital, to them as well – but so is the general wellbeing of the community. So I would encourage all residents, now more than ever, to patronize and support our local small businesses. When possible, purchase your goods right here in Philmont and the greater Claverack area. Spending your money locally – to the extent possible – supports the local economy and helps to provide those precious local jobs.
Let’s all do our part.
I will keep you updated on the progress of bringing the bus route to Philmont.