Town of Clinton Democratic Committee Monthly Meeting Notes
6pm, Masonic Hall, Centre Road, Town of Clinton

JANUARY 21, 2019

Committee and Executive Members in attendance:

Sam Moyer

Bernadette Duquette

Michael Whitton

Judy Malstrom

Joel Tyner

Merida Welles

Judy Canham

Scott Duquette


Committee Meeting

Due to recent New York State legislative changes that merge the State and Federal Primaries in New York State, the timeline for local candidate selection and preparation has been moved up. Petitioning for candidates and committee members will begin in February.  Please see the full Dutchess County Board of Elections calendar @ for details.


There are changes to local legislation being made at monthly Town of Clinton Town Board meetings.  It is requested that regular attendance by committee members be scheduled in keeping with our desire to promote increased transparency by the board.


Town Meeting 

Sam called the meeting to order and asked that a moment of silence occur in observance of Martin Luther King Day.


Joel gave a brief update on the broadband meeting recently held at the Rhinebeck Town Hall.  Our Supervisor, Ray Oberly was in attendance in addition to representatives from Pleasant Valley, Pine Plains and Red Hook.  The project may qualify for county funding.  MarK Figliozzi (Pleasant Valley) and Darrah Cloud (Pine Plains) plan on pushing Marc Molinaro on this. The project is ongoing and will need much work and interested parties to assist.

In addition, Joel addressed the continuing protests at the Cricket Valley power plant project in Dover.  Scott Duquette encouraged people to visit the site which he describes as quite destructive, huge and amazingly scary.


Cynthia Koch from the Clinton Historical Society spoke about the ongoing Clinton Town Board meetings to review zoning revisions for the Town.  She encouraged our Democratic members to please start attending these meetings as they are going through zoning changes/updates very quickly and voting on things with little to no community comments or involvement.

Discussion followed that the community has no effective reporting or information flow from the Town Board to inform residents about their work.  Town Board meeting minutes are supposed to be posted on the Town website as are recordings via youtube, however posting is not always timely, and recordings are not always clear or/and the sound quality can be poor.  For example, as of the date of this meeting, and as late as 1/30/19, neither the minutes nor video for the January 8 meeting were available on the website.

A topic of special interest to the Historical Society, to have the Creek Meeting House declared a local historical landmark is being considered.  Ms. Koch asks that the local community be involved.

Upcoming local elections.  New York State election law changes will move up the dates for petitioning for candidates and committee members to February.  New requirements and associated dates can be found on the Dutchess Elections website.  Beth Soto, the Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner, will be at our meeting next month to address the changes.


Town Positions that are up for election this fall include:

Town Supervisor

   Ray Oberly (R, Incumbent)

   Mike Whitton (D, Challenger)


Town Board

   Eliot Werner (D, Incumbent)

   Dean Michael (R, Incumbent)

   [no challengers announced]


Town Clerk

   Carol Mackin (R, Incumbent)


   [currently no challengers]

Tax Collector

   Denise Biery (Undeclared, Incumbent)


   [currently no challengers]


Highway Superintendent

   Theron Tompkins (R, Incumbent)


   [currently no challengers]

Town Justice   

   James Brands (R, appointed to replace retiring Russell Tompkins)

   Justin Carroll (D, challenger)


If the Democrats are going to run candidates for these offices, they need to be identified soon.  Please speak up if you would like to run or if you can recommend someone who would.  The committee will provide financial support for campaign expenses, eg: palm cards, lawn signs.


Spring Social – seeking planners for the social.  Discussion regarding location shows interest in using the Town Park pavilion.  Possible date, early June.


Respectfully Submitted,


Bernadette Duquette, Acting Secretary

January 30, 2019