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

MAY 20, 2019



The Caucus will take place on June 5th, 6pm, at Clinton Vineyards. The social will take place on June 8th, from 1-4pm, at Fran Mark Park. We are looking for volunteers to help at the social, sign up sheet was passed around.




Michael Whitton reported that the solar law debate is continuing. The schedule has been extended because the Planning Board requested more time to review it. There will be a public hearing at the Town Board meeting in June and July, and then the vote will be in July.



Michael also reported that the proposed moratorium on new conference centers was voted down by the Town Board. Past zoning administrators have ruled that large events are not allowed in the town but a few board members are hoping to change this, and further discussion will take place at the next Zoning Revision workshop. The public is encouraged to attend the Zoning Revision workshops on the first and third Thursday of the month.


Recently, the town bought a new truck for the Highway Department.


Michael and Eliot Werner also reported that the powerline issue is coming back. A public hearing will be held on June 27th, 7pm, at the Town Hall. There will also be workshops for discussion.


Michael reported that the library budget has dedicated funding for a new paint job, new carpeting and the installation of energy-efficient lighting.





Brennan Kearney reported that the legislature approved extended hours for liquor stores but that Marc Molinaro vetoed the bill because he believed there was “not enough time for public comment”  (even though he is in favor of it personally).There was a veto override (19-6) by the legislature meaning that the final decision will be up to the NYS Liquor Authority. The NYSLA will hold a public hearing. Brennan noted that Hal Newell of Harker House in Clinton Corners is in favor of the extended hours.


Brennan also discussed the progress made with the “Are You Okay?” program. “Are You Okay?” is a check-in program for seniors that calls repeatedly at a scheduled time of day, and if there is no answer, emergency services are alerted. Previously, the software was ruled out of date and after requesting an update, it is expected to be repaired soon. Brennan will follow up to confirm when it will be up and running again. A visitor asked that Brennan talk to Meg Hesher, the head of SSIP-Taconic chapter, so that she can spread the word once “Are You Okay?” is up and running again.


Brennan asked for specific county roads that guests feel need repair, as she is working with the Public Works Office/Sheriff’s Office to repair roads in Rhinebeck and Clinton. Brennan asked Judy Malstrom for Joel’s old notes on the matter. Brennan announced that the Veterans Affairs Committee (which she serves on) is hoping to bring Hero Banners to Clinton and Rhinebeck. The banners will highlight someone who served/is currently serving with a small bio. She will be looking into potential spots within county parks to hang the banners. Bernadette Duquette asked Brennan to research the cost, and also suggested the idea that families could sponsor the banner for their own veteran family member/friend.


Officials in the county are looking to create a resolution to potentially redraw voting districts as there is a concern that gerrymandering is taking place. The idea came up after reviewing research done by Kristofer Munn (county legislator of Red Hook and Tivoli). Brennan will be supporting the resolution. The resolution will have a county-wide referendum and Brennan encourages everyone to attend and speak out. She will be posting updates on her Facebook page.


SOCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE UPDATE: The Democratic Social will take place on June 8th, 1-4pm, at Fran Mark Park. It will be an opportunity to meet candidates and neighbors. We encourage people to volunteer and a sign-up sheet was passed around. Flyers advertising the social will be passed out at the transfer station on May 25th and June 1st from 8am-12pm. Volunteers are needed.


FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE UPDATE: Idan Sims reported that the fundraising committee has designed posters/flyers to encourage “turning Clinton blue” via financial support etc. They have also designed pledge cards: name, phone, address, and suggested contributions (starting at $50). Judy C will work to get them printed before the social with the approval of the committee. Michael W made a motion to spend about $300 on printing for the social, which was seconded by Merida Wells and passed unanimously. They plan to distribute them at the caucus and social. They encourage the planning of socials in people’s homes, the sale of caps and tees, reaching out to people personally via phone, postcard mailings, etc. Our goal is to raise $10,000 before the election. The fundraising committee is looking for more volunteers. The committee asked visitors for advice on the website and how to improve it. Idan Sims suggests photos of the candidates and special events be put on the home page.


OTHER DISCUSSION : Brennan announced that she will be holding a meet and greet as well as fundraisers to help her campaign for re-election. August 11th- fundraiser for Joe Ruggiero at Idan Sims and Terry Gotthelf’s house.


Questions from visitors: Ray Rivard and Lynn Tompkins asked about a candidate for highway supervisor. There is concern that we do not have a candidate, but the committee has expressed that there is a search going on. Republican candidates have been invited to come and talk at public Democratic committee meetings and come to the social if they are interested.