Town of Rhinebeck Highway Superintendent Kathy Kinsella (D) will not seek a sixth term.
“The ten years I have spent in this position have been challenging and rewarding,” Kinsella said in a released statement. “I feel that the time is right for me to move on and explore other areas of interest. The crew and I have accomplished a lot and have met the goals I had when I first came to this position.”
The Rhinebeck Highway Department maintains 114.7 lane miles of town road, adjacent shoulders, and drainage. Some of the major projects that have been completed under Kinsella’s tenure include the reconstruction of historic culverts like Hogs Bridge, at Mt. Rutsen Road, and Fox Hollow Bridge, on Fox Hollow Road. Rhinebeck has had three weather-related declared disasters during the ten years Kinsella has led the department. “In all three cases we were able to open roads quickly, maintain access for emergency vehicles, help ensure public safety, rapidly effect repairs, and successfully obtain funding to recoup our costs.” Kinsella was also successful in obtaining grants for infrastructure improvements, equipment purchases, and other projects.
“The biggest hurdle has been budget restraints. Cuts have resulted in the loss of two crew-members and it has been challenging to maintain service levels. I am proud of the crew for the professional work that they do. I am also pleased that we have found ways – through leasing, shared service grants, and the prudent use of CHIPs funds – to bring the fleet up to date. It’s the backbone of our department.”
Kinsella was the first woman elected as Highway Superintendent in Dutchess County. Now there are four. “I’m glad to have had a chance to break that ground. Gender doesn’t impact the role of a highway superintendent. It’s about dedication, management, and being in touch with one’s constituents.”
Kinsella’s term will end this year on December 31. “Of course I have mixed feelings about leaving a job that I love, but I look forward to new challenges and I’ll always feel that part of me is embedded in Rhinebeck’s roads” she said.