Rhinebeck Together – Candidate Profiles and Platform
We are incredibly lucky to live in this beautiful community. As a trustee, I have seen first-hand how important it is to have the professional experience required to manage our village. On some level, it is like a big campus; a large part of what we do behind the scenes is in managing our physical plant – strengthening pubic safety, improving our infrastructure – water, sewer, and highway – and protecting the historic charm of our village while creating and embracing opportunities for progress. We have to be make solid decisions about our finances, and uncover ways to make the best use of taxpayer dollars. I love serving as a trustee, and look forward to continuing my work with village and town government, our business community, as well as all of our residents to ensure that the collective needs and wants of our community are reflected in our vision and plans for the future”.
Current village trustee; oversees fire department and planning & zoning department
Scott Cruikshank, an executive with Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management and longtime trustee (and former Deputy Mayor) for the Village of Rhinebeck, brings over two decades of experience managing complex, high-profile projects, overseeing personnel, serving on boards of directors, developing creative ways to make systems more efficient, and engaging people in meaningful dialogue designed to move ventures forward.In recent years as a village trustee, Cruikshank has served as the liaison to the fire department, as well as the village planning and zoning board, revisiting policies and procedures and collaborating with them to roll out updated legislation. He has also worked to build greater efficiencies into day-to-day operations, creating the Clerk of the Works position along with other elected officials and developing a working budget that kept the village under the tax cap. Cruikshank is a big believer in exploring ways to share services, work together with town officials, and, given his extensive background in construction, understands the importance of meticulous attention to detail on every project. He has formalized RFP (Request for Proposal) protocol to ensure that the board is doing their due diligence when engaging the services of vendors, and feels strongly about the importance of honest, transparent bidding processes. Some local projects in his portfolio (in addition to Village of Rhinebeck iniatives) include the Marriott Pavilion and the Egg at the Culinary Institute of America, the new campus master plan at the Anderson Center for Autism, and Oakwood Commons.
Scott’s skills and experience directly apply to the business the village conducts each and every day; he has a proven track record of results. Here are just a few examples:
1) With our planned capital improvement to the Village water system, Scott supplied the information and assistance in writing the Requests for Proposals (RFPs). He also identified and encouraged many engineering firms to submit proposals for the project, resulting in a great response to the RFP and many competitive proposals. During the review of the proposals, he identified a pattern that he thought was driving up the engineering cost. He encouraged the issue of an addendum to the RFP, and asked for the additional phase work to be priced as an add/ alternate. This strategy resulted in a savings of nearly $250,000 for the village.
2) At the sewer treatment plant, the bids received for the village Sewer Headworks Project came in well over the engineer’s estimate. Scott personally worked with the engineer to oversee the project and to rewrite the Request for Proposal. This effort yielded a savings of $30,000.
3) In the planning & zoning department, Scott has led the effort, along with both boards and the zoning commission, to revise the zoning code; it had been long overdue with the last update done in 2006. Scott feels strongly about re-evaluating policies, procedures, and village code to protect the character of Rhinebeck while recognizing the need for responsible development.
Scott has saved the village tens of thousands of dollars in his role as trustee, and has a keen understanding of the many nuances of complex projects because of his professional background. His skills are not peripheral skills; they are DIRECTLY impacting our village every single day. We need his continued expertise and commitment.
ABOUT SCOTT CRUIKSHANK
Planning and Zoning: Currently oversees current and proposed development; committed to protecting the character of Rhinebeck while working toward responsible progressInfrastructure and Parking: Brings professional expertise as construction project manager to the many facets of village projects; intends to initiate a parking needs assessment study
Fiscal Responsibility: Works to improve efficiencies, share services, and streamline operations; strong advocate of RFP (request for proposal) protocol and responsible bidding. Has saved the village tens of thousands of dollars by closely examining spending.
Civic Involvement: A longtime supporter of a wide range of community-based initiatives, including Sinterklaas, believes in collaborating with civic organizations to bring events and activities to his hometown
“Local government issues shouldn’t be viewed through the lens of partisan politics. We all want what’s best for our village; it’s about coming up with creative solutions to issues that will ultimately benefit our community as a whole. I want to be mindful of responsible growth and development as Rhinebeck becomes increasingly more popular – we need to do everything we can to maintain the small-town feel that has attracted all of us to this special place, but create space for the kind of progress residents want or need as we move forward. We are committed to the fiscal responsibility and effective leadership that taxpayers deserve. We all love this community, and we are all in this together.”
Sean M. Kemp, Esq.
Current village trustee; oversees wastewater departmentSean M. Kemp, Esq., longtime area attorney and father of two, brings strong understanding of legal issues and an extensive background serving in leadership roles to the Village of Rhinebeck Board of Trustees. Over the past year as a village trustee, Kemp has worked to get the Headworks Project underway, keep the village budget under the tax cap, and has been paving the way for the next phase of a major water and sewer system upgrade.
Over the course of his career, Kemp has been engaged in many segments of law, including contract litigation and commercial collections, residential and commercial construction litigation, land ownership and easement disputes, and contract negotiations. His ability to carefully examine the many layers of his cases transfers beautifully to all of his leadership roles; he pays meticulous attention to detail, and is able to make deliberate decisions in context of long-term desired outcomes.
Originally from a small town in New Jersey, Kemp is especially concerned about managing developmental pressures as Rhinebeck moves forward, particularly in terms of infrastructure, as well as keeping Rhinebeck affordable for working families like his own and the aging population. He feels strongly about the decision to go with the “Rhinebeck Together” ticket and its message of forward-thinking collaboration with people coming together to take care of the community they love.
ABOUT SEAN M. KEMP, ESQ.
Awards and Honors
Quality of Life: Father of two young children, wants to keep Rhinebeck affordable and deliver services designed to enhance quality of life at every age and stage.Efficiency: Always looking for ways to make our local government more efficient and more responsive to the needs of our residents.
Business: Business owner and president of the Chamber of Commerce, understands the importance of supporting the business district and supporting a strong financial future for Rhinebeck.
Protecting Our Water: has been leading the Headworks Project, designed to maintain equipment and pave the way for more efficient water and sewer systems.
“We want to build the foundation for the future of this wonderful village, while preserving everything that makes it so special. We hope to earn the support of voters who recognize the power of working together; it is an exciting time and we are all ready to serve in this capacity”.
Seeking one-year term on village board
Born and raised in Rhinebeck, Sheri Monaco, PMP (Project Management Professional), brings sharp business acumen and high-level experience working for one of the big four public accounting firms, KPMG, as well as one of the region’s top employers, Health Quest, to the village of Rhinebeck. Seeking a one-year term, Monaco is enthusiastic about opportunities to work on behalf of the village she loves, and wants to focus on finding ways to meet ongoing needs of Rhinebeck residents while looking at long-term capital management strategies for the village.
Her career has given Monaco breadth and depth of knowledge in the areas of human resources and information technology, two topics that are important as the village manages rising insurance costs for its employees and works to better leverage technology to improve service delivery. She has overseen facilities and operations budgets that are upwards of $9 million, and has worked on projects such as environmental remediation (including an asbestos management program), internal audits, Health Quest’s Monarch Initiative (health information management, registration, scheduling, and capacity management), and overall team management.
ABOUT SHERI MONACO
Public Safety: Plans to work with police and fire departments to ensure that proactive measures are taken to better protect public safety efforts and the well-being of neighbors.Technology: will bring IT experience to the table to leverage technology for stronger communication and greater productivity.
Reducing Insurance Costs: will explore creative ways to manage rising costs of health, disability, and worker’s comp insurance by researching platforms and vendors that can significantly reduce spending for the village.
Regulatory Compliance and Audit Experience: brings experience working with KPMG’s New York State and local government team; plans to use background to ensure that proper checks and balances are in place for village government.
A Vote for Us is a Vote for Rhinebeck.
Our Rhinebeck Together team plans to build collaborative relationships with our village residents, town and village elected officials, community leaders, business district, vendors, and our County to protect the character of our unique community, support needed improvements, embrace opportunities for responsible progress, promote long-term financial security and, most importantly, enrich quality of life.We are inspired by the people, spirit, and charm of Rhinebeck, and want to engage everyone in meaningful dialogue as we make decisions on behalf of our neighbors. Our team believes that in order to move forward, we need to drop traditional party politics and focus on working together for Rhinebeck. We will work tirelessly and intelligently; we hope to earn your vote on March 15th.
All of You, Our Village Residents
Our village residents are the heart and soul of Rhinebeck. We want to:
- keep our community affordable
- keep our village clean and safe
- provide the resources and programs to enrich quality of life
With the help of incumbent Scott Cruikshank, our village has been able to stay under the tax cap over the past year. We intend to:
- explore options to mitigate health insurance expenses and other costs
- continue to save the village thousands of dollars through responsible bidding
- pursue more grant opportunities to bridge the gap between needs and resources
- look for ways to identify inefficiencies and minimize expenses
- make solid investments in technology and equipment to improve service delivery and streamline operations
Our business district is thriving, and we will work to support continued success for our village economy. We will:
- continue to make very deliberate decisions about new commercial proposals
- work alongside our merchants and business owners to address their concerns
- work to make the village even more pedestrian-friendly
- honor the interests of our business community
We all believe in active listening as the cornerstone of effective communication. We will:
Building a strong alliance with the town and our business community is of utmost importance as we move forward. We plan to:
- preserve the look and feel of Rhinebeck
- maintain the integrity of our community and our infrastructure
- set the stage for responsible progress based on very deliberate decisions
As our village grows in popularity, we know that many people are concerned about parking. We will:
- initiate a comprehensive study to assess parking needs
- address parking needs identified as a result of the study
- preserve the unique historic look and feel of Rhinebeck
Planning and Zoning
Under the leadership of incumbent trustee Scott Cruikshank, the planning and zoning code has been reworked over the past year to ensure that it is both project-friendly and mindful of continued preservation of our unique historic character. We intend to:
- enforce the RFP protocol developed by Cruikshank to ensure responsible bidding
- protect our historic character by making thoughtful decisions about new projects
- resolve inefficiencies
We are fortunate to live in a rather safe community with countless public servants and volunteers. We intend to:
- leverage the power of technology to improve communication
- fund vehicle and equipment improvements for our public safety efforts
The tree committee recently recommended cutting down 127 trees in our village. This would have extremely negative environmental impact. We plan to:
- minimize tree removal
- treat our trees like our history and architecture, with utmost respect for the character they bring to our community
- identify ways to better prune trees to protect integrity of existing canopy while working around electrical wires
- preserve the natural beauty of our village
Under the leadership of incumbent trustee Sean Kemp, the Headworks project is well underway. We plan to:
- continue to protect our investments by maintaining equipment and making it more efficient
- update one of our treatment systems to and secure funding for that project
- continue to respond quickly when homeowners report concerns
AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR VILLAGE NEIGHBORS.
We know that you love Rhinebeck as much as we do.
This campaign is not about politics. It is about our genuine love for this unique and special community that is home to people from many walks of life, many different regions, and many different viewpoints.
Our goal is to build the kinds of collaborations that will move Rhinebeck forward. We honor our past, celebrate where we are today, and we are focused on working toward building a solid future.
- We want to enhance quality of life by delivering high-level services and programs to all of you, our village residents.
- We want to increase efficiencies and streamline operations, adhering to Request for Proposal (RFP) protocol developed in large part by incumbent Scott Cruikshank to maximize our resources and return on investment. (Cruikshank has saved the village over $280,000 with his commitment to the request for proposal process).
- We want to look for creative solutions to rising costs to keep our budget under the tax cap.
- We want to focus on much-needed improvements to our infrastructure, being mindful of environmental impact and opportunities to share services.
- We want to make Rhinebeck as affordable as possible for people at every age and stage of life.
- We want to maintain the rich historic character of our “downtown” corridor, while embracing opportunities for progress.
- We want to learn more about YOUR concerns in areas like parking, trees, wastewater, and planning and zoning, so that we can understand the needs and wants of our community and make the best decisions possible on your behalf.
Ultimately, we want to collaborate with residents, neighbors, colleagues, employees, vendors, businesses, and other elected officials in Rhinebeck and throughout our county to ensure that Rhinebeck continues to be the best place in which to live, work, and play.
We are here to listen, to learn, and to respond. Reach out anytime with questions; let’s work together for the community we love.
Sean M. Kemp, Esq.
Sheri Monaco, PMP