Letter to the Editor : Candidate Endorsement of Gary Bassett

Believe it when Village of Rhinebeck Mayoral candidate Gary Bassett touts his leadership skills.  He spent 35 years as a Development Manager at IBM and is currently an Engineering Manager for Hudson Solar.  He holds a Masters degree in Project Management from George Washington University and is 1st Asst. Chief at Rhinecliff Fire and Rescue.  When it comes to leadership, Gary is a demonstrated winner.

The Village is a small government but has numerous agencies like zoning, code enforcement, streets, water, sewer, police, fire, courts and administration.  The Board works best when all members are entrusted with different responsibilities.  There is too much work to do to fail to empower folks with responsibility.  No Trustee can be made an outlier.  Issues among people require cooperative attention, a focus on faith in others.  This starts at the top and Gary is committed to empowering everyone.  Department staff does the real work; they fill the potholes and fight crime.  I know Gary realizes these are the real experts and will seek their advice and counsel; he will capitalize on this vital resource and use their professionalism to benefit the people.

Ric Lewitt, is an entrepreneur and has experience as president of a religious institution.  He is a demonstrated problem solver and is committed to working more closely with the town government.  There is a State and County-wide focus on consolidation and shared services and if there is room for efficiencies between the Village and the Town, these options must be explored; otherwise money will be lost.  Communication between the Village and Town Government is in dire need of improvement, and Ric will use his problem solving and entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to bridge the divide.

In the end we are all neighbors and people make the difference.  In addition to being a sitting Trustee, Gina Fox serves on the Rhinebeck Cemetery Committee and works at a local food pantry.    Gina Fox brings a profound concern for humanity to the table wherever she goes.  She will continue to be responsive to the needs of her constituents, but of equal importance, she also will seek their involvement to frame solutions that benefit the public interest.

In the Village of Rhinebeck, the opposition, after receiving the endorsement of the Republican Party, is waving the flag of ”people” and ”community” before politics.  The implication—that the Democratic nominees alone are partisan fighters— is an unfortunate and divisive fable.  Traditionally candidates who receive the endorsement of a party stand for the platform and ideals of the party.  A party is more than a vehicle for someone to get elected—it’s not a candidates’ plaything.

But that doesn’t mean party affiliation equates to partisanship; it’s cynical to lay claim that one candidate cares more about Rhinebeck than another and these candidates are the most qualified to deliver results.

And that’s why these are three non-partisan candidates I’m proud to endorse.
Brant Neuneker, former Village Trustee