Four years ago, the day after my family moved into the Rhinebeck Village, we were knee-deep in boxes, scrambling to establish a new life in a new community. Our doorbell rang, and a neighbor introduced himself, asking if we needed anything. That neighbor – now my friend and now our Village Mayor – was Heath Tortarella. Had I known then what I now know about Heath, his welcoming gesture would have come as no surprise.
Our Mayor is a generous soul, whose life is defined by service, volunteerism, and putting the needs of others in front of his own. He is a dedicated husband and father who has chosen to make our community better by serving it. While strong character should be enough to earn votes, Mayor Tortarella’s accomplishments speak volumes. As Mayor, Heath has focused on issues of great importance to Village residents: safety and security, quality of life, and some issues that are all but invisible to most of us – updating and maintaining the Village’s aging infrastructure, and managing a growing, tourist-heavy community. Among many other accomplishments, Heath’s include:
• Securing funds and resources for the Rhinebeck Village Police and Fire Departments.
• Protecting the integrity and security of our municipal water system by directing improvements at our water plant and reservoir; and planning for significant improvements to the distribution system in the Village Center.
• Presenting two resolutions to the Village Board regarding a proposed plan to park oil barges atop the intake pipes in the Hudson River that provide our drinking water.
• Building the Village’s fund balance to a 5-year high of $550,000 (a strong 25% of our annual budget), and establishing a contingency line item in the budget to prepare for emergency expenses.
• Improving the quality of the Legion Park at Crystal Lake, including repairs to Asher Dam and the pedestrian bridge.
Friends and neighbors: I urge you to look beyond party lines and support Heath Tortarella for Mayor. He is an incumbent mayor running on a cross-party platform with a proven, successful track record; a mayor with 16 years of active military service; a mayor who remains deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of lifelong and new residents of Rhinebeck Village; a mayor who has worked with village, town, county, state, and federal representatives regardless of their party affiliation. Heath is an even-keeled, deliberate leader who has earned the right to continue leading Rhinebeck Village. His focus on our needs over those of any political party’s national agenda gives me tremendous confidence in his character and leadership.
On Tuesday, March 21st, please join me in voting Heath Tortarella for Mayor of Rhinebeck Village.