I am very upset about the ongoing bickering over Tuesday’s Village election. The 2016 Presidential election, that divided our country, seems to have spilled into our Village. A week ago, we had a candidate form in Town Hall and the headline for the feature article in The Hudson Valley News was “Shut up, no you shut up.” I was there and saw a room filled with very angry people. A few near me were so mad with each other that I thought at any minute they might come to blows. I found it very disturbing that friends were angry at friends, neighbors were angry at neighbors. This was not a picture of the Village that I know and love.
I have volunteered for many organizations since moving to Rhinebeck and I know first-hand how difficult it is to find people, who are very busy with work and family, to step up and help make Rhinebeck a better place to live. It is fortunate that we have 6 people who are willing to do this. However, being a Republican or a Democrat does not make any of them a bad person, just someone with different views about the way the country, state, town and village should be run.
Ten years ago, I ran for Mayor of the Village of Rhinebeck. People came up to me during the campaign and told me that we have to get the Democrats into power in the Village. I told them that partisan politics had no place in our Village election. If elected Mayor I could not bring the troops home from Iraq or solve the nation’s budget problems. I said that the Village election issues are about quality of life in our Village dealing with things like traffic, parking, sidewalks, trees, maintaining our water and sewer services and encouraging local businesses while preserving our historic Village. I said that I wanted their vote because they believed that I would do a better job than my opponent, and not because I was a democrat.
I have been very impressed with the job that has been done by our current Mayor Heath Tortarella and I am writing this letter in support of all four of the candidates of the Rhinebeck Together Party. The 4 candidates represent 4 different political affiliations and that is exactly what I was talking about during my campaign 10 years ago.
I urge you on Tuesday to think about the 6 candidates and pick the ones that you believe can serve the Village of Rhinebeck best and make it a better place to live.
Thank you, David Miller