COUNTY BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 7
COMMUNITY OF RESIDENCE: Middlefield
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History, Master’s Degree in Comparative History and Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Trained and worked as a creative facilitator, helping corporate and non-profit clients innovate and problem solve. Served as general manager at eTalent Agency, taking a brand new company to $3 million in billings in 18 months. Co-founded a company that worked with public and private organizations on branding, marketing and effective communication, including the states of New York, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, the Independent Cities Association, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, SEIU 434b, RADD and many others. Founder and owner of Le Marais Chocolat. Founder and owner of WB Consultancy, helping entrepreneurs and individuals grow and expand their businesses, career opportunities and creative endeavors. Former editor and head writer at Celsias, a leading online journal on climate change with an international staff of more than 50 writers.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Cooperstown Farmer’s Market Governing Committee, volunteer with Positive Action Cherry Valley and Positive Action Cooperstown, member of local chapters of League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, and NAACP.
FAMILY: Husband Chris, daughters Adina and Emma, two cats, Buster and Byron (also called Buster). Together they are known as The Busters
PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: It is the responsibility of elected officials to solve problems and serve the needs of their constituents, including proactively addressing issues before they become problems. Government is a partnership between citizens and those they elect. In order for that partnership to work, there needs to be transparency and open communication so that elected officials can be held accountable to and by the people that elect them. In addition, as Congressman John Lewis recently said, elected officials should be headlights, not taillights, standing up for what’s important and holding themselves accountable to measurable progress on the issues that are impacting the people they serve.
MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY:
1) Lack of measurable progress on basic infrastructure necessary for economic development, particularly access to high-speed internet and cell phone service.
2) There is a disconnect between the jobs available and the training that people have to thrive in those jobs. As a result, entrepreneurs are staying away and young people with skills are leaving.
3) The lack of Board resolve to hire a County Manager to effectively manage our $110 million budget and see critical projects through to completion. A part-time board cannot meet the needs of a County of this size.
4) Months of crisis at Otsego Now that has deeply damaged economic development efforts in Otsego County and left critical projects without adequate management.
5) The lack of adequate processing facilities for farmers in and around the County.
6) The dangerous practice of having XNG trucks full of compressed natural gas on residential roads.
MY QUALITIES: I am a hard worker who will listen to constituents and speak up on their behalf. I believe in collaboration and working with people of differing viewpoints to get to the best solutions and am skilled at finding compromise and consensus. At the same time, I will be a loud and persistent voice for what is right and needed in order for our County to thrive. I set measurable goals and I make every effort to meet them, as well as inspire others to do the same.
STATEMENT: I am running for County Representative because when you find yourself saying someone should really do something about a long standing problem, it’s time to look in the mirror to find that someone. I am running because we need to extend high speed internet and cell phone service throughout the county so that our farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs can compete. I am running because our farmers produce some of the best organic, biodynamic and naturally grown produce, as well as amazing grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured chicken and free-range eggs and yet, people in New York City have an easier time getting goods from California than they do getting goods from Middlefield. I am running because if any one of us had $110 million dollar budget, we would have a full-time person managing how we spend and invest that money. I am running because under the current majority on the board, our economic development agency has collapsed, we have had a major scandal involving the sheriff’s department that adversely impacts public safety, we still don’t have an ethics board seated, and we continue to spend money on studies of problems rather than solutions to problems. I am running because I hope to represent my district and help to ensure that we have all of the tools we need to succeed and prosper while taking exquisite care of the beautiful natural surroundings and the global environment while preserving our close knit communities. If I’m elected, I will make sure that I spend my two years being productive and a strong voice for the citizens of our District and our County to get us the movement that we need and deserve on issues that are impacting our lives!