Morgen Bowers and Matthew Bowe, Claverack Town Board Candidates Profiled in Register-Star

Candidates seek two spots on the town council

Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Morgen Bowers is endorsed by Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee

Morgen Bowers, 41, Churchtown (Claverack)
Lived in the county: 7 yrs, Previous residence: NYC

Office being sought: Town Board, Claverack
Endorsements received: Democratic Party, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Claverack Party

High school: Stuyvesant H.S.
College: Bard College; Cardozo Law School
Dogrees: B.A.; J.D

Attorney; Farmer
Years in that occupation: 9 yrs; 2+ yrs

Ever been convicted of a crime? No

Vice President (2009), certified first responder and interior firefighter, Churchtown Fire Company (2005 present).

Volunteer at Ashley's Barn Horse Rescue (2005 present).

Founding member and treasurer Neighbors for Claverack (a community organization for residents of the Town of Claverack who are committed to maintaining the character of the Town and who support the principles of good growth (approximately 300 members) (2005 present).

NY State Bar Association (2000 present).

Top three issues facing your town:

1. Create, attract and maintain jobs and businesses in Claverack. One of the biggest challenges Claverack faces is attracting and maintaining jobs and businesses. While Claverack has many small and home based businesses, the Town Board can play an active role in supporting them. For example, having zoning laws that are compatible with the needs of residents as well as with the businesses we want to attract and sustain will allow new investors to better e valuate their projects and will help existing businesses meet their goals.
That's why, if elected, I'm committed to providing the following:

  • Provide the Zoning Task Force the tools they need to efficiently and quickly enact the new Comprehensive Plan.
  • Enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Town government and services through the prudent use of technology and alternative energy.
  • Pursue Town wide broadband service
  • Create community spaces to enhance our quality of life and employment opportunities
  • Work toward making more affordable, housing available.

At the same time I recognize our agricultural heritage and will work to preserve our local farms and create an environment where new farms can flourish.

2. Bring transparency, responsiveness and communication to the workings of our town. In speaking with many residents, I have heard repeatedly that they feel unrepresented. They don't know what is going on in the Town, and when they do try to have an issue addressed, they do not feel listened to or respected. If I'm elected, I'm dedicated to listening to all residents regarding the issues they care about, including job creation, affordable housing, economic growth, land use, and community space, and bring them back to the board for consideration. I'm not running for Town Board with a personal agenda; my goal is to give all Claverack residents a voice in their Town government. To keep residents informed, I'll encourage the Supervisor to issue agendas prior to meetings, see that the town website is kept up to date, and ensure the press is informed.

I also intend to establish regular office hours at least one day a week. Additionally, I intend to review the current ethics rules and make sure that our local elected and appointed officials act in the public interest, and that laws and rules are applied fairly to everyone.

3. Ensure that our tax dollars are spent carefully and wisely. In the current economy, taxes are on everyone's mind. As a fiscal conservative, I'll do everything I can to ease that burden for residents. To that end, I will carefully review and negotiate contracts that the Town enters into as well as identify Town expenditures that can be cut. I'll maximize revenues by actively pursuing alternative funding sources like grants, and investigating ways we can save money by sharing services with other municipalities. A well balanced budget is more than a budget where revenues meet expenditures. It is one that provides residents with quality services they need and want. I believe that my willingness to look beyond ideology, my commitment to maintaining our way of life, and my experience at building consensus are what we need on our Town Board.

Matthew Bowe, Democrat, wants more accessible town government

Matthew Bowe, 51, Claverack ,
Lived in the county: 14 years.
Previous residence: Rhinebeck

Office being sought: Claverack town board
Endorsements received: Democratic party/Claverack party

High school: Rhinebeck Central
College: Dutchess Community College, SUNY New Paltz, Parsons School of Design, school of visual arts
Military service: U.S. Navy 1976 1980

Occupation: Land Surveyor
Years in that occupation: 28

Ever been convicted of a crime? no

New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors, Eastern New York Society of Land Surveyors, Board of directors Columbia County Chamber Of Commerce, Trout Unlimited

Lisa registered nurse, Garth Freshman at Northeastern University School of Law

Top three issues facing town:
The availability of state and federal grant monies for community improvement projects should be explored as Claverack faces the future in a difficult and uncertain economy.

The continued use of the Claverack school building is a long standing community issue. Pending the results of a thorough inspection and evaluation, it could be converted for a variety of much needed public uses and its acquisition by the town would preserve its legacy.

An open and accessible town government is the key for bringing the best ideas of all the people to light by offering voters the chance to be heard. Making the agendas for Claverack town board meetings available in advance and promptly posting the minutes from previous month's meeting on the town website would serve to help engage residents in the process of governance.