Hyde Park Democrats have selected their candidates for town races in the November elections.
At a caucus July 19, the candidates chosen by unanimous vote included three incumbents: Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr, and council members Emily Svenson for Ward 1 and Ken Schneider for Ward 4. In addition, Cindy Todd was chosen for Receiver of Taxes, David Ray for Ward 2 Councilman and Hannah Behrens for Ward 3 Councilwoman.
The caucus also voted to cross-endorse Republican Walt Doyle for the position of Superintendent of Highways, citing his record of cooperation with the Rohr administration, according to a news release.
Rohr took office as Town Supervisor in January 2012, along with council members Svenson, Joe Petito, Bill Truitt and Schneider. Petito and Truitt chose not to run for re-election this year.
“I’m delighted to have two of my current teammates running for another term so we can continue the strategies we’ve established to attract more economic investment and keep taxes under control,” Rohr said in the news release. “Together we have brought the town’s finances into order and rebuilt reserve funds, we have restored a respectful and cooperative atmosphere at Town Hall, and we have witnessed renewed confidence among investors in Hyde Park.”
Svenson and Schneider are also eager to build on work they have begun in the last two years in office. “Hyde Park needs continuity at the management level to prosper, and the many projects we have initiated — including obtaining grants for business district infrastructure, addressing neighborhood’ needs, and careful management of the town’s finances — require understanding gained through experience,” Svenson said.
Schneider spoke to the past political turnover of the Board in Hyde Park, saying, “Hyde Parkers have an opportunity to re-elect a successful management team. If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!”
Selected for Ward 2, which includes the commercial centers on Route 9 and the neighborhoods west and east of it, is longtime resident Ray, who is a pharmacist, a director of the Hyde Park Historical Society and former Commodore of Rogers Point Boat Club.
“As a life-long Hyde Parker, I am eager to be part of a board that has its priorities straight — redeveloping our commercial hubs and keeping taxes under control,” Ray said. “I was very impressed that the current board was able to live within the state tax levy cap in tough economic times, and I want to move forward on creating a more vibrant town center.”
Behrens expressed similar ideas about her potential ward, which covers Route 9G and its commercial areas. “The proposal to turn the former Hoe Bowl into an assisted living facility is moving ahead quickly and a landmark new building for the Roosevelt Fire Department looks ready to be approved by the Planning Board. Combined with two already-approved commercial projects, this represents a fresh chance to revitalize Route 9G – but there is still plenty of work to be done,” she said. “I admire the way Supervisor Rohr and the board have methodically worked to improve infrastructure to attract business growth.”
Behrens, who is a historian and archivist, is a member of the Dutchess County Heritage Days Committee and recently served on the town’s Government Efficiency Advisory Committee. A former history teacher, she is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Library and Information Science.
Todd was selected to run for Receiver of Taxes. Todd, a Hudson Valley native, was a small business owner and has more than 25 years of accounting and management experience. “I love Hyde Park and think my financial background makes the job a great fit,” said Todd.
“I am very results-oriented, but I’m really a people person too. The Receiver of Taxes office needs to be customer-friendly while operating efficiently, just as I ran my own business.”