At the Sept. 23 meeting of the Rhinebeck Town Board, a councilperson revealed that Supervisor Thomas Traudt is an employee of Health Quest. Until that revelation, Supervisor Traudt apparently felt no compunction to own up to this obvious conflict of interest in any dealings between Health Quest and the Town of Rhinebeck.
At the same meeting, Mayor Jim Reardon literally scolded members of the audience for their attempts to influence Health Quest’s plans for expansion of Northern Dutchess Hospital. The plans would eliminate 49 old-growth trees that provide a green entry to the village and also absorb Sandy-scale rain that would run off the expanded parking lot sought by Health Quest.
In 2012, on Facebook, Mayor Reardon announced that the Village of Rhinebeck was recognized for the second consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, as a “Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry.” Maybe “forestry” is being defined as chopping down trees.
Editor’s Note: The number of trees to be cut was mistakenly given as 49 by Health Quest representatives at the Sept. 23 town board meeting; Health Quest officials told The Observer at the time that 41 is the correct number.