Trilby Sieverding

Trilby Sieverding, Red Hook Town Board candidate

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Trilby Sieverding will appear on the Republican and Conservative ballot lines in the November 8, 2011 election

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Trilby Sieverding is a lifelong resident of Dutchess County; she grew up on a farm in southern Dutchess with her parents and two sisters. She graduated from Arlington High School and later from Bennett College, where she attained a degree in liberal arts.

Trilby has worked for IBM for a total of 30 years; she is currently a Sr. Human Resources Professional, supporting both management and employees, in investigating and addressing human resources matters. She commuted to New York City for seven years beginning in the mid 1990’s during which time she worked for Phillip Morris Companies as the Corporate Manager of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs and for Scholastic Books as the Director of Corporate Staffing.

Trilby has lived in the town of Red Hook for the past 10 years with her husband, Leo, an architect and their two teenage daughters Christianna and Adrienne. Prior to that, the Sieverdings lived in the Town of Clinton. The Sieverding family lives on a farm where they raise horses and poultry.

What experience and/or training has prepared you to serve in the position you seek?

My experience as a human resources professional, dealing with people and issues is the perfect background for serving on the Town Board. I’m used to researching the issues, gathering the facts from all parties, on all sides of the issue, analyzing facts and coming up with a fair, honest and legally compliant decision. It’s also prepared me to always be willing to take a stand, and say whatever needs to be said, even in the face of opposition.

I’ve served as an Alternate member of the Town of Red Hook Zoning Board of Appeals for four years. I’ve attained 22+ hours of credited training courses in the area of Land Use, Zoning and Planning, sponsored by Dutchess Country Planning, Pace University and New York State. I recently completed training on the new zoning changes in the Town of Red Hook.

Please share your thoughts on property taxes and any specific related changes or policies you support and will work to pass if elected.

Property taxes must not increase; families are already struggling for survival in this challenging economy. I want to see town expenditures and costly programs kept to a minimum. We can cut back in the area of lawyer and consultant fees, for example; we don’t need lawyers and consultants at every town meeting, it’s way too costly and our residents don’t want to feel that lawyers and consultants are running our town. Town residents are telling me that they want to see their tax dollars spent on programs that ensure the safety and welfare of their families and properties.

Would you have voted for the recent rezoning plan also known as Centers and Green Spaces plan and why or why not?

I said this at the public hearings that were held for the rezoning, “I’m all for preserving farmland and open space, but it’s the way we go about it that I take issue with.” I believe that the Town Center plan is flawed in that it proposes new mixed use, comprised of office and retail space, south of the current village. We should be reinforcing the current town center and not trying to create a satellite town center that will end up killing the historic village.

What is your position on the new highway garage project?

In this economy it’s really hard to consider spending any taxpayer money at all. However, I’ve seen the conditions under which our Highway department currently works and a new facility is long past due. The up side of building a new town garage at this time is that in the current economy, the cost of construction is way down, contractors are hungry for work and we can save about 25-30% if we build now rather than wait until the economy improves. Ultimately the townspeople should have the final say in whether we build or not, I’m a big believer in the use of a referendum, to put these big issues to a vote by the people, after all, it’s their tax dollars that will be paying for it.

Choose one more important issue facing our town today and how you will handle it.

We need to develop the economy of the town by increasing the commercial tax base. We must be open to finding ways to allow for and to incentivize new, clean, green, small scale commercial development. Let’s find a way to bring Bard more into the commercial base of our town and villages as well.

Why should voters pick you on election day?

I’m not a politician, I’m against cronyism; I’m not promoting any personal agenda. I have only one motivation in running for a seat on the Town Board and that is to fairly and sensibly represent the residents of the Town of Red Hook. I think the people of this town deserve and want someone who is willing to listen to them and make sensible and affordable decisions which are not based on party affiliation.

Each candidate for town council was sent a questionnaire with the above questions and a photo request. Answers have been printed as received with editing for formatting only.

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