Rhinebeck mayor has Democratic challenger
William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman Rhinebeck Village Mayor Gary Bassett is facing a primary challenge from former village board member John Rossie. The Democratic primary will take place January 26, from noon to 9 p.m. in the village fire station. The winner of that contest will run in March for a two-year term as village mayor. Republicans have not yet nominated a candidate. Bassett, 65, runs the service division of Hudson Solar. He was appointed mayor in August 2015 and then elected in 2017 and 2019. He has been a resident of the village since 2012. “One of the things I’m working on in the village ... is to continue to promote the Hudson River and protecting our water,” he said. “My other focus is on our budget and focusing on what’s going to happen after we get out of COVID. We don’t know what the effects are for the village and the loss of potential revenue from the state or our county.” Bassett said continuing a road repaving program is also important, as well as making the village "walkable, bikeable and sustainable." Rossi, 63, owns Teletech Associates. He was appointed to the village board in July 2017, and won a full two-year term in 2018. Rossi chose not to seek re-election last year. He has lived in the village for five years. Rossi's first concern are the village financials, specifically, the significant drop in revenue the village has experienced. He said the recent water line replacement project was among the projects that exceeded its budgets. Also, he said, “I was against when the board ... voted themselves a 10 percent raise in the midst of the pandemic. If I’m the mayor, I’m going to put a freeze, at least for two years, on any salary increases for any of the elected officials.” Rossi also said he is opposed to the consolidation of the town and village courts. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.