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Three candidates vying for two seats on Ancram Town Board

Oct 15, 2021 6:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media on the three candidates vying to fill two seats on the Ancram Town Board — Amy Gold, Bonnie Hundt and Steve Olyha. Gold and her family were weekenders, having owned property in Columbia County since 1982, but they have lived full-time in Ancramdale since 2015. Gold is a communications professional for a global high-tech firm. She is running unaffiliated and has never sought or held elective office before. Gold sees the lack of broadband access and cellular coverage to be the top issue facing the three hamlets that make up the town of Ancram. She would have the town board prioritize this issue because it is a safety and health concern, as well as an educational work mandate, she said. Hundt has lived in the county for 14 years and is the owner-operator of a hair salon. She is a Democrat and a town board incumbent, having served since 2017. Hundt previously served as Supervisor of the town of Amenia in Dutchess County, from 2003 through 2005. Hundt sees the lack of housing caused by income inequality and high home prices as the town's biggest challenge. She says her extensive experience on numerous committees and boards and as a long-time small business owner has given her important insight into what is needed to adapt a changing community. Olyha was a part-time resident of Columbia County for 47 years and five years full-time. He is an executive coach and former CEO. Olyha is a registered Republican. He wants the town to expand the number of active participants on the various volunteer boards and committees. He is the member of several town committees, as well as the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Olyha hopes get more young people involved in local organizations, especially the Ancram Fire Company, and he would also support the town implementing new technology at town hall to expand remote participation, and provide options for other events, as well as develop ways to effectively use social media. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.