Two lifetime locals battling to be Claverack supervisor
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media two people are vying for town supervisor in the Claverack general election on November 2. Democrat and Working Families candidate Kathleen Proper [PROE-per] will face off against Republican and Conservative incumbent Clifford “Kippy” Weigelt (WHY-gelt]. Proper, 40, has lived in Columbia County her entire life. She is currently employed as the chief human resources officer for Canna Provisions, a cannabis dispensary in Lee, Mass. Proper says the biggest issue in Claverack is a lack of planning and leadership, which could transform it into a town that works for all residents — not just some. "Young people move away because they cannot afford to live here. Many people that live here commute a long distance to find good-paying jobs. Parents drive their children to the library to access the Wi-Fi because they do not have broadband at home. Our town hall is scheduled to be demolished and there is no plan for what will be built in its place," she said. Proper argues that she would make a good supervisor because she is honest, hardworking, and authentic. "When I set my mind to something, I don’t let obstacles slow me down. I got my first job at the age of 12 and graduated from UAlbany, debt-free, at the age of 20," she said. Proper said she is looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to Claverack town leadership, if elected. Weigelt, 69, is also a lifelong resident of the county. He is the owner of Growmax, a manufacturer of bagged and bulk soils, located in Claverack. He previously served as a member of the town board from 2003 to 2013. Weigelt said his top priority and area of focus is the financial well-being of the town. "It’s so critically important and it’s an issue that is becoming more and more challenging as costs continue to rise. It’s so important that any government 'live within its means' and do everything possible to stretch every tax dollar as far as possible. We have a responsibility to do so," he said. Weigelt points out that town officials have cut taxes five years in a row, kept spending in check and have employed smart financial planning to maintain the town's fiscal health. As for his accomplishments, he lists infrastructure improvements, equipment upgrades for the town highway department, shared services with the county and surrounding municipalities, improvements at the town parks, the development and implementation of a new employee handbook, the addition of a new time-clock system, upgrades to security features at town buildings and the park, plus the consolidation of town operations. Weigelt said he is most proud of the plans to build a new town hall and community center. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.