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Candidates looking to fill two Chatham Town Board seats

Oct 18, 2021 6:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media four candidates are competing in the November general election to fill two open seats on the Chatham Town Board: Destiny Hallenbeck, Daniel Horst, Jody Nesbitt and Rick Werwaiss. Hallenbeck, 21, has lived her entire life in Columbia County. She is a senior enrolled at Union College, is an elected member of the Chatham Board of Education and is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines. Hallenbeck said, if elected, she will prioritize housing and broadband access. "I cannot afford to live in the town I grew up in, an issue that is not only isolated to young people starting out. I intend to start the conversation at the town board level about increasing our housing stock while also working with other towns to formulate solutions to Chatham’s housing problem..." Hallenbeck said, "Chatham raised me and I want to make sure that it is growing in a direction that works for every resident." Horst, 58, has lived in the county for 32 years. He is retired, having previously worked as a teacher, a tax assessor and having run a handyman business. Horst is running on the Republican line and previously served as the Chatham assessor for multiple terms. Horst sees "the strong division that prevents decisions that are beneficial to the majority of the town [from being made]," as the greatest issue facing Chatham. If elected, he would listen with respect, and encourage all sides to work together for the common good." Nesbitt, 51, has lived in the county her entire life. She is employed as the office manager for Chatham and Callan Family Care and is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. She ranks the completion of the comprehensive plan and the zoning plan to follow as top priorities. "I want to ensure that the comprehensive plan addresses all the residents of the community and moves Chatham forward while at the same time preserving our rich history...," Nesbitt said. Because she is honest and fair, Nesbitt believes, she will be a good town board member. Werwaiss, 56, has lived in the county for 25 years. He served as the president of the North Chatham Free Library, served on the previous Comprehensive Plan steering committee and with the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement. Werwaiss is a pig farmer and writer by profession, and has had a 30-year career in non-profit management with environmental and agricultural organizations. He is running on the Democratic and Chatham Neighbors lines. Like Hallenbeck, Werwaiss sees affordable housing and broadband access as the most pressing issues in town. He says both issues should be front and center in the Comprehensive Plan review currently underway. If elected, Werwaiss said, "I look forward to fostering a good working relationship with other board members ..." Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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