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Candidates compete for open Copake town board seat

Oct 28, 2020 6:00 am
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media on the two candidates competing to fill the vacant seat on the Copake Town Board. The names of Republican Andrew Fisher and Democrat Jeffrey Judd will appear on the ballot. Paulette Bonanno, the Working Families candidate, said she has dropped out of the race. Fisher, 68, has lived in Columbia County for nine years, more than five years as a full-time resident. He is retired from his position as director of administrative operations at Women In Need, Inc. Fisher is a political newcomer. He attended Brooklyn College where he earned a degree in political science. “The issue that is currently consuming our community is, of course, the potential installation of a large-scale solar array on 900 acres of agricultural land,” Fisher said. “We must make certain that, if it is indeed built as currently outlined, that our town can garner from the developer (Hecate) a deal which will be of maximum benefit to the town. ...” If elected to his first term in office, Fisher wants to secure increased access to high-speed broadband. Fisher has served on the town Revitalization Committee, the Broadband Committee, Connect Columbia County and the executive and finance committees of the Copake Grange No. 935. Judd, 62, has lived in Columbia County 14 years. He is an attorney; he received his undergraduate degree in theater from SUNY Albany and a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He serves on the Copake Zoning Board of Appeals and is currently the ZBA vice chairman. “I believe the main issue facing Copake is encouraging responsible growth and development, while maintaining our farm communities and respecting our agricultural roots,” Judd said. “There is currently a proposal to convert 900 acres of scenic pasture and corn fields into a 600-megawatt solar generation facility;... While I am a strong advocate for appropriately sited and scaled wind, solar and renewable energy facilities (and revenues generating), I cannot support the Hecate energy proposal.” Judd believes his experience and legal training would be a benefit to the town board. He has served on the boards of several corporations and organizations, including the Taconic Stage Company. His experience on the ZBA would also prove beneficial, he said. If elected, Judd would continue the collaborative work of the board, maintain rural charm and environmentalism, avoid tax increases and continue to grow the town’s economy. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.