A mailing from Aileen Rohr's campaign was received in this weekend's mail. She also wrote a letter to the Poughkeepsie Journal that appeared in the September 25, 2011 edition.
I am Aileen Rohr, and I am running for Hyde Park town supervisor. My experience as an active participant in local government includes membership on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board (I'm still there), and chair of the River Access Advisory Committee. I currently chair the Hyde Park Visual Environment Committee.
As a lifelong Hyde Park resident with a background in real estate management, I believe I have the skills and preparation necessary to bring the focus of local government to the areas where our needs intersect, where all residents can benefit, and most importantly where we can achieve a tangible outcome. This area is the common ground.
As part of "Team Hyde Park," withrunning-mates Emily Svenson, Joe Petito, Bill Truitt and Ken Schneider, I am running on a straightforward platform of respect, responsibility and reinvestment. Our priorities are increasing shopping opportunities, controlling taxes, expanding infrastructure, preserving and enhancing our natural and historic treasures and increasing public participation through better communication.
We realize these are ambitious goals. We also realize the efforts that will be required to attain them. We will work diligently with private developers and county, state and federal agencies to accomplish the improvements Hyde Park needs - and deserves. We also realize the most important support will come from residents who vote for us in November and engage with us while we labor to achieve these goals.
Support Team Hyde Park. Vote for us on Nov. 8.
I need to point out discepencies in her campaign statements.
1) She states that she has over 28 years in managing commercial and residential properties. On a previous blog (Is Aileen Rohr an elitis?) I posted a letter that she wrote to the Town of Hyde Park using the term 'those government sponsered tenants' in one of the apartments complexes in her concerns of who is responsible for the upkeep for the complex. One of the readers posted the following comment, which refutes Ms. Rohr's argument.
Speaking as a NYS Lic. Real Estate Broker who has extensive research in both HUD and USDA public housing laws (and a former Hyde Park resident with no current financial interest in town) I just want to point out that if apartment buildings are not being taken care of properly, this is an issue to be taken up with the property owner (ask your Assessor to tell you their contact info.) Owners are being paid "full market value" for rentals; what they do with the money in many cases appears to be put it ELSEWHERE, instead of keeping it in good condition.
So, what kind of experience does she have? She claims she has management experience, but is not aware of what the above reader pointed out? I tend to believe she has more experience in the gardening and planting aspect of owning property rather than the actual 'management.'
2) Ms. Rohr claims to be pro-development in this town, but I do recall she was opposed to development in the St. Andrew's area (as of a letter she wrote in the summer of 2010) of Hyde Park and she was the spokesperson for Stop the Sprawl.
HYDE PARK - The citizens group called Stop the Sprawl has demanded an investigation into a possible conflict of interest by town Councilwoman Barbara Potter in her vote opposing a 2003 zoning revision.
In a letter to Hyde Park Supervisor Yancy McArthur, Aileen Rohr, a spokeswoman for the group, said Stop the Sprawl believes Potter voted against the proposal "to protect her and her husband's financial interests." Potter, R-Ward 4, acknowledged in a television interview that her husband, James T. Potter, owns 14 acres of land.
The Cablevision News interview aired Nov. 10.
"(The biggest reason) the zoning did not get passed last time was because of big landowners," Potter said in the interview. "Anybody who owned (more than) 10 acres of land had an issue of having to pay, having to preserve 30 percent of their land and still pay taxes on it."
Town records confirm James T. Potter owns 14 acres on Forest Drive with an assessed value of $146,100.
"Potter clearly believes that she and her husband would be harmed by the 2003 zoning (proposal)," Rohr said. Rohr and her group insist Potter recuse herself from an upcoming vote on a new zoning proposal and are considering legal action if she does not.
"We are contemplating legal intervention, but we have not done so as of yet," Rohr said.
Potter defended her vote, saying it was based on opposition among her constituents, not because of any personal interest. "It was not because I own land," she said. "It's because most of my constituents told me they weren't happy with it."
Potter said that in her ward, the northeastern portion of Hyde Park, many people own more than 10 acres and don't want to be forced to preserve 30-40 percent of their land for open space. Potter has represented the ward for seven years.
Potter said she understands how hard those landowners worked to earn their properties. She said her husband held three jobs to earn enough money to buy his.
Contrary to the letter in which Rohr said Potter "should have revealed the extent of her family's personal land interests year ago," Potter said it was public knowledge that her husband was a landowner. She said Robert Clearwater, a Dutchess County legislator and Staatsburg resident, disclosed the land holdings during a public comment period in January 2003. And, she said, the land is not technically hers.
"I only married into it," she said. "My name is not on the deed."
Potter would not say whether she would recuse herself from the upcoming voting. "My only interest in the town is to represent the people of this town to the best of my ability," she said.
MINUTES: BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING Page 3 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2004 - 6:00 p.m. HAVILAND MIDDLE SCHOOL ______________________________________________________________________ The following residents addressed the Board of Education concerning the “Stop the Sprawl” campaign in the Town and the group’s efforts to call for a temporary moratorium on residential development. As there are major residential development projects being considered and planned for the area, which will greatly impact the School District and the Town as a whole, they asked that the District participate in the zoning planning process and to take a stance on the implications to the District. Mr. Bill Houghtaling Mr. John Sieverding Ms. Ann Dexter Mrs. Aileen Rohr
Here's another...if Ms. Rohr was competent in town affairs, she would know that the reason why the Town Board passed Local Law D was because the St. Andrew's area is the only feasible area to build. So, what happened to the Hyde Park Plaza project? Nothing. Because, along with the amount of bedrock located there wich would make it impossible to build on and the issue of DOT regulations, it's impossible to build there. Notice the talk of a project died quietly? It was to avoid the embarrasment of a 'we were wrong because we didn't do further research.'
Rather than Aileen do her research, she not only wrote a letter to oppose her view, but also accused the current Town Board of stonewalling.
The timing of the hastily called meeting was an issue for many of the people who managed to get there. Planning Board member Aileen Rohr said, “It’s a strange time to call a meeting. It’s especially suspect when you only reveal the agenda 24 hours prior. You say you’re pro-business, but it looks to me like you are only pro-business for one client, and that’s Mr. Gaudio and St. Andrews
Proposed law is bad deal for Hyde Park
The Hyde Park Town Board is proposing a very significant change with Local Law D. It can be viewed at the official town website, hydeparkny.us.
The law will rezone the area at our southern gateway, the Bellefield District, to "general commercial" from "tourist commercial." This will drastically alter what businesses are permitted and also change how much can be residential, the density, and other aesthetic and functional aspects of this important area.
Bellefield features a 339-acre parcel across from the Culinary Institute of America. This property has a history - it was lost to the county for failure to pay taxes. After many years, the county sold it for a mere $2.75 million, justifying the low sales price with the promise that new development here would provide both a commercial sewer district and commercial uses that would not compete with the existing town center but would enhance it with complementary businesses. With proposed Local Law D, Hyde Park will get neither of these benefits. Instead, our gateway will be open to more strip malls.
These changes should not be instituted rashly. The bottom line is the democratic process is alive and well in Hyde Park and we all should be part of it.
There will be a public hearing on this proposed law Monday at the Hyde Park Town Hall. Please consider joining me in letting our officials know why these changes require careful consideration.
Hyde Park Planning Board Member Hyde Park
How ironic that it was only last summer she wrote this letter but at the supervisor interview she was in support to build in the St. Andrew's area?