Local Government

Local Government 06.17.21

Working Families Party Supports Three for County Legislature

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The Working Families Party (WFP) has enthusiastically endorsed three active members of the community in the primary on Tuesday, June 22nd, for District 2 of the Rensselaer County Legislature. WFP members in East Greenbush, North Greenbush and Poestenkill can come out and vote for three endorsed candidates: Bob Poitras, Jennifer Massey and Sally Lauletta.

The Rensselaer County Legislature race is tighter and more important now than in years before. Poitras, Massey and Lauletta all support the issues the Working Families Party values:

• Protecting the rights of working people to earn a living wage

• Progressive tax proposals that make the wealthy pay their fair share

• Ending the climate crisis by cutting our dependence on fossil fuels

• Quality healthcare for all

• Stopping voter suppression and disenfranchisement

 Poitras is an expert in risk management and insurance. He holds a Master’s degree in public administration. He has decades of private-sector experience working with municipalities across New York with a specialty in county government. His finance knowledge can maximize the county’s financial position. Poitras and his wife, Theresa, have five teens and young adults. Clearly, he understands working families.

 A committed member of the community, Massey is currently on the East Greenbush Central School District Board of Education. She is the owner of a successful women-owned business that concentrates on human resources giving her the unique perspective needed to understand the county workforce and the needs of everyday working people. Massey and her husband, Steve, have two daughters. 

 Sally Lauletta has devoted her whole career to public service and education. She is a School Counselor and Transition Coordinator with Special Education at Questar III. Lauletta previously served on the Wynantskill Union Free School District Board of Education for six years and has participated in numerous social justice initiatives. Sally and her husband, Ben, have three adult daughters. She believes in the WFP platform that all residents of our county have the right to a government that works for all, not the few.   

 The Working Families Party endorsement of these candidates is especially important in this election. A vote for Bob Poitras, Jennifer Massey and Sally Lauletta protects the legitimacy of the party and its right to create its own platform and nominate candidates who truly support their goal of free and fair elections. Each endorsed candidate is committed to the prosperity of all Rensselaer County residents 

 Early voting runs from Saturday, June 12th through Sunday, June 20th. For early voting locations, go to voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/. Join Bob Poitras, Jennifer Massey and Sally Lauletta in building a Rensselaer County that uses the levers of democracy to improve the lives of all working families.

Rensselaer County of the Minority – June 2021 Meeting Highlights

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Fogarty Farms – The legislature recognized Fogarty Farms in Schaghticoke for being named a Century Farm by the New York State Agricultural Society, acknowledging their presence and persistence in the field for over 100 years. Fogarty Farms received High Quality Milk awards from 1993-1995, as well as the Gold Dairy Distinction Award for over 15 consecutive years.

What’s Great in Our State – The legislature also recognized Rensselaer County Mental Health Commissioner Katherine G. Alonge-Coons for receiving the 2021 “What’s Great in Our State” Lifetime Achievement Award from the state of New York. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to recognize professionals and volunteers who have shown a lifetime commitment to strengthening the mental health of children, youth, and families.

Ballistic Vests for Social Workers – The legislature unanimously voted to purchase protective ballistic vests for the field workers in the Department of Social Services. Safety is the number one priority in regards to field work, and we are hopeful that other counties across the state will follow suit.

Coats for Kids – The legislature unanimously voted to enter a partnership with the Country Club of Troy to host a fundraiser raising money to buy winter coats for underprivileged children. The county and the country club are expecting to raise enough money to purchase a record 850-900 coats this year.

USDA Summer Food Program – The legislature unanimously voted to renew the county’s summer food program. The mission of the Summer Food Program is to ensure that all children under the age of 18 receive healthy meals during summer vacation.

Juneteenth – The legislature unanimously voted in favor of a resolution sponsored by the Minority to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in Rensselaer County. This is a step in the right direction towards acknowledging the reality and long-running struggles of people of color at the county level.

NEXT MEETING – Tuesday, July 13, 2021

From The Desk of Janice Hannigan Kerwin, North Greenbush Town Clerk

NORTH GREENBUSH – Primary Day is Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The hours of voting will be 6:00am-9:00 pm.

Due to COVID-19 there will only be one polling place for the 8 District in the Town of North Greenbush. The location will be at Town Hall, located at 2 Douglas Street, Wynantskill, NY 12198. The Gymnasium will be set up with all the required CDC guidelines.

If you should have any questions or concerns pertaining to Primary Day, please feel free to contact my office and I will be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can. My office hours are Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 518-283-4306.

The Slate of Six Reminds Residents About Early Voting Opportunities

TROY – The Endorsed City of Troy Democratic Legislative Candidates is happy to announce that early voting will begin June 12th and continue through June 20th. 

“Early voting is a terrific addition to the election laws of New York,” said Legislator Bobby Burns. “Registered voters enrolled in a political party having a primary election this June can early vote between June 12th and June 20th in-person at one of three locations throughout the County.”  

Candidate Marc Pallozzi agrees that early voting is an important resource. “Voting matters, especially in local elections where the results can have a meaningful impact on the residents of Rensselaer County.  We encourage all eligible residents to take advantage of early voting.”

The Slate of 6 reminds residents, however, that if you vote during the early voting period, you cannot vote again on Election Day.  For more information, please visit the Rensselaer County Board of Elections website.  (https://www.rensco.com/departments/board-of-elections/).

Legislature Majority Approves Funding For Emergency First Responders, Honors Award Winners

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The Rensselaer County Legislature held its May meeting on Tuesday June 8th. It was the first meeting that was open to the public since early in 2020. The Legislature honored the Fogarty Family Farm for being named a “Century Farm” by the New York Agricultural Society. The Fogarty Farm has been operated by the same family in Schaghticoke for over 100 years.

Mental Health Commissioner Katherine Alonge-Coons was also honored for being recognized by New York State as a “What’s Great in our State” award winner. Katherine has served Rensselaer County residents for over 30 years and has touched the lives of thousands of young people and their families through the programs she has developed.

The Legislature Majority also approved a resolution approving funding for the “Rensselaer Responds” program that set aside $1.2 million for funding for our County’s volunteer firefighters and our ambulance and rescue squads.

The “Rensselaer Responds” program resolution passed 13-5 with all five members of the Democrat minority voting against it, calling it “Pork” in a press release.

“It is unfortunate to see the Democrats call the funding for our volunteer firefighters and emergency first responders ‘pork’. Our first responders have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, and have suffered financial losses because of additional costs and the lack of ability to raise critical funds”, said Vice Chair Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.

“I am pleased that the County has the additional funding available to help our volunteer first responders during their time of need”, said Legislators Tom Grant- East Greenbush.

“The North Greenbush Volunteer Ambulance Association has seen a big jump in the number of emergency calls, and many of them were to cover the City of Troy. Costs for personal protection equipment (PPE) skyrocketed, while funding was flat. I am disappointed that the Democrat Legislators from Troy voted against this funding”, said Legislator Leon Fiacco- North Greenbush.

Nassau Town Clerk’s Office Closed Friday, July 9th

NASSAU – The Nassau Town Clerk’s Office will be closed on Friday, July 9, 2021. Please plan to come in or call on a different day. The regular Town Clerk hours are Monday through Friday from 9am until 12 noon and the phone number is 518-766-2343, extension #1.

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