Amenia’s Candidates Face off Next Week

Three candidates are running for two town board seats in Amenia. 

The seats that are open are Steve Perotti’s, for a two-year term, since he is stepping down, and Vicki Doyle’s four-year term.   

We queried the candidates about their priorities. 

1239 Damian Gutierrez, a new Democratic face on the scene, ran for a Town Board position two years ago and is running again.  He and his wife live in Wassaic and are an active part of the Wassaic Project community.  He has a background in information technology and is an associate partner at a technology consulting firm called Control Group.  Damian grew up in Long Island as the son of two teachers.  He says he believes he has good listening skills since he has to listen to his clients’ challenges and come up with solutions.

“It’s important to have options for representation.  Amenia is going through a period of great change and demographic shift.  We must find ways to grow and prosper, while maintaining the rural beauty and small-town charm that makes Amenia the town we love.”

Damian’s priorities are to provide better services for Amenia’s growing population of seniors.  He wants to “support local businesses, create jobs, giving the next generation a reason to stay and continue to make Amenia their home.”   He is also keen on completing the extension of the Rail Trail into Wassaic.  

1240 Bill Flood is a seasoned Republican politician and was Supervisor before Victoria Perotti.  He achieved significant revitalization in the village of Amenia.     He says he would like to revisit the sewer, and provide more support for local businesses, gettin signage to promote them off the Rail Trail and Rte. 22.  He wants to work more closely with the Wassaic Project to get arts grants and continue the support for community in Wassaic.  He said he wants to actively work with Anthony Zunino on the re-development of the Taconic DDSO site.

“There has been out of control fighting during Town Board meetings and nothing is getting done without conflict. I will bring a stable secure and experienced presence to the board. As former supervisor I know how things are supposed to work.  Reports and information is not flowing to all board members. I will as a board member make sure proper procedures are followed and that all information is given to all members if the board.  Amenia is at a turning point and it needs direction not division.”

1241 Vicki Doyle, the incumbent Town Board member is expected to retain her seat because she is highly respected on all political fronts.  She is known for her commitment to the town and skillful and measured process of asking questions before making decisions.

“ Overall, I think Town Board needs to write and formally adopt a five- year capital plan with estimated costs so that we can plan for the many expensive projects facing the town such as paid ambulance service, the Rail Trail extension to Wassaic, new improved highway garage facilities, the debt on the landfill closure, and town hall improvements including a a commercial kitchen and new heating system. The uncertainty of how these costs are going to hit the taxpayer, I believe, is creating a lot of the tension that could be worked out in the planning process. 

I have served on the Conservation Advisory Council, Recreation and Fountain Square Committees and look forward to continue working on these fronts for the Town. I also help write grants and oversee the free Dance and Theater Arts program the Town has offered for over a quarter of a century.”