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Philmont mayor challenged by former Claverack supervisor

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    Robin Andrews
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    Douglas Cropper
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    Larry Ostrander
March 15, 2019 10:14 pm

PHILMONT — The seats of mayor and two trustees are up for grabs in the annual village election Tuesday.

Longtime incumbent Clarence “Skip” Speed will face former Claverack Town Supervisor and Philmont Trustee Robin Andrews in the mayoral race. All seats are two-year terms. Three candidates are vying for two trustee seats.

Unopposed races are not included.

For mayorRobin Andrews

Age: 56

Occupation: Magazine publishing consultant

Education: She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management from New York University.

Andrews, a member of the Citizen’s Party, is not new to politics. She was a trustee in Philmont from 2007 to 2009. She served as Claverack Town Supervisor from 2010 to 2013. As Claverack supervisor, Andrews is most proud of having Philmont police cover the Claverack Court for substantial savings as well as refinancing a municipal bond saving taxpayers around $80,000, she said.

“There is not so much a top issue as much as that opportunities for the village government to act are being missed,” Andrews said. “There have been long-standing issues, such as sidewalk maintenance, the state of buildings and rental units, transportation issues for residents and addiction issues that need proactive strategies and plans. In addition, by more proactively engaging the new owners, businesses and initiatives that are emerging out of the community, we could enhance the integration and effective use of resources.”


Age: 79

Occupation: Owner and operator of Speed’s Garage in Mellenville

Education: Ockawamick Central School, now Taconic Hills Central School, Class of 1958

A member of the People’s Party, Speed has served the village for 17 years as a mayor and trustee. He is most proud of securing new police cars through a grant and a new fire truck for the fire company and a new Department of Public Works building. The village is working to lease its property on Canal Street for workspace.

If re-elected, Speed wants to work on fewer vacant and more owner-occupied properties. He wants to crackdown on what he calls “no show” landlords.

“I would like to see the village becoming a thriving destination with full storefronts,” Speed said.

Speed is a member of the “People’s Party.” He did not submit a photo.

For trusteeDouglas Cropper

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired teacher from Taconic Hills Central School, occasional substitute teacher.

Education: Bachelors of Science and master’s degree from SUNY Oswego

A resident of Philmont for 35 years, he has served as trustee for 17 years and previously served on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals. He is an active member of the Philmont Fire Company as a responder and assistant treasurer and he is a state Safe Boating Instructor.

As a trustee, Cropper said the board has financed an account for derelict buildings, worked with Habitat for Humanity, improved its Community Center programs and library significantly and received grants for energy efficiency after taking the steps to be a Climate Smart Community.

“Our vision is a clean, vibrant village with an excellent quality of life for all,” Cropper said. “We have been the recipients of a state BOA grant, and this has the capacity to make our village even better. We oversee all of the departments in the village, and we have not overburdened residents with taxes and fees. We have collected most of the overdue back taxes recently.”

Cropper is a member of the Village Party.

Heath Iverson

Iverson could not be reached for comment. He is a member of the Philmont’s Future Party.

Laurence Ostrander

Age: 60

Occupation: Purchasing Manager for Ed Herrington Inc.

Education: Taconic Hills Central School Class of 1977; Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1981.

Ostrander lives in Philmont with his wife of 30 years, Maria. They have two daughters, Ashley and Colleen, and a son, Brian.

An incumbent, Ostrander is most proud of his work of converting the village’s energy source to solar power. The village now receives energy from Monolith Solar through a remote metering program, he said. The village is in the process of converting its street lights to LED bulbs and setting up an electric car charge station.

If re-elected, Ostrander’s focus will be making sure the village completes the process of finishing a grant that will allow the village to “create numerous opportunities” for the village to revitalize key areas vital to the future,” he said.

Ostrander is a member of the Pine Tree Party.

The village’s annual election will be held on Tuesday at the Village Hall, 124 Main St. Voting is in the assembly room between the hours of noon and 9 p.m.