A Bit of Background
A "homegrown" Saugertesian, I gained a well-rounded perspective of people, places and ways of life living in MA, CT and on Long Island as well as extensive travels within the United States and abroad before returning here to live with my husband and two young daughters. At the age of seventeen I left the comforts of this small town for college and while working full-time, living off-campus and paying my way through school, I graduated with a Masters degree, began a career as a social studies teacher, 10-years tenured, married, became a mother, purchased a townhouse and was missing my "home". I then relocated my husband and children back to Saugerties and purchased a stand-alone home one-mile down the road from my childhood residence where my mother still lives. While maintaining an active role in the local municipalities and school communities in which I lived, Saugerties is where I've chosen to settle and raise my family and continue the roots set by my parents 50 years ago. Saugerties is the community that raised me and I want to have raise my children. If elected, I will fight to maintain our community and foster responsible progress while preserving the integrity of our town, keeping families here for generations to come.
The key to growth and being a responsible citizen, parent, professional and neighbor is experience. Professional experience coupled with personal life experiences has provided a perspective that will complement and enable me to survey ideas and thoughts that will allow me to work well with professional town staff while not delaying important decisions that need to be made in the interest of the people of Saugerties.
My Past Life
Jokingly I refer to the time before marriage and children as my past life. During the 10-years I was teaching high school social studies, I supervised various school clubs and sports, traveled, read books and did all the things young and free people do! I had a wonderful time teaching and miss my students, colleagues and the collegiality of creating lessons and curriculum but becoming a mom has been the most rewarding position I have ever had. Knowing that I am responsible for growing thoughtful, responsible, caring, empathetic and well-adjusted is equally intimidating and rewarding.
Issues of Concern
ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE; TOGETHER, WE CAN DO SO MUCH
The following are a few but not all issues that need addressing in our town. All citizens are encouraged to take part in monthly board meetings to keep on top of what is happening in the Town of Saugerties. Affordable housing, taxes, planning and zoning are the foundation of community and must be handled responsibly.
Too many families and full-time residents are being forced out of our area due to out of area investors seeking profit from short-term rentals such as Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO & Hipcamp while our taxpayers are bearing the burden of a huge loss of revenue from these commercial activities happening in our neighborhoods. Currently, we have no rules or regulations in the Town of Saugerties and I will work for responsible and fair housing.
Residential property is used for residential purposes that include single-family homes, condos, townhouses that are either owner occupied or rented. Commercial property is used to generate revenue. Tax abatements, which is a reduction in, or an exemption of, the level of taxation faced by an individual or company were once needed in Saugerties but now are burdening our residents who bare the taxes that are not being paid by these businesses. If elected, I will work for regulations that protect our local investors and businesses.
Local officials have an obligation to the residents of our town. Saugerties needs jobs, workers & places for workers to live. There must be a balance between our local residents and what is provided to them. When too much emphasis is put on tourism, the influx of temporary visitors dilute our community and takes away the connectedness of our neighborhoods. Tourism is important but not at the risk of hollowing out our neighborhoods. I will fight for incremental & responsible zoning & growth that sustains the local economy without losing focus of our quality of life, our children, our schools & our community.
Other Issues of Concern
Quality of Life * Our Youth * Environment * Transparency & Availability
There are so many variables that contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.
Quality of life is a priority that must be treasured and protected. Our local culture and our quiet nooks, landscapes and free spaces must be respected. #qualityoverquanity
Our youth are the future of our community and with the fragile state of our children's mental health, the increase in opioid abuse, suicide and poverty, we need places for children to grow and bloom, feel safe and steer them toward being productive citizens. #hoperocks
Our drinking water, ecosystems and our beaches are in jeopardy with the turbid, muddy water being released from the Ashokan Reservoir and it's unacceptable to let our environment be treated with such carelessness. #stopthemud
Recycling & Composting can benefit our environment and decrease trash in our landfills. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about"
Margaret J. Wheatley
Lauren for Saugerties
cell: (516) 993-2465 or (845) 382-9932