A Letter from Coleen Snow for Pawling Town Board

Having served on the Pawling School Board for 6 years, the last 5 as Board President, there are skills that a board member must have. First, is a passion for the cause. In my work over the last 25 years, my passion is people of all ages. I want to see the best in them and for them, help them achieve their goals and do whatever it takes to get them what they need to be successful.

I plan to bring this passion to the Town Board. The second skill is respect for others. This was one of the first challenges that I faced during my first year on the school board. I am proud to say that during my years on the school board, there was a cultural shift. There was mutual trust and respect by all of us on the school board, the visitors that came to ask questions or comment and a respectful environment between the board, the administration, the teachers and the parents.

I have learned during these years on the school board how important mutual respect between the board and its community members is to facilitate trust, and open communication so we can all work together. Another skill is the thoughtful ability to consider issues and to articulate those thoughts. In my experience as a Social worker, I always need to consider issues. During my time on the school board, I needed to consider many issues that came to the board. If questions came to the board and we did not know the answer at that meeting, we would follow up at the next meeting with a response. The issues that I continue to hear are that this community demands transparency and an open dialogue with respect and mutual trust. I have heard that I seem to use the word transparency often in my campaign. Of course, I would bring it up as it is any governments obligation to share information with its citizens.

Accountability and transparency are standards of good government that enhance public trust. Another important skill is a sense of responsibility for making things happen. When I was first on the school board, I met with the Superintendent and asked if we could begin liaison meetings between the Town, Village and Chamber to help with communication and trust as there was a lack of both at that time between the the different agencies. I am proud to say that they continued for the last 5 years and continue today.

When I see something I feel that I would like to help with, I get involved.I went to my first Town board meeting last year in April and from then on. As it got close to Election day I asked at a Town board meeting if they would consider a meet the candidates night. I was respectfully told that “politics is not discussed here” and I sat down. After the meeting, a few of us spoke about how at the school board level, Meet the Candidates Night would occur whenever there was someone running opposed. People came together and between the League of Women Voters and Pawling Public Radio, it was a success. The plan is to have another this year on October 25, 2018. The vision to think beyond today is another important skill to have. It is important to be able to look at your budget as well as the needs of the community along with infrastructure and roads. How will the decisions of today affect us 5 years, 10 years down the road? I have these skills to bring to the Pawling Town Board and look forward to using them.

Thank you for your continued support.

Colleen Snow