My name is Brandon Holdridge and I am running for the open seat on the Chester Town Board. I am a third-generation resident of this community. We have always loved Chester because of its welcoming and tight-knit community. I’m running for Town Board because I want to preserve it for future generations.
I am deeply connected to this town and I have the experience to help lead it. During my time at SUNY Albany, where I studied political science, economics and history, I served as the chairman of my student government where I led meetings of 100+ people and managed a budget of $3.3 million. I interned for the N.Y.S. Senate and was hired as a full time legislative assistant with the late Senator Peralta. After graduating, I went right to work for former Senator Carlucci in Rockland County working in constituent services.
I have remained an active member of our community, serving on the Chester Police Reform Committee and attending Town Board and Planning Board meetings regularly.
My experience in government has taught me many things but above all was to always put constituents first. Serving the people that put you in your position should always be of the utmost importance. It was gratifying to do this work for three years in the State Senate, but I have always wanted to bring those skills I learned back home to the people of Chester.
Chester has made strides in recent years in terms of bolstering our local economy and attracting new residents. I firmly believe we can continue to be successful in the future while preserving our history, valuesto be able and character. Here are the ways I believe we can accomplish this:
First, we need to have a fiscally responsible government to continue to grow our strong local economy and avoid needlessly raising taxes. Too much of your hard-earned tax dollars have been wasted on simple and preventable mistakes and mishaps. We need to have a more efficient budget process as well to be able to spend more on public works and other improvements.
Second, we need more transparency and accountability in the Town Board. Closed-door meetings, decisions and last-minute additions to the agenda undermine the integrity of our government. Constituents’ questions often go ignored. As Councilman, I will work to improve the transparency of the Town Board, from making its website more user-friendly to ending the disingenuous practices that keep constituents’ voices out of the conversation.
Finally, we need to preserve Chester’s natural beauty and resources. For far too long irresponsible overdevelopment has run rampant. I am a huge proponent of the establishment of a community preservation fund that will allow us to preserve wildlife, farmland, water and open spaces for parks and reserves and is currently making its way through the State Assembly. A bill that would allow Chester to create such a fund (A.5585 and S.1810) is currently making its way through the State Legislature and will hopefully be signed by the governor.
Whether this happens or not, I will work to preserve our town for future generations from reevaluating and updating Chester’s Comprehensive Plan to finding ways to give our Planning and Zoning Boards more freedom to be proactive in addressing issues of irresponsible overdevelopment.
Our local government is only as strong as we empower it to be. I firmly believe that Chester’s best days are still to come. As Town Councilman, I hope I can be a champion for you and your family. You can follow my campaign on Facebook at Brandon Holdridge for Chester Town Board.