UNION VALE, N.Y. -- Patty Tompkins promised to bring a “breath of fresh air” to Union Vale when she unseated the incumbent last November. It has been a hard ride in her first eight-plus months on the job, but the first-year Supervisor feels progress is being made.
“The first 8 months have been a wonderful challenge,’’ said Tompkins, who beat seven-term incumbent Lisette Hitman by 13 votes l ast November. “I knew going in there were many items we needed to work on. It wasn’t going to be easy but we are up for the challenge.”
Tompkins’ top priority coming into office was to hold down spending. Taxes surged 41 percent in the four years before the 2015 election.
“Union Vale has never stayed below the New York State Tax Cap,’’ Tompkins said. “I plan on making it happen for the residents. While our taxes kept going up, the quality of town infrastructure kept going down. We are addressing this deterioration by working on several grants to help with large projects to help Union Vale get back on track.”
Tompkins said Union Vale opened an account with Dutchess County Shared Services, which allows the town to purchase many items more cheaply than it could on its own. It also installed time clocks for town employees. “Going forward, next year’s budget with be more accurate to eliminate padding and the urge to spend unnecessarily,’’ Tompkins said.
Tompkins said short-term goals include passing a tax-cap compliant budget for 2017, bringing the library issue to resolution and restructuring the employee handbook. Longer term goals include revising the Town Code book, improving town infrastructure and keeping residents from having to sell property due to tax increases.
“Progress has begun but everything takes more time than I originally expected,’’ Tompkins said. “We might presently be a bit behind due to unexpected situations but ultimately the changes that need to occur will.”
Tompkins was part of the “Union Vale United” ticket last year. She was also endorsed by the Democratic party. She has tackled issues head on, and delivered the “breath of fresh air” that she promised in her campaign.
“It was scary at first but the people of Union Vale are, for the most part, wonderful,’’ she said. “While not possible, I just wish I could make everyone happy.”