I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer weather and the many events taking place around the village! Your village trustees, full and part-time village staff, and volunteers, have been working very hard to meet the Vision for the Village of Kinderhook’s Future outlined in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update that, “Our village will be a desirable and sought-after place to live, raise a family, to do business, and to visit.”
We have outlined four village priorities that we will focus on delivering over the next two years:
- Delivering essential services exceptionally well. This includes water purification and delivery, fire rescue and response, code enforcement, and all other fundamental government responsibilities. Your village staff are now holding weekly meetings together to better communicate and coordinate with one another. Your Board of Trustees are also meeting twice per month to allow greater public discourse and conversation around important topics and to get ahead of potential issues. Training is also encouraged and being conducted to staff and committee members.
- Reviewing and updating our Village Code Book. We have awarded the contract to General Code and will begin the formal process of reviewing our entire code book to ensure it is clear, aligned with our comprehensive plan and how we live and operate today, and is able to be enforced equally to all residents and businesses. In the coming months, we will establish a process for community engagement throughout this process. We have also concurrently drafted proposed legislation to address short-term rentals and outdoor restaurant seating specifically on sidewalks to ensure we are complying with NYS fire code and the American with Disabilities Act.
- Long-Term Financial Planning. We have already begun the process of assessing all village assets and to create a long-term budget projection and savings plan to ensure we are able to afford and replace aging assets and equipment in the years ahead. We have nearly completed the assessment of our water system and have started the assessment of our roads, sidewalks, and drainage system. The road assessment will include suggestions for improving pedestrian walkways throughout the village.
- Complete Albany Avenue and William Street Projects. The village was recently awarded over $1.8M to make improvements to Albany Avenue from Sunset Avenue to Route 9! This grant will cover new roadway, sidewalks, drainage, and landscaping. This grant does not include funding to replace the water infrastructure underneath Albany. We are re-submitting for additional funding through the NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grant to supplement the $1.8M. We will be reaching out to residents to sign a petition to include in the grant submission.
In addition, in pursuit of the village’s vision and our priorities, we have established expectations for how your village government will behave in service to its residents. Your government will:
- Act With Humility. When we approach our roles in village government with humility, we open ourselves to listening, understanding other points of view, finding common ground, collaborating with others, and doing what is best for the village. It is okay to admit that we got something wrong or fell short of expectations. The end state is to do what is right for our residents and for the village.
- Work to Build Trust. Residents need to believe that village representatives are acting in their best interest. When we work to build trust with others, we are respectful of everyone, responsive, transparent, and ethical in all our actions. We will take the time to communicate the ‘why’ to residents.
- Pursue Excellence. Residents expect their village representatives to be professional, knowledgeable, and prepared in our roles within the village government. Training and guidance are always available. We need to show residents that we care.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve the village! Please call or email us anytime if we can be of service. I will provide additional updates and information from month-to-month. And please continue to be respectful of your neighbors and each other!