Marybeth Majestic (R, C, P4G), current Town Supervisor for Gardiner, is seeking reelection against newcomer Lisa Lindsley (D, WFP, WEP) on November 7. Majestic, who won her title in 2015 after beating incumbent Carl Zatz, made transparency and openness in government a priority during the 22 months she has been town supervisor.
“When I ran in 2015 I only made one campaign promise and that was to listen to what people had to say,” she says. “I encouraged participation in all meetings. The only way I will know what people want is if I listen to what they have to say. Another thing I wanted to do was take care of the town hall. It was a new building that needed to be maintained and I’ve replaced three entryways with new doors that are more energy efficient.”
Majestic, a 37 year resident of Gardiner, previously worked as a confidential secretary to three town supervisors. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in political science and a double minor in journalism and communications.
Now, Majestic is focused on another issue affecting Gardiner: funding.
“I think the biggest issue facing any municipality right now is funding,” she says. “Every year we have more mandates that come down from Albany and we have increases in health insurances with a limited source of revenue. I think the biggest challenge is finding other sources of funding or ramp up the sources we have to meet the needs of our residents with the services that required. It’s a big challenge.”
She also wants to address issues facing the town’s planning board.
“We have a couple of big development projects in front of the planning board right now and some of the applications have brought to light inconsistencies in the zoning code,” she says. “We’re going to examine the code a little more closely in regards to those applications to help people understand the process and what they can do with their property.”
Lindsley, an activist and financial expert, is hoping to unseat Majestic for town supervisor.
“I am very skilled in project management, administration and government,” she says. “I am hopeful that I can put in place some processes that will make things more efficient but will also give the public more of a voice. I think I can have more of a fresh take in try to weigh out all of the interests in the town and balance those to make sure all voices are heard.”
Lindsley has an MBA in finance from New York University. She has helped start the largest microfinance program in Brazil, called Credi Amigo, and has regulate financial institutions in the United States, Asia and Africa.
She is also one of the founding members of the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network, a support system for the Ulster County immigrant community.
“The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network was started after the inauguration to support the immigrant community regardless of immigrant status,” she says. We support them in any way possible, including with transportation, advocacy in schools to help address anti-immigrant bullying issues and by letting them know their rights.”
Lindsley wants to focus on the issue of access and transparency if elected as town supervisor. She wants to start by updating the town website, which she says is difficult to navigate and is outdated in terms of meeting minutes. She has been a part of the effort to film town meetings and would like to have as many meetings as possible be either live streamed or recorded for residents to easily access.
“I am very passionate about Gardiner,” she says. “I think it’s a very special place and I want it to stay that way. Gardiner deserves the best town government that it can have and I think residents of Gardiner have the right to demand a higher quality of service from their elected officials.”
Town Supervisor elections for Gardiner will be held on November 7.
By Jaspreet Gill