I have lived in Dutchess County nearly all my life. Dutchess was as magical a place as any in the world. My mother, Sibyll Gilbert, grew up in nearby Stormville; my father Robert found Pawling irresistible and bought his first house here in 1963. My first jobs helping out at local farms and garages gave me many "hands on" skills. At 23, I owned my own Service Station in Pawling (Auto Repair Specialists).As I learned the automotive trade, And before starting my own bussiness, I traveled the country as a certified nuclear reactor inspector. Each step in my life has been a learning experience to understand business, politics, and helping people. I have always had a knack to find what is broken and know how to fix it. Since the age of 14 I have been studying politics and history with an eye to solutions for modern problems. Always active in trade organizations and groups like our Chamber of Commerce, I helped push for changes locally and nationally in many critical areas.
I grew up surrounded by nature...encouraged by my environmentalist mother, I embraced nature and interconnection at an early age. I have been walking the trails at the Pawling Nature Preserve for over 45 yrs now....and I was there as a child when it started. I will always support simple open spaces where we can walk, relax and be surrounded by nature and the groups that make this possible. Like The Oblong Land Conservancy, Protect Pawling, FROGS and other local and nationwide organizations dedicated to preserving natural spaces and our ability to enjoy them. Our towns and villages should be starting to grow up, Not out. Vibrant thriving Villages and Towns surrounded by rural beauty and carefully maintained farmland is not a dream, Its a reality that makes sense and the communities that practice it are among the showplaces and destinations around the planet. The age of suburban sprawl is over, I've fought against it long before proof that it only costs more than it benefits taxpayers and the environment was shown. Now its time to make a difference, help Dutchess County preserve its place as having some of the finest rural areas in the state.
I have always believed that hard work is good for body and soul and that we should never stop learning and improving our understanding of the world. I have owned a gas station, an auto repair shop, worked as a Nuclear Plant Inspector, run a Limousine Business, built and managed a Call Center for candidates including up to the President, Worked with a Master Gardener, done Genealogical Archival work and even worked as a Logger. Yet during all of it and stops along the way to travel and experience America I kept one thought in mind: I wanted to serve my country as an elected official. Not as a "politician" but as a champion and leader. As an American doing their part in the great experiment that is democracy. Not a cog in a broken machine and never beholden to anyone but the people who vote for and elect me. From the age of 14, through all those jobs my real goal was to learn all I could about Politics and how to fix broken government while preserving all that is great about our Local communities and Nation. Now it’s time to serve my Community; start in my own back yard and work to keep Local Politics Local. Let’s start fixing what is not working together, starting right here and now.
Nothing matters more to me than Family and maintaining a strong moral compass. Holding the high ground is not easy, but I have never wavered in my beliefs and my support for the things that really matter. Service, whether it is to one’s family or country matters. Helping others is how we grow and find ourselves. Spending time with our children is paramount and teaching them the joys of nature and society increases our own learning as well as theirs. Sitting down for dinner with our families can erase a day’s worth of smart phone distraction and meaningless marketing ploys. Our working families should never hurt for time together, Dutchess County and the Nation need Common Sense labor laws that allow a person to work one job full time not 3 part-time to earn a fair living. It’s not about minimum wages, it’s about real jobs that a person can take pride in and rely on for the hours they need.
The picture to right is me making hay on my farm upstate some years ago, A wonderful time of my life. If only local taxes and cost of living were more reasonable I would have preferred to have had that experience in my own Dutchess County.
Windy and me at our house on Fenwood drive (upper left)
My first business at age 23 in Pawling (upper right)
Some of kids n my flowers this year
At the Pawling Nature Reserve this summer