My name is William “Cody” Anderson. I have lived in the Town of Chatham since 1999. I grew up in northern New Jersey, attending public school from elementary through high school. I attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where I majored in accounting and earned my Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics. I have served as a director and officer of the National Beagle Club of America, and as a member of their finance committee. I have also served as a director of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, and continue to serve as an officer of the Loudoun Agricultural and Chemical Institute Foundation.
My wife, Jessica, is a Malden Bridge native and graduate of Emma Willard School in Troy and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
My son, Collin, attended Chatham High School, and recently graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
Earlier in life, my father gave me some advice: go to college, get a business degree, work in corporate America for a few years, then start your own business. I did just that: I started my own company only two years after entering the workforce, and have worked steadily as an independent information technology consultant for twenty-five years. I also co-founded two other successful technology businesses along the way.
I wish to use my business and life experience to serve the citizens of the Town of Chatham, and to make the town a place where our residents can afford to stay and their children want to come back to.
As a Libertarian, I believe in individual freedom, less government, and fiscal responsibility. My key platform issues align directly with this philosophy.
In an age where all sorts of worthless information is readily available on the Internet, it has been remarkably difficult to find important public information such as agendas, minutes, and budgets, on the Town’s website. The Town Clerk should be commended for spearheading a recent redesign of the Town of Chatham website. As supervisor, I will work with the Town Clerk to continue improving the organization, presentation and scope of public information on the Town website.
It’s important that citizens know what their government is up to, and that deliberations and decision making are held in the public eye. In the past, private citizens have recorded and posted meetings of import to the Internet. I support this, and I will investigate no/low-cost methods of recording and posting Town Council meetings to video-sharing services to help citizens remain engaged in the issues affecting the Town.
Rather than creating new sources of revenue from traffic infractions and fees, cutting costs to lower our tax burden should be the focus. The taxpayers deserve, and I will spearhead, a zero-based budget review to determine what services are important to the town’s citizenry, and what constitutes an essential service.
The Town’s Council should have the latitude to opt out of the state-imposed unfunded mandates that don’t suit our way of life. As supervisor, I will identify these costly mandates and work with our state representatives to propose legislation that implements home rule and/or opt-out provisions for our Town and other Upstate towns and counties.
I believe election to a public office is a high honor and an indication of the leadership the townspeople expect me to exercise. For this reason, I will immediately cut in half my Town-provided salary as compared to my predecessor’s, and opt out of all taxpayer-funded fringe benefits, including health insurance and pension contributions.
The Town’s Comprehensive Plan, created through years of painstaking comment and review by citizen committees, was approved years ago. The implementation of updated zoning laws to implement the Plan is finally in sight. Home-based businesses, short-term rentals (STRs), and tourism bring a huge economic benefit to our Town and to our county, yet the proposed zoning contains over eleven pages of proposed language that specifically limit and regulate STRs. Other more subtle, but just as intrusive, changes govern how long your garbage cans may be left at the road, and how many cars can be parked in your driveway, and on the road outside your house. These proposed changes are not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan they are meant to implement.
The proposed STR regulations are a thinly-veiled attempt by the Town Council to dictate how people act and who can and cannot make a legal income – or even live – in our town. I believe citizens have the right to use their property for any legal purpose, while not infringing on their neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their own properties. I also believe that most disagreements between reasonable people can be handled with a conversation, and if necessary, using existing laws. More laws and government intrusion are not the answer. To that end, I will not support any proposed law, regulation or fee that an existing law already covers, or that infringes on personal property rights without a valid public safety or quiet enjoyment concern.
The Town Council is creating a framework of regulations to increase revenue through fines, special use permits, targeted revaluations, and selective enforcement. More enforcement implies more bureaucracy and cost, and the potential for expensive litigation and costs to taxpayers. I do not support a costly regulatory regime that justifies its existence by bullying citizens and wringing more money out of townspeople.
The United States has among the lowest voter turnout rates of any democracy on the planet. About 60% of the eligible population votes during presidential election years, and only 40% votes during midterm elections. The average turnout in a local election is frequently under 30%. This, despite the fact that local governments in the US spend in excess of over $1 trillion annually (Source: USVoteFoundation.org). Since the municipal tax burden in New York is among the worst in the nation, and a local vote has the greatest direct impact on you and your neighbors, it’s more important than ever to register and cast your vote.
Register to vote here no later than October 11, 2019 – it only takes five minutes.
If you’re not sure if you’re registered, or don’t know where your polling place is, check here.
If you’re already registered, exercise your right to vote by going to your polling place on voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 9.
If you still have questions, contact the Columbia County Board of Elections:
401 State St.
Hudson, NY 12534
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