Columbia County Democratic Committee
The Home of the Democratic Party in Beautiful Columbia County, New York



School Board Elections May 15th

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School Board Elections May 15

Very few people vote in the school budget and board elections. Please make every effort this year to support our experienced and thoughtful candidates. All the information you need to vote in either school district follows.


     Please read carefully, and VOTE ON MAY 15!     



Democrats are encouraged to consider voting only for our recommended candidates Heather Schultz for Germantown School Board or David Baylen for Taconic Hills School board (more about them below) on the ticket in order to improve the odds of seating a a progressive member on the boards. In order for these candidates to win, voters should vote for only 1 candidate, and not cast a second vote for the second seat. Casting a second vote will lead to one of the opposing candidates getting more votes than the these amazing contenders. The two winners will be the highest vote getters among the three candidates on the ballot. So any votes given to the other two candidates will cause our candidates to lose. We believe this is the best strategy to get the most qualified candidates elected. 

Germantown Central School District

Candidate Heather Schultz

The Democratic candidate for Germantown Central School District School Board election is Heather Schultz, and we would like those of you within the Germantown Central School District to support her.
VOTE Tuesday, May 15
12 p.m. (noon) to 9 p.m.
Germantown School Building, 123 Main Street, Germantown, NY 12526

Need to vote absentee? Applications and ballots are available now.
Deadline for RECEIPT of complete ballots is May 15.

By mail:  Call the district office (518-537-6281) and they will mail you an application. Once you mail back the application, they will send you a ballot that you can return by mail.
In person:  Stop by the district office during business hours (Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.). You can fill out the application, obtain the ballot, fill it out, and submit it, all in that one visit. 
Note that the district office is only open M-F,  so weekenders will have to use absentee ballots, and will need to request that an application be sent to them.

Germantown Central School District
Germantown School Building
123 Main Street, Germantown, NY 12526


Heather Schultz for Germantown School Board

Heather grew up in Red Hook, and after getting her education she lived in Rhinebeck before moving to Germantown ten years ago. She’s a mom of young kids in the GCS and has great professional experience that we think will help her contribute to the school board in very productive ways.
Heather Schultz is a NYS licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor's Degree from SUNY New Paltz and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Adelphi University. Heather has worked in the mental health field for 18 years in a variety of roles, most recently as a psychotherapist at Columbia County Mental Health and at the Warren Street Academy. She is passionate about working with at risk youth and their families. Heather enjoys hiking the Catskills, snowboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, yoga, cartwheeling, painting, knitting, dancing, and playing with her two kids. 
A message from Heather Schultz:
“I’m a mom of two kids who attend GCS—one in pre-K and one in first grade, and they have inspired me to be more connected and of service to the community. GCS is a fantastic school, and I want to help it thrive. From my work at the Warren Street Academy in Hudson, I understand the importance of working within the rules and regulations of various levels of government, which the school board faces in its role. In my job and profession as a social worker and therapist, I’m recognized as a creative problem-solver and decision-maker. I will bring all my skills and experience to contribute to the hard work that the school board does for GCS.”


Taconic Hills Central School District

Candidate David Baylen

David is an experienced candidate for Taconic Hills School Board and deserves enthusiastic support. If you can volunteer to phone bank or otherwise help with Dave’s GOTV efforts, please email campaign manager Stephanie Sussman at Your help is very welcome!
VOTE Tuesday, May 15
Voting is 12 p.m. (noon) to 9 p.m.
73 County Route 11A, Craryville, NY 12521 (Veterans’ Community Room)

Need to vote absentee? Your application is due May 8, and your completed ballot must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 15.
Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk by or prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 8, 2018 if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or by or prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 14, 2018, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk not later than 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2018.

Send or bring your signed and completed application to:
Melissa Layman
Human Resources Coordinator/District Clerk
Taconic Hills Central School District, 73 County Route 11A, Craryville, NY 12521



A message from Dave Baylen


I believe in public education and that schools are the heart of the community. I’m excited to be a candidate for a seat on the Taconic Hills School Board. Experience speaks volumes. I spent more than 3 decades of service in public education. I started my career as a high school shop teacher, teaching kids how to create, craft, problem solve and take joy in making something with their own hands. As the world of education and curriculum changed, I changed along with it. I became a pioneer in educational computer technology, rising to the position of Technology Director and School District Administrator in a 5,300 student school district on Long Island. I was responsible for and gained expertise in large budget and service management, state and federal grant applications, local and state purchasing regulations, technology infrastructure, emergency preparedness and disaster management. In addition, I have expertise in curriculum, instructional mandates and state reporting requirements for school districts.

Now retired, I am an active member of the Churchtown Fire Company, Chairperson of the Friends of the Claverack Free Library and an AARP trained Volunteer Tax Preparer serving seniors and low-income residents. I have also been a judge in the Mid-Hudson FIRST LEGO League Challenge, and mentor for the Junior Engineering Summer Library Program. My love of teaching and learning, engagement in civic activities, and community and public service have been a constant throughout my life.

I know the value of quality education, that input from parents, teachers, students and community members is important, and that decisions must be made that are mindful of the tax burden on residents. I am asking for your support and your vote on Tuesday, May 15th! In person voting is from Noon to 9:00 PM. Absentee ballot voters can obtain ballots directly from the Taconic Hills Central School District. I am happy to answer any questions. Contact me at: or 518-291-9161. Please vote!

Meet the Candidates Night
May 9th – 6pm to 8pm

On Wednesday, May 9th, starting at 6PM, there will be a Meet the Candidates Forum in the Taconic Hills Board of Education Room. The event will be moderated and will provide an opportunity to meet the candidates running for seats on the Board of Education. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Taconic Hills Central School District
73 County Route 11A, Craryville, New York 12521



Casting Call for Dedicated Democrats

The Columbia County Communications Committee seeks a variety of locally registered, actively voting Democrats to feature in an upcoming goodwill campaign to put a face to progressive and Democratic causes in Columbia County. We hope to feature a broad variety of people, so anyone can apply, but diversity is our focus.

We are asking all Town Chairs and committee members to nominate someone who you think may expemplify our core principles.
If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Communications Chair Tod Wohlfarth at

2018 Democratic Picnic

Come celebrate with us and help build the Democratic Party in Columbia County.

We will be hosting a Democratic picnic this year at the end of July or early August (exact date and location still TBD). It’s a busy year and we need to have a little fun before it gets crazy.I f you or your town committee are interested in helping organize this event, please contact Communications Chair Tod Wohlfarth at
Austerlitz, Claverack, Copake, Hillsdale, Kinderhook, Livingston and New Lebanon are onboard. If that is your town, contact your town committee to see what you can offer. Tasks we need help with include promotion, securing a location, decorations, main dish and side dish offerings, beverages, entertainment, and clean up.
Our first planning meeting will be in a few weeks. Sign up now!

If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Communications Chair Tod Wohlfarth at


We need YOU to support the CCDC and our efforts to bring the blue wave to Columbia County. Donate Today, or Subscribe to Democracy with a recurring, monthly subscription to progressive policies locally.



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