Stanford Town Board names Secor to fill vacant seat

STANFORD — When Anne Arent stepped down from the Stanford Town Board, she had two years of her four-year term still to serve, leaving the Town Board to fill that seat.

Selecting from four candidates, Town Supervisor Wendy Burton has reported that the seat will be filled by Theodore “Teddy” Secor. The board made the decision at its Thursday, Jan. 18, meeting.

“With four applicants to choose from, the task wasn’t easy, “said Burton. “After lengthy consideration, we decided to offer the seat to the person we felt had excellent qualifications as well as a proven track record of serving our Stanford community.”

Among his qualifications are being a member of the Lions Club from 2017 to 2020 and the Stanford Grange from 2016 to 2021, as well as being a voting member of the Stanford Recreation Commission, the town’s Haunted Fortress subcommittee and the Climate Smart Communities Task Force. He was secretary of the Conservation Advisory Commission, which he will have to step down from.

Secor has also served as an intake inspector of the Dutchess County Board of Elections as well as election coordinator. When Town Clerk Ritamary Bell took some time off, Secor filled the seat of deputy town clerk.

Added Burton, “Teddy’s service to our town has been exemplary. His commitment to service is undeniable. We believe that including a young member of the community on the Town Board is an excellent investment in Stanford’s future.”

Secor joins incumbent Eric Haims and newly elected Julia Descoteaux and Nathan Lavertue on the board.

Burton thanked the other candidates, and reminded people that since the appointment runs through Dec. 31, and the position will be on the 2024 ballot for a one-year term. Stanford has four Town Board members, and their terms are staggered so that two seats are up for reelection every two years.

The town is currently seeking a secretary for the Zoning Commission. If interested, contact Ritamary Bell at

Latest News

Banned Book Awards champions children’s right to read
Judy Blume connected digitally at the ceremony and was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Alexander Wilburn

There can be no question that democratic freedoms are currently being attacked and restricted in the United States, and somehow, children and the information they have access to have been the ongoing targets of attack.

As AP News reported in 2023: “More than 1,200 challenges were compiled in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the American Library Association began keeping data 20 years ago.” Conservative groups across the country have become well-organized machines harassing individual public and school librarians with threats of legal and violent action. The message from these groups, often supported by government leaders, is that children should not have access to books — books meant for young readers — that engage with topics of race, gender or sexual identity.

Keep ReadingShow less
Never a secret: The Black wife of a vice president

In a new American biography, Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, a multi-award-winning author and director of the graduate studies history department at Indiana University Bloomington, uncovers the hidden story of the wife of Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth vice president of the United States, serving under President Martin Van Buren.

“The Vice President’s Black Wife: The Untold Life of Julia Chinn” from Ferris and Ferris explores the lost account of Chinn — a woman with no official portrait, no legal record of her marriage and no surviving letters or diary to expose her own thoughts or feelings. What we do know: Chinn was a Black woman born into slavery in Scott County, Kentucky; trained as a household domestic worker from a young age; and taken as Johnson’s common-law wife as a teenager when Johnson was 15 years her senior. Chinn was never legally freed from slavery, but she would also come to wield significant authority over the management of Johnson’s property, overseeing the slave labor she was born into, now from a position of power.

Keep ReadingShow less
String quartet dazzles Hotchkiss Library

Ivalas String Quartet

Matthew Kreta

The Guild at Hotchkiss Library presented the Ivalas String Quartet in collaboration with Music Mountain Sunday, Feb. 18.

It was immediately apparent that the members of the quartet have a perfect understanding of each other as performers. Comprised of Reuben Kebede and Tiani Butts playing violin, Pedro Sánchez playing cello and Marcus Stevenson playing viola, the quartet would make constant movements, eye contact and audible breathing to guide and communicate with each other. This made their complex program sound effortless, even though their selections certainly sounded difficult to navigate.

Keep ReadingShow less