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Letter to the Editor: Supporting Kelley for Supervisor

Written By Editor on 9/21/21 | 9/21/21

The Town of Delhi faces many challenges: young people leaving the area for work or because they don’t feel welcome here; a small and shrinking amount of land available for development as New York City buys up properties and climate change makes more areas flood-prone; and a town supervisor, Mark Tuthill, who consistently places loyalty to the county Republican party above the needs of Delhi residents.   

My name is Quinn Kelley and I’m running for Town Supervisor because I believe we deserve a supervisor who will lead instead of follow, and whose first priority will be doing what’s best for Delhi.

Let’s look at just a few examples to understand the problem: 

Transparency and communication -- Our Board of Supervisors should be operating transparently, following Open Meetings and FOIL laws, providing timely information about meetings, and allowing sufficient time and opportunity for public input on decision-making. Instead, they refuse to allow even the most fundamental public input: “privilege of the floor,” where residents can address the supervisors during their monthly meetings. This means when people are upset about proposed county land purchases, or threatened use of eminent domain, or anything else, they are left with protesting outside the building, writing letters to the editor, going to the media, and other third-party interventions, rather than being able to speak directly to decision-makers. Most counties allow this basic level of public participation, and Delaware County should, too. In spite of being repeatedly petitioned about this by residents across the political spectrum, Supervisor Tuthill has refused to even raise the issue. If elected, I will introduce a resolution to establish privilege of floor at the county-level, and I’ll hold weekly open office hours at town hall so residents can talk directly to me about their concerns and ideas. 

Economic opportunity -- our Board of Supervisors should be working with residents and local businesses to provide the public infrastructure and support that can encourage business and improve quality of life. This includes things like: 

  • Conducting inclusive, transparent decision-making that actively seeks input from diverse perspectives, not just friends of Board members; and immediately ending the practice of buying up viable, tax-producing properties on Delhi Main St. Delaware County is 1,467 square miles -- the county needs to look beyond Delhi for its property needs.

  • Welcoming and celebrating diverse populations, including residents and visitors from New York City. I’ve heard too many stories of new residents and young people who grew up here leaving the area because they don’t feel welcome, because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Being from a small town, we know that diversity makes us stronger and we won’t let national narratives that fuel hate infiltrate our community.   

  • Applying for some of the dozens of state and federal grants that could help our towns and county transition away from fossil fuels and create good-paying, local jobs in the green energy sector. New York’s Community and Climate Protection Act has super-charged green infrastructure, including grants to expand sidewalks and biking trails that would improve community health and support tourism. The anti-government mentality among current board supervisors is a detriment to our community. Delaware county is being left behind. We need a supervisor who is willing to look for resources from sources beyond county taxation.

Emergency services/Shared services -- the Board of Supervisors should seriously consider establishing a paid, county-wide emergency services force. Almost every town in Delaware County is struggling to provide emergency medical services. Some towns are dropping as many as half of 911 ambulance calls, and the average wait time for an ambulance is now 50 minutes. Stamford now has no ambulance service at all. Some towns, like Delhi, still have a sufficient pool of committed volunteers to answer calls, but because surrounding towns don’t, Delhi’s volunteers are over-burdened responding to outside calls. Other towns, like Sidney and Hancock, have established paid EMS, which enables them to bill insurance companies for reimbursement (volunteer forces can’t bill insurance). This issue deserves real, transparent, public discussion, and county leadership. 

Town of Delhi residents, I’m asking for the opportunity to earn your vote. I’ll be at the Democrat’s booth at the Harvest Fest this Saturday (9/25), and you can contact me through my website: or email We deserve a supervisor who welcomes fresh ideas, a willingness to challenge the status quo, and the commitment to put Delhi first.

Quinn Kelley

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