Experienced, Professional Leadership for the
Town of Rochester
Experienced, Professional Leadership for the Town of Rochester
Town of Rochester Democratic Committee
Working Families Party
Hudson Valley Labor Federation
Green Party of the United States
A dedicated community volunteer:
9 years Town of Rochester Planning Board
8 years Ulster County Planning Board
Chairman 2015, 2016
7 years Friends of Historic Rochester
2 years Rondout Valley School Board
2013 Statewide “Levine Award for Community Service”
by the New York Planning Federation
About Mike Baden
I grew up in Red Hook across the river, the fourth generation of my family to do so. I then made my way to Ulster County and graduated from SUNY Ulster and SUNY New Paltz, and have lived in the Town of Rochester for 18 years. I have always been someone who cares about community and works to get things done with professionalism, teamwork, fairness and an open mind. For 32 years my career has been working as an entertainment and event production manager, locally and around the globe, for companies like Bethel Woods, Radio City, General Motors, SONY, and IBM. This has allowed me to see and experience people and places I would have never had opportunity to without my career. It also has given me experience managing multimillion dollar budgets and large groups of people with efficient decisions.
But I never forget my rural roots. I love the natural beauty and the help-your-neighbor attitude of our way of life. I value the rich history of our town. As a 5-year-old, I was instilled a deep respect for agriculture from my great-grandfather, a dairy farmer, and began a journey of involvement as a volunteer with the Dutchess County Fair that I have continued for 51 years. I’ve been a Boy Scout leader and a Little League coach. Being a good neighbor and community is my passion.
Little did I realize how my life would change in 2003 when I attended a town board meeting and asked questions about a project that lots of people had concerns with. No one could answer my questions, and I was frustrated by the lack of process and information. I was left to do my own research and returned the next month to share what I found. A few months later, I was asked to join a town committee. Then I helped develop a comprehensive plan for the town, doing a study of the census reports. Things kind of took off from there and this led to much reading, learning, and study of governmental operations, procedure, and law. I have served on over 15 town, county and regional committees since then, easily close to 1000 meetings. I teach state and regional classes on planning and zoning. Continuing my passion for community in different ways.
People ask me why I do it. I’m a person who is driven to find real, fair answers to questions, with a transparent process. Rules, policy, and procedure are important to me. I believe either you follow them or fight hard to change them. But they must exist equally for everybody and can’t ever be ignored. As your Town Supervisor, I will make sure our local government operates with a professional, process-driven approach that strives for efficiency, balance, and fairness.
Dennis Doyle, Ulster County Planning Director
“The Michael Baden I know is modest, passionate man with an inquiring mind and a unique understanding of community. Enthusiastic and caring, you will find him asking ‘can I help’ or ‘I’ll look into that for you’. These attributes are at the forefront in all of the community service work he is associated with.”
Chuck Petersheim, CEO, Catskill Farms, Inc.
“I work with planning boards in dozens of towns, and I can say without qualification that Mike Baden’s Planning Board is well run, efficient, attentive to all sides of an issue and very professional. My experience with the Board motivates me to do more work in Rochester. To me, Rochester was ‘open to business’ and that makes it unique among many Hudson Valley towns.”
Cameron Bonner, PhD, Town of Rochester resident
“I have found Mike to be consistently thoughtful, analytical and a caring consensus builder. Time and time again, often in quite contentious and divisive settings, I have seen Mike use ‘common-sense and common-ground’ his guiding strategy to forge solutions that satisfy all but the most entrenched stakeholders. His style is low-key and reflective, but always under-girded by deep understanding of the issues as well as appreciation for opposing viewpoints. He studies the complexities of planning laws and precedents with the vigor of a research lawyer, and boils this often arcane knowledge into actionable and understandable solutions. Overall, he is a man of upmost integrity, thoroughness and honesty.”
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