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Jennifer Elected New Council President

Jennifer Elected New Council President

A new era for the council opens in controversy.

The 2013 election has brought a new leadership to the Camp Venture Council of Advocates. Jen A. replaces two-term President, Meagen R. who chose not to seek reelection. Bettering Ryan in the Council’s Tuesday November 11, Town Meeting vote, Jen’s 59% to 41% majority reflected a clear mandate.     

The Special Election Town Meeting turned out about 80 voting members of the council. A primary election in October had narrowed a field of four to these two candidates. The evening’s agenda opened with time afforded to the two candidates for a final campaign appeal before the polling was opened and the ballots cast.

Sitting President Meagen R. struck the opening gavel at around 7:00 PM and then turned the floor over to Dan Lukens to preside over the election activities as is customary in the Special Election Town Meetings. Candidate Jen A. correctly called Lukens’ coin toss and, given the option, chose to offer the floor to Ryan first for his final campaign statement.

Ryan spoke with passion to change and optimism and called for a more compassionate stewardship of the council. “We can always make a change,” he said. “We can always do better. A leader,” Ryan asserted, “is a good shepherd to his people. He leads with his heart and he’s there in triumph and in sadness with open arms and an open heart. He is not all things to all people but he is the light, the beacon that helps people find their way through the darkness.”

Jen followed and took a more upbeat if less poetic tone. “I am so happy to be one of the finalists,” she said. “My thanks to all of my supporters and to all of the member of this Council for the knowledge and success that you bring to this group. For me, this is a dream come true and I hope that it is for all of you as well. Together we can accomplish so much,” she said. “I love you all!”

The room responded to each of the candidates in turn with enthusiastic applause as Terry Freson directed the assembled to the voting booth. And, as members competed their ballots, several spoke in support of their respective candidates offering both arguments on their behalf and personal references.

The voting closed at around 7:35 PM and the recreation staff returned with the vote count at around 7:40.

Lukens announced Jennifer the winner and after a brief but very thoughtful concession speech from Ryan, a very exuberant Jennifer took the floor.

“Thank you everyone for your support and confidence. My special thanks to you, Meagen, for all you did to support my campaign,” she said directing her comments to outgoing President, Meagen R. And, after a few very kind words to the challenger, Jen continued: “As your next president, the first order of business is the staff raise. How about that Dan?” Jen said, now directing her comments to agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens less as a question than as a direct command. “What’s it going to be?” she said.

With that, Lukens’ face turned a vibrant shade of red as the room erupted in applause and the assembled came to their feet in ovation. It was a great night and, indeed, a new day for the council.


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2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
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