Lawler named to vacant Dutchess Legislature seat

HYDE PARK – The Hyde Park Town board has appointed 43-year-old Brendan Lawler to the county legislature.  Lawler will serve out the remaining year of the seat held by Hannah Black before she resigned to become the county Democratic election commissioner.  The appointment occurred on Monday night.

Legislator Lawler was born and raised in Dutchess County. He grew up in LaGrange and graduated from Arlington High School. After earning degrees from the College of Saint Rose and Mercy College, he returned to Dutchess and taught for a year at Hyde Park’s Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in 2002-2003 before returning to Arlington High School, where he has taught social studies since 2003.

“The Town of Hyde Park is more than pleased to appoint Brendan Lawler to represent Wards 1 and 2 to the County Legislature,” said Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr. 

Lawler has served on the town’s audit committee and zoning board. That community service was also welcomed by Rohr. “Brendan’s professional experience as a teacher in the Arlington School District and as a dedicated volunteer to the town in several capacities, he will provide great representation at the Legislature.”

Brendan Lawler

Lawler has identified what he considers two of the biggest issues currently facing the county  “The most important issue right now is Covid. We need to focus as many resources on the problem as we can to try to stop the spread and treat those who are affected by it.”  The new lawmaker intimated that additional funding for the health department is necessary to combat the pandemic while still addressing other illnesses that are still present.

Recognizing the unique problems that the pandemic has placed on the education of children, Lawler wants to expand internet access for students and educators.  “Since many students have gone to remote learning during the Covid epidemic, they have struggled to have adequate internet access. While learning in a remote setting is already difficult,” added Lawler, “The lack of adequate broadband has made it harder for students to learn since they are having a difficult time connecting to their classes.” 

He also noted that inadequate internet access is also impacting adults who have transitioned to working remotely. “I would be hoping that the county would look at increasing internet access for residents who live in rural areas.”

Legislature Minority Leader Rebecca Edwards spoke for the Democratic caucus, saying “We’re delighted to welcome Legislator Brendan Lawler. He brings tremendous energy and insight into what’s needed in Hyde Park and countywide. We look forward so much to working with him.”

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