Kathy Reinig tries to empower with information
ORANGE — After living in many different towns throughout her life, Kathy Reinig was eager to find a community she could call home the rest of her life. After taking a short walk down one of Orange’s streets, she knew she had found it.
Reinig, 53, recalls talking to residents who “were very welcoming. They wanted new people to move in and they talked about all the great things that were happening in town.” Shortly after that visit, Reinig moved to Orange.
Fourteen years later, her enthusiasm for and involvement in the town has only deepened. Reinig’s first foray into community affairs was as a library trustee.
Four years ago, she ran for selectman but lost. The following year, she ran again and won. She currently serves as chairwoman of the board.
Reinig said she was inspired to seek a second term because she feels she has something unique to offer. “It’s a ton of work but I still think I’m the person needed.” She said that her skills in data analysis are useful in understanding and helping others understand town finances.
“I’m also good at empowering people with information … I consider it my job to provide people with information so that they can make up their own minds … not just vote the way I would want them to vote.”
She said Orange’s biggest challenge is bringing in new business opportunities and growing the town’s tax base. “We need industry in our (empty) mill buildings; we don’t need apartments.” Reinig said she favors supporting the growth of many small new businesses through a variety of initiatives, such as sprucing up downtown streets and facades, working with the schools to develop entrepreneurial skills in youth and working with the Chamber of Commerce to reach out to potential new businesses.
“Government can’t create jobs, but it can create the environment that allows people to thrive through a vibrant business community,” she said.
Reinig owns and operates K.J. Reinig Associates, a small data analysis business.
Before starting her business, Reinig attended Dartmouth College for four years. While she completed all coursework, she did not graduate due to a chronic illness that prevented her from completing her honors thesis.