Following his victory in last Tuesday’s election, John Ramos will take the reins as the Village of Walden mayor at noon on April 5.
Though Ramos is not a native of Walden, he grew up close to the village. The future mayor was born in the City of Newburgh and grew up in Plattekill. He graduated from Wallkill Senior High School after which he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.
During active duty he was stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base located near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. After serving four years active duty he finished his tour at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
After returning home Ramos became a part-time police officer for the Town of Plattekill Police Department as well as a full-time police officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at Castle Point. In March 1986, he accepted an appointment to the New York State Police and was stationed at State Police Newburgh after he graduated from the state police academy in September 1986.
In January 1989 Ramos joined the New York Air National Guard at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh. Juggling two careers, Ramos attained the rank of criminal investigator with the New York State Police in January 2000. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom several times. He ultimately retired from the New York State Police in December 2008 with 22 years of state police service. In January 2010 he retired from the Air National Guard as senior master sergeant after 26 years of military service. In July 2010 Ramos went to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and took an early retirement in December 2017.
Ramos lived in an apartment in Walden from 2000-2002 before moving into a house in the village in 2006. He noted that there are several aspects of Walden that made him want to move there.
“The village’s scenic view,” he said. “As a trooper I worked in this area, so I knew this was a nice place to have my children grow up in and establish good family ties.”
Now that he is fully retired from his career in the military and the police force, Ramos is looking forward to focusing his attention on being the mayor of Walden. With that said, he employs lessons that he learned in both of those careers to his jobs in government and his personal life.
“It made me into a good teammate,” Ramos said. “Being a cop and being in the military made me a better listener. I’m open to any type of new ideas and I just want to continue serving. I’ve had a service background and I want to continue serving in this capacity.”
When Ramos is not doing government work, he contributes to the Walden community in a number of ways. He belongs to the Walden Community Council, is a third degree knight with the Knights of Columbus Most Precious Blood Parish and is a member of the Walden American Legion Post 158.
When he is not serving his community, Ramos enjoys biking, hiking and reading. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Catherine Lee Ramos, Esq., his adult children Victoria and Gabrielle as well as Andrew, a freshman at Valley Central High School, and Isabella, a sixth-grade student at Valley Central Middle School.
As Walden mayor Ramos hopes to move the village forward. He believes that Walden can attract businesses to the vacant storefronts on Main Street, as it is a clean and safe place.
“I think most of our businesses have done pretty well, especially with this pandemic,” Ramos said. “I think all of the village residents pulled together and they visited all the restaurants. I’m looking to attract them [new businesses] with our village residents and our ability to back our local businesses that we have.”
Walden has had a bad reputation, which was the brunt of jokes by 101.5 WPDH. Despite this, Ramos believes the village is headed in the right direction.
“I think we’re on the upbeat the past four or five years,” he said. “We’re getting more foot traffic, we’re getting more vehicle traffic. I would consider Walden as the diamond in the rough. I think we’re gonna come out of this pandemic. We’re gonna get more businesses to come in and I’m looking forward to facilitating anything that we can do as a board and as a village to get those businesses in.”
As mayor, Ramos is looking forward to leading a progressive village board. Every trustee has their unique talents, which help the board. There are several projects such as the Biagini property, which will help the village’s tax base.
“We’re gonna do good in the next few years...,” Ramos said. “I’d like to see us relieve the village residents of the heavy tax burden that we have.”