Seniors have been manipulated, elected officials have been bullied, harassed and vilified, and residents ignored by County Executive MaryEllen Odell and county Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra as the two pushed the Butterfield development through for their friend and campaign contributor, developer Paul Guillaro (Senior Center ‘Soft’ Opening, Oct. 12). The senior center has been the leverage the developer relied on to push his project forward; Odell and Scuccimarra have been more than happy to deliver.
Who doesn’t like seniors? What kind of person would deny them a new space? Through that lens, the senior center became the entire Butterfield project. If you had concerns about its mass and scale, you were vilified as anti-senior. If you questioned the proposed traffic patterns, you were anti-senior. If you questioned whether there would be enough parking, you were anti-senior.
Although still incomplete, the senior center’s “soft opening” on Oct. 26 will provide the incumbents with a photo-op as they fight for re-election. Come hell or high water, the senior center will be open in some way, shape or form before Election Day. Odell and Scuccimarra will surround themselves with the usual suspects, take center stage with jumbo scissors and cut the ribbon which will, kind of, sort of, open the center. There will be great fanfare and the duo will trumpet the opening as evidence of why they should be re-elected.
Sadly, the mismanagement of taxpayers’ money and resources, and the lack of respect given to local officials and residents with regard to the Butterfield project, would demand the opposite. When you see the press release with the grand photo on the front pages of our local papers, think about how your hard-earned tax dollars have been and will be spent for many years to come. Think about how the promise of a “state-of-the-art” center in a new building morphed into a renovation. Think of what was done to improve the lives of our seniors over the past seven years during Odell’s and Scuccimarra’s tenures and ask yourself if all the money that was dumped into a midcentury building should have provided our seniors with more than four hours of use per day and lunches cooked on the other side of the county, trucked over and reheated.
If you want honest representation by honest residents with integrity and proven track records, vote for Maureen Fleming for county executive and Nancy Montgomery for Philipstown legislator. Both Maureen and Nancy have the best interests of our seniors and our taxpayers at heart and will work tirelessly to improve the lives of residents in Philipstown, Putnam Valley and all of Putnam County. Join me in voting for real change on Nov. 6.
Dave Merandy, Cold Spring
Merandy is the mayor of Cold Spring.