Philipstown legislator says she initiated; Putnam legislator says untrue

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

The county smoothed over a notorious dip at the Fishkill Road and Route 9 intersection. (Photo provided)

Putnam County Legislature candidates Nancy Montgomery and Barbara Scuccimarra clashed Thursday (Nov. 1) over who should get credit for recent improvements to the intersection of Fishkill Road and Route 9 in Philipstown.

The brief dust-up between Scuccimarra, the incumbent District 1 legislator, and Montgomery, a Philipstown Town Board member seeking to oust her, occurred during routine reports at the Town Board’s formal monthly meeting.

As she has on previous occasions, Scuccimarra attributed the fixes to the county. Montgomery cited her own efforts and New York State’s participation.

The disagreement came to the forefront when Montgomery said that in August, as a member of the Putnam County Traffic Safety Board, she discussed the intersection with a state Department of Transportation engineer who also serves on the Safety Board.

She and the engineer subsequently met with state and county highway department leaders “to address the dip in the road” at the intersection, Montgomery said. Philipstown Highway Superintendent Carl Frisenda was also consulted.

“From there,” she said, state and county “negotiated and decided that the county would pave that” intersection and that the state would handle any further improvements. “The state did not renege on responsibility,” Montgomery emphasized.

Scuccimarra with the road crew (Photo provided)

On Oct. 22, Scuccimarra said in a news release that included photos of the paved road and Scuccimarra posing with county workers that the state had declined to do anything. In fact, Montgomery contended, the state and county met “in good faith to discuss what would be done and from that came the repairs.”

During her own report to the Town Board, Scuccimarra said she wanted “to clarify” the situation, asserting that “it’s up to Pena and the [county] Legislature to allocate the funds to fix that road and that’s what we did.”

Fred Pena is the county Highway and Facilities Department commissioner. He was quoted in Scuccimarra’s news release as saying: “Barbara was unrelenting. She reached out to DOT and met with me. Her concern was really to make known how frustrated Philipstown residents had become.”

Montgomery thanked Scuccimarra for the county’s role in the project but added: “I’m glad I initiated it.”

“In your dreams!” Scuccimarra retorted.

“Easy, easy, easy,” interjected Supervisor Richard Shea, who chaired the meeting, and the discussion moved on to other topics.

Scuccimarra, a Republican, and Montgomery, a Democrat, will face off on the ballot on Tuesday.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Armstrong was the founding news editor of The Current (then known as in 2010 and later a senior correspondent and contributing editor for the paper. She worked earlier in Washington as a White House correspondent and national affairs reporter and assistant news editor for daily international news services. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Politics and government

2 replies on “Candidates Clash Over Credit for Fishkill Road Fix”

  1. The previous article in The Current stated that beside fixing the dip in the intersection, a four-day traffic light was installed to make exiting the Gulf Station safer. As of today, Nov. 3, there is no new traffic light. Is it coming? Or are we just being lied to?

    1. That was my mistake. The news release from Legislator Scuccimarra reads: “The County highway crew raised and paved the ‘dip’ in Fishkill Road and realigned the loop sensor for the traffic signal, not content to leave it at that both Commissioner Pena and Leg. Scuccimarra pointed out again the need for the traffic signal to be upgraded to include signaling the exit from the shopping plaza, across from Fishkill Road.”

      So she pointed it out but no one has fixed it. I have corrected the original post.

      Chip Rowe
      Managing Editor

Comments are closed.