The article in the Feb. 5 issue, Montgomery Reveals Ouster from Committee, provides no explanation for why Putnam County Legislator Nancy Montgomery was surprised she did not get the committee assignments she wanted. Does it surprise anyone? She has created the adversarial relationship with the county executive and the Legislature.
Has she received what she sowed in her first two years in the office? Why would she have earned a leadership role with a board she continually criticizes? Ms. Montgomery has rendered herself ineffective and needs to learn what her role is; instead of decrying county government as broken, she needs to develop better negotiating skills and learn to work with others, regardless of party affiliation. What is broken is her ability to bring consensus to issues.
It takes five votes — a simple majority — on the nine-member Legislature to accomplish most things. There is also a benefit from advice from the county executive and department heads. If her goal, as she states, is to get the county government to help Philipstown, she needs to develop support and allies.
By her admission, she admits she has not worked well with others in the county government and keeps on fighting instead of compromising. Perhaps it is too late, and she has already done irreparable damage. Nancy’s issue is that she challenges everyone and has lost so much for the residents of District 1, such as more than $15,000 in reimbursement for the Village of Cold Spring, which was her oversight.
I served in the Legislature for six years and accomplished a great deal for Philipstown. I worked alongside many department heads and know how hard our county employees work. Forming trusting relationships and building consensus is something I enjoyed, quite the opposite of today’s representation. Anytime I had a question, my approach was first to listen, second to analyze, communicate and, finally, advocate for the need. I had six successful years and it brought a senior center, prevented the post office from leaving, fought the war on drugs and underage smoking and vaping, and added a host of environmental protections to our Hudson River Valley efforts.
Nancy needs to learn that leading requires understanding and compromise, working toward solutions and solving problems, regardless of party affiliation. It should never be about red or blue. We are one community. Sam Oliverio did a fine job and worked well with all Republicans on the Legislature for many years as the sole Democrat when he represented Putnam Valley.
In the end, we must remember that we need to come together to benefit the people who live in Putnam County. The county is not broken, but the turmoil continues. The divide is widening between the eastern and western sides of the county because of an unwillingness of our legislator to cooperate. I know we are better if we work together, and I am considering running for the seat again this year.
Barbara Scuccimarra, Garrison