Reader Endorsements: Philipstown Town Board

Our town is really good at coming together. Remember 2017? At a time of deep division across our nation, Philipstown residents came together to help shape the future of our community at events organized by the Philipstown Community Congress.

The congress offered three opportunities for people to speak out on what they saw as priorities to make our town and villages better places to live. Nearly 40 neighbors proposed innovative ideas at these events, almost 800 residents cast a ballot to show their preference and over 300 people volunteered to help make these ideas a reality. Look what our community has come together on since then: We have an active Climate Smart Communities task force; new organizations like the Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub, Philipstown Aging at Home and the Philipstown Trails Committee; an updated comprehensive plan; and so much more.

We were proud co-organizers of this community effort that worked hard to bring Philipstown neighbors together. Another member of our organizing team — Jason Angell — is continuing to bring people together as a Philipstown Town Board member. We know he will do so for the long haul if he is elected in November. Jason has brought people together on his farm, at public meetings and in civic spaces. We are proud to have him in our community and thankful he is willing to serve as our Town Board member.

Jason has already helped bring this community together. Let’s do it again Nov. 2 by voting for him for the Town Board.

Priscilla Goldfarb, Garrison
The letter was also signed by Jane Marcy and Jocelyn Apicello, who is Angell’s spouse.

We have a great selection of candidates running, but I specifically want to lend my endorsement to Jason Angell for Philipstown Town Board and Nancy Montgomery for the Putnam County Legislature for their work on climate change.

I have worked with Jason on the Climate Smart Task Force for three years, and he is a great asset to our community. Nancy has been working tirelessly to get Climate Smart going at the county level. We need their leadership now more than ever.

Krystal Ford, Garrison

Our locally elected Democrats offer a healthy, useful mix of trusted roots and exciting new ideas — both of which are reasons I’ll be voting Nov. 2 to elect Democratic candidate Megan Cotter to the Philipstown Board.

I have great confidence in Megan’s courage to speak out on important issues; her unwavering loyalty to community; and her persistence in making things happen that benefit local families and businesses, like the incredible recent revival of the Little League softball program.

Megan’s no-nonsense approach is refreshing, based in common sense rather than politics. Guided by faith, family and friendship, Megan continually reaches out to one and all, often bridging the gap between old and new approaches to living in Philipstown.

I am particularly excited about her thoughts on using and expanding the parks, trails and other resources available to us. Megan consistently stands up for what works in our community, and I challenge anyone to find a resident who loves and understands Philipstown better than she does. No one can agree completely on every single issue, but I know I can depend completely on Megan to fight for a better future in Philipstown.

Amy McIlwaine, Cold Spring

I have served the Town of Philipstown most of my adult life, as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, youth coach, and most recently as deputy supervisor. The past 12 years on the Town Board with Richard Shea have taught me to listen to our constituents, and welcome qualified, smart people that step up and serve when there is a need.

On Nov. 2, I would appreciate your support and encourage you to also support my running mates, Megan Cotter and Jason Angell — they have energy and talents that will complement our current board.

At the county level, I fully support Sheriff Robert Langley and Legislator Nancy Montgomery. They both work with tireless dedication to ensure public safety and resources for western Putnam.

It has also been my pleasure to work over the past few months with the Village of Cold Spring’s Kathleen Foley for mayor and Tweeps Woods and Eliza Starbuck for trustees. Their knowledge, commitment, and enthusiasm for the village are unmatched, and I am eager to work cooperatively with all three of them in the new village administration.

John Van Tassel, Philipstown
Van Tassel, a Democrat, is running unopposed to succeed Shea as town supervisor.

There has been criticism of Jason Angell’s ideas about sales tax revenue sharing with the county. I think it is fabulous to have a candidate who thinks outside the box in an effort to improve and increase services without raising taxes.

It takes courage to try and change the system and Jason as demonstrated that in raising this issue. It takes flexibility, too, and Jason has demonstrated that through his outreach efforts to engage the whole community in discussion about timely local issues. We need someone like Jason on the Town Board.

Ellyn Varela-Burstein, Philipstown

I view my vote as an investment. And with any investment, I want to mitigate risk, evaluate the long-term gain and make sure my values are aligned. This is why I will vote for Megan Cotter for Philipstown Town Board. In fact, that is why I’m helping Megan run her campaign.

Megan grew up in Philipstown. Just like our kids today, she rode her bike, explored our trails and played in the parks. Graduating from Haldane High School, she went on to earn a master’s degree in public health. Now, she’s a working mother and volunteers her time locally in several ways. She is one of us and understands what matters to her neighbors.

Megan Cotter will be a strong voice for all of Philipstown. She will complement the good work that John Van Tassel and Jason Angell have been doing on the board. I view her as a moderate Democrat who understands that independent thinking is the best approach for serving on the Town Board. She will work hard to ensure our community continues to be a desirable, safe place to lay down roots and create a legacy for future generations.

The return on investing your vote to elect Megan Cotter to the Philipstown Town Board will be (1) dedication to enhancing our open spaces; (2) understanding that smart growth and economic vibrancy go hand-in-hand; and (3) expanding accessibility and mental health services for children and seniors.

Laura Lee Holmbo, Cold Spring

It is puzzling to me why I keep seeing the same Republican names retreaded in this upcoming election. It seems to me that Carmel is so dead-set on determining Philipstown politics that they are floating the same tired candidates over and over.

It irks me that the Republicans in Carmel feel the need to try to undermine our races for positions of mayor and Town Board by throwing their establishment support into what ought to be a local concern. I don’t think these civic positions ought to be caught up in the polarized spectacle that is consuming our current national political landscape.

I am voting for candidates who have a proven record of serving this community. And I am voting against Carmel overreach.

James Hoch, Garrison

Having served on the Philipstown Town Board for two terms, the Zoning and Planning Boards for numerous years, and then reading trustee candidate Sarina Tamagna’s “plan” for Philipstown, I am left to wonder about which town she is talking.

Looking at her plan, it is obvious she has not been involved, because the first four points have been integral to government in town for more than 30 years, since the Democrats gained the majority of the board. As for “encouraging growth,” our very able Planning Board has it well in hand. But Tamanga wouldn’t know because she has never attended a meeting or submitted a public comment. Maybe she is getting her input from her brother [Vinny Tamagna, who is running for mayor], which would explain it.

Someone told us that there is another candidate for Town Board on the Republican line, but it must be vacant. We can’t find out if it is a real person.

All one has to do to compare the Republican line to that of the Democrats — it becomes eminently clear that there is real vision and possible solutions put forth by the Democratic candidates. Jason Angell has put forth a list of issues and proposed solutions which are solid and doable for a government which does not rely on “fluff” qualifications. Megan Cotter has lived her entire life in town, attended school here and has been witness to the changes and has seen what it means to be a small community where people really care for everyone, regardless of political persuasion, as we saw with the outpouring of aid and caring during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

Anthony Merante, Cold Spring

It’s unusual to be able to make a stand on climate change by voting for a local candidate. That’s why my family and I are so pleased that Jason Angell is running for Philipstown Town Board. As an advocate for clean energy, Jason has already helped make Philipstown a leader in the fight against atmospheric pollution. If every community in America had a proponent for action on climate as effective as Jason, we could all be a lot more optimistic about where we’re headed.

David Gelber, Garrison

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