Reader Endorsements: Putnam County Legislature

With Election Day creeping up rapidly, we are all facing important decisions. In the recent past, the eight Republican members of the Putnam County Legislature have all very publicly vilified Nancy Montgomery, the lone Democrat, with assertions like “she doesn’t play nice,” “she’s a troublemaker” and worse.

In this environment Montgomery has not only stood her ground, but wants to go back for more. I can only say that any woman who can bring eight Republicans to their knees, exasperated and publicly crying out, has got my vote in spades. Go get ’em, Nancy! Keep up the great work of inviting eight Neanderthal Republicans into the 21st century, all in the unfriendly grounds east of the Taconic Parkway.

For other reasons entirely, I am looking to Vinny Tamagna and his running mates to lead Cold Spring into its next phase and whatever that entails.

Gregory Bochow, Cold Spring

I am absolutely frustrated by the way the county treats the seniors of our community. The lack of creative and stimulating programs at the local Friendship Center is appalling. I have personally contacted various individuals at the county Office for Senior Resources to discuss this problem.

Since they do not provide comprehensive and stimulating programming. a group of us asked if we could develop those programs ourselves. None of the county officials I contacted has bothered to respond to my request despite promises to do so. The county pays over $11,000 a month for this underutilized facility, which has a kitchen that cost more than $300,000 to construct and is never used.

It is a sad situation when a legislature is dominated by a single party for long periods. It leads to boondoggle construction projects and a lack of responsiveness by officials who have nothing to lose. There is a single Democratic legislator in our Putnam County legislature. I urge you to join me in voting for Nancy Montgomery. We need to restore balance in the county. Nancy has fought hard to get us the services we need and deserve, and for greater transparency and fiscal responsibility in Carmel.

Ellyn Varela-Burstein, Cold Spring

It is unreasonable and unconscionable that Putnam County property taxes may be increasing by 2.3 percent in 2022. In fact, there should be no increase at all.

Looking at neighboring counties illustrates this clearly.

Dutchess County’s property taxes are actually decreasing by 10 percent. In addition, sales tax on clothing and footwear (costing less than $110) will be eliminated. Combined this should be a savings of around $20 million for Dutchess County taxpayers. Lucky them.

Rockland County will have no property tax increase this year. Neither will our neighbor to the west, Orange County. And Westchester County Executive, George Latimer is promising the same.

Better yet, is Fairfield County in Connecticut, as they have the added bonus of no county government. None. But, of course, neither do any of the other counties in Connecticut. If only we could eliminate excessive government in New York!

And finally, to add insult to injury, all the aforementioned counties share sales tax with their municipalities. All except Putnam. To generate sales tax our towns accommodate increased traffic, require more services yet still don’t get a piece of the sales tax pie. Just higher property taxes.

It’s time for Putnam to be fiscally responsible. At least three candidates running for the County Legislature this year would not condone nor vote in favor of the 2.3 percent property tax increase. A refreshing change from consistently passed county budgets. If you’re in their district, please consider voting for Scott Reing, Stacy Dumont and Legislator Nancy Montgomery this November. Let’s break the chain of never-ending property tax increases.

We need innovation, we need hard work, and we need to keep our taxes in check. Let’s get Putnam County back on track.

Lynne Eckardt, Brewster

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