On Dec. 30, at the Putnam County Courthouse in Carmel, I watched and listened as many newly elected and re-elected officials took the oath of office to protect and defend the federal and state constitutions.
Those present, from our new congressman for District 17, to our state supreme court justices, Senate and Assembly members, Putnam County legislators and county executive, clerk and coroners, each official stated that the most important thing to them is to serve their constituents — the people of Putnam County. They expressed their willingness to listen more and talk less, and to work with colleagues who don’t necessarily agree with them, in order to get things done for us.
To see politicians talking with each other in a collegial manner is encouraging, and I am hopeful that, in Putnam at least, we can move past the Trump-era cruelty, indifference to reason and disregard of truth, and cultivate the kind of respect that my Republican grandparents valued. Their living room featured portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
We are all human beings, our representatives acknowledged, and their positions require them to keep that foremost in mind, in addition to protecting and defending our constitutions.
Actions speak louder than words, as we know, and time will tell. We hope our public officials will be successful in their new terms and will continue to keep their stated commitment to serve all the people, not just the ones who voted for them. We will be watching.
Judy Allen, Putnam Valley