With Election Day less than two months away, Patch is providing lots of information on candidates at every level—local, state and national.
We recently touched base with the five candidates running for a seat (either District 6—which covers the northern and eastern sections of the Town of Southeast, as well as a portion of the western area—or District 7—which covers the Village of Brewster, the remainder of Southeast, and an eastern bit of the Town of Carmel and the Hamlet of Mahopac) on the Putnam County Legislature. We asked each the same set of questions.
Legislators serve for three years and are limited to four terms. The annual salary is $35,136.
Here are responses from incumbent , who is running for the District 6 seat. He was appointed to the position in Jan. 2012, . Hay occupied the seat for several terms.
Patch: Talk a little about your family, community activities (past and/or present) and occupation, please.
- Lived here (Brewster) for 19 years (taught at for 32 years)
- Political affiliation and endorsements: Conservative, Independence, Republican
- Retired teacher, retired US Air Force, current Putnam County Legislator for District 6 (Southeast)
- Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #704
- Board of Education
- Officers of the First Infantry Division, Air Force Association
- Wife: Virginia, retired librarian; two sons: Matthew and William, BHS graduates
P: Would this be the first time you've held public office?
- Brewster Board of Education: 8.5 years
- Town of Southeast Town Board: four years
- Putnam County Legislature: 9 months (appointed)
P: Why are you running (which major issues are you looking to tackle?)?
- Represent our residents as a full-time legislator, staying connected with the community and the Town Board on critical issues.
- Work to streamline government and programs through consolidation where appropriate.
- Keep in Putnam County.
- Long-range planning for county growth and solutions to traffic congestion.
- Keeping government within its means.
- Control growth of government.
- Sales tax revenue sharing with our town. Southeast is the "engine" of Putnam County. The Route 22 corridor, Field's Lane corridor and the 312 corridor generate tremendous amounts of revenue for our community. Fostering responsible growth is critical for the future of our county.
P: Are you in favor of the 2-percent property tax cap?
RG: I support the 2-percent tax cap. Necessary to control taxes in these difficult times. Crisis brings opportunity to make the critical cuts required as bureaucracy grows.
P: What's your take on the Crossroads 312 proposal? Do you support it, as laid out by the applicant?
RG: This project would be a major boost for sales tax and school tax revenue. As a resident, my concerns are traffic congestion on [Route] 312 and Independence Way, and the impact on residents surrounding Lake Tonetta and water quality of Lake Tonetta ... Keeping mature trees on the property near the lake to control runoff and block commerical lighting from residents around the lake should be required.
P: What's your stance on term limits for Putnam legislators?
RG: I oppose the concept; voters decide when to limit one's term. The County Legislature will lose more than forty years of experience as of Jan. 2013.
P: What's your take on sharing county sales tax revenue with towns and villages?
RG: In support.
P: What's your take on the emergency response efforts by local municipalities (namely Brewster and Southeast, as well as the County) over the past year (Irene, the October storm, etc). Did it suffice? If not, what needs to change?
RG: My concern about the storms of last year is that shelters were not opened. Many residents had no water for five days. The schools could have played a major role in helping our residents. They did not. The county did its job with overall coordination: water and ice. With the implementation of , we will be better prepared for the next storm. We have learned of new sites available for water, showers and heat in preparation for the next storm.
P: What's your take on the possibility of a veterans cemetery in Southeast? , and although there has not been much news on it since, it was a controversial topic. Are you in support of it?
RG: I support such a project for our county.
Editor's note: Patch asked each candidate the same questions. Some chose to respond via email, while others opted for in-person interviews. None of the responses were restricted by format or word count.
Stay with Patch today and tomorrow for profiles on the rest of the legislature candidates. And be sure to for more information on all the races that affect folks in Brewster and Southeast.