Democrats' Press Release | Supervisor's Response
Democratic PV Councilpersons Announce Choices for Vacant Council Seat
Councilwoman Wendy Whetsel and Councilman Elect Steve Mackay have been meeting with various members of our community and have come up with two very solid and experienced individuals who would gladly serve as Interim Councilperson until the November 2012 special election. These individuals would be honored to serve without any compensation the next 8 months and would not seek election in the November Special Election for this Council seat.
The first individual is former Councilwoman Priscilla Keresey who served diligently and with great caring and involvement from 2006-2009. The other individual is Salvatore “Sal” Santamorena who was a distinguished Councilman throughout the 1980s. Both individuals have been and still are very involved in Town activities. Either individual would make a superb choice for the Council seat. The fact that neither individual would accept any compensation and would not run in November makes both of them an apolitical interim who serves only to help the Town during this trying transition period.
Councilwoman Whetsel stated, “We are making these recommendations as we believe that if we chose one of the individuals who did not win the election to temporarily fill the seat, we would be unfairly influencing the voter in the November Election.”
Councilman Elect Steve Mackay stated, “I am extremely proud of Priscilla and Sal for stepping up and offering their time to the Town of Putnam Valley. Both of these individuals have great experience and either would be a great independent voice for our Town”
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Statement from Putnam Valley Supervisor Robert Tendy
Regarding the press release from Councilwoman Whetsel and Councilman-Elect Mackay, it doesn’t bode well for a good working relationship among town board members when one Councilperson and another Councilperson-Elect decide to hold interviews for an open town board position through a political committee, in this case the Democratic Committee. Town business should not be conducted through political parties.
Mrs. Whetsel and Mr. Mackay never discussed any of this with me or Councilwoman Annabi. As for Mr. Mackay, he is not yet on the town board, but he is already holding interviews to fill a town board position--and not informing the Supervisor and another town board member?
The two people named in the Democratic Committee press release similarly never called the Town Supervisor to discuss the possibility of them filling the vacant position. Both know how to contact me, yet they chose not to. It doesn’t speak well for either them with regard to being independent and cooperative if they think it is sufficient to interview only with Democrats only and a Democratic Committee.
There is a process to be followed in filling the town board seat, and party politics should not be part of it. I can’t imagine the Republican Party in Putnam Valley being engaged in such an exclusionary process. If the Republican Committee told me they wanted to hold interviews to fill the vacant seat I would tell them that this is not the proper role of the Republican Party---and politely decline being part of that process. But, of course, the Republican Party in Putnam Valley does not, and never would, tell elected officials how to conduct town business.
By Mrs. Whetsel and Mr. Mackay not discussing any of this with the Supervisor or Councilwoman Annabi, but, rather, being part of a political committee game, they have, unfortunately, shown themselves to be people who will be dictated to by their political party bosses. Clearly, this is not in the best interests of the residents of Putnam Valley.
Finally, I noticed in the press release, that the “candidates” are praised as experienced and independent. If that’s true, what’s wrong with Bob Cinque? He is clearly experienced and neither Democrat nor Republican. Whetsel and Mackay claim to not want either Bob Cinque or Gene Yetter because they don’t want to “unfairly influence the voter in the November election.” This is, of course, a misleading and disingenuous statement. Last I checked, the voters of Putnam Valley don’t need the town board to shepherd them through the voting process.
It is clear that all of this is political and has nothing to do with the town, and I will not be a part of it.
Supervisor, Town of Putnam Valley