Speak to each of the three North Castle candidates in next week’s election about issues facing the town and something becomes obviously clear almost immediately: they all have loved serving their town.
Stephen D’Angelo, Jose Berra and Guy Mezzancello have now each had an opportunity on the town board. D’Angelo is completing his first four-year term, while Berra and Mezzancello have taken turns finishing out Supervisor Michael Schiliro’s old council term; Berra was appointed in January 2014 and served the balance of last year before Mezzancello defeated Berra in a virtually dead-even special election last November to land on the board this year.
It’s difficult when you have dedicated community members who each bring valuable skills to the table to decide who might be left out. In this instance, though, the call is D’Angelo and Berra for the four-year terms.
D’Angelo, an accountant, has grown nicely into the councilman’s role during his time on the board. Initially thrown into the cauldron of a contentious split board, D’Angelo has been much more assertive as his term has progressed.
He also has evolved, particularly on the Brynwood rezone application, along with his fellow board members. Despite comments from some community members and even officials that anything over the as-of-right number of units for the zoning, about 49 or 50, should be rejected, he correctly concluded that if the town could receive significant concessions it would be worth moving forward. As it turned out, the 73 townhomes will be taxed as fee simple.
During 2014 and this year, Berra and Mezzancello have each had a chance to audition for the regulation four-year term. Both have served well and have outstanding professional credentials that would be a benefit to the town.
When evaluating their time, Berra, a CPA and an attorney, has been the more impressive of the two. He has an abundance of ideas, an inquisitive mind and is a good problem-solver, valuable qualities for a board member.
Mezzancello, a contractor, has been an asset to the town wherever he’s served, including the planning board.