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It looks like voters who head to the polls in November will have a decision to make on who will serve as the Town of Carmel’s highway superintendent.
Late last month, New York State Supreme Court Justice Hal Greenwald ruled Michael Stern, running on the “Concerned Taxpayers of Carmel” line, had earned a spot on the ballot after submitting nearly 1,700 signatures to the Board of Elections in June.
The Board of Elections had claimed Stern was disqualified based on a mailing technicality. When Stern, a 15-year Carmel highway employee, challenged the board in court, they again tried to toss out the petitions.
In a detailed 17-page decision rendered Aug. 29, Greenwald ruled Stern had properly qualified to be a challenger to Gerard Ahler, who is on the Republican line.
“I am happy that the court has ruled in favor of the people of the Town of Carmel who will now have a fair choice at the ballot box in November,” Stern said.
However, the legal battle is not over as the Board of Elections has filed a Notice of Appeal seeking to have Greenwald’s decision overturned by the Appellate Division in Brooklyn.
“I respect the county’s initial decision to support its commissioners, but now is the time to accept that I am a candidate and time to stop spending taxpayer dollars in an effort to disenfranchise Putnam County voters,” Stern said. “The next Highway Superintendent should be chosen by the voters of Carmel, not by a couple of Judges in New York City.”
Stern and Ahler are both looking to succeed longtime Highway Superintendent Mike Simone, who is not seeking reelection.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/