Former County Clerk Candidate Announces Run for Leg. Seat
After running for a countywide position last year, Lithgow Osborne announced his intention to run for the District 1 Legislative seat up for election this year.
Osborne, who ran for county clerk and lost, is so far the only Democrat nominated to run for a county position, pitting him against incumbent Republican Barbara Scuccimarra who is expected to seek her second term. In a race for the seat that represents the western side of Putnam County, Osborne said in an interview, he thinks District 1 residents deserve better.
“Given the current makeup of the legislature that it tilts all toward Republicans and I don’t think that’s right,” Osborne said. “I think there needs to be other voices at the table and I’m hoping to be one of those other voices.”
Osborne said he’s “surprised” Scuccimarra hasn’t been able to do more for the district, despite having the support of County Executive MaryEllen Odell and sitting on an all-Republican legislature.
Osborne elaborated that if Scuccimarra and Odell have such a close relationship, than she should have been able to deliver more for her district. Osborne emphasized he believes the county needs to lower taxes for all residents, noting there is a “whole lot of money that we’re overpaying and we’re not seeing any of that money back.”
He added the money that residents overpay in county taxes should be refunded back to town governments so local officials can decide where to use that money best. Simply put, if the county over-budgets, Osborne thinks that money should not stay within county government.
“Philipstown can certainly pay its own bills,” he said. “We don’t need the county executive organizing a savings account to be used at her discretion.”
As for boosting revenue, Osborne said considering Putnam is “one of the most beautiful places in the country,” more has to be done to encourage tourism and support non-profits that bring visitors in from other places.
Osborne also stressed the county doesn’t need to draw large corporations, noting those big businesses would be out of place in Putnam. He believes there is plenty of middle ground between the large corporation and the mom and pop store that could come in.
Osborne lost to Republican and current county clerk Michael Bartolotti last year, but the campaigning he did allowed him to learn about a plethora of issues, discovering “Putnam is made up of a variety of individuals with different viewpoints.”
“I can say I feel like I would work extremely hard and I would be very active in representing all of the citizens of Philipstown,” Osborne said.
Scuccimarra defeated Democrat Steve Rosario three years ago to earn her first term after former legislator Vincent Tamagna was term-limited out of office. For more than the past year, Scuccimarra has positioned herself to support several environmental initiatives within the county, like a ban that was passed on polystyrene use within county entities.
She is currently the chairwoman of the Health Committee. Scuccimarra could not be reached before press time on Monday afternoon.
Recently, the county sent a letter of intent to Butterfield developer Paul Guillaro requesting he hold 6,000 square feet for a new county senior center at the urging of Scuccimarra and the county.