The Putnam Examiner

Gouldman Faces Dem. Challenger for District 2 Leg. Seat

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When Putnam County Legislator Bill Gouldman won his seat three years ago, he became the first Republican in more than a decade to represent legislative district two. He’ll look to keep the district red when he runs for reelection this year against an upstart Democratic challenger.

Gouldman is seeking a second term to represent legislative district two that encompasses almost all of Putnam Valley. But the businessman will need to get through Democrat and first time candidate Anthony Williams in one of the most competitive districts in the county based on voter registration numbers.

One piece of legislation Gouldman spearheaded was the Animal Abuse Registry that now keeps track of pet owners that abused their pets. He also said he pushed hard to get a large part of county-owned Oscawana Lake Road rehabilitated and resurfaced and next year a large portion of Peekskill Hollow Road will be done.

“Despite the accomplishments and successes I have enjoyed so far as a county legislator, there is still much more to be done to reduce spending and implement policies to improve county government,” Gouldman said. “I am confident that we are on the right track and the best days of Putnam County are still to come. I look forward to another term working with my colleagues on the legislature and the county executive.”

Gouldman said he’s supported the county budget each year that kept taxes at bay and improved services for residents across the county.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Legislature Chairwoman Ginny Nacerino have both thrown their support behind Gouldman, who regularly votes in lockstep with their initiatives. Odell called him a strong defender of taxpayers and Nacerino said he’s been “instrumental toward moving matters forward for the betterment of the people of Putnam County.”

But Williams believes more can be done to represent constituents and wants to infuse new blood and new actions into the county Legislature.

“Right now I feel there is no true representation in the legislature for district two,” Williams said.

While he acknowledged Gouldman is a “nice man,” Williams said there is limited information that comes from Gouldman about what he’s doing for the district and what’s occurring at the county level.

“I see information on ‘prepare yourself for Lyme disease,’” Williams said. “But I don’t hear issues about Oregon Corners, I don’t hear issues about the school buses still running across the Taconic Parkway that’s a very dangerous situation, I don’t hear anything about when the metal plate is supposed to be removed from Church Road that’s been there for eight years. Those kinds of things I’m not getting (from Gouldmam.)”

Gouldman argued he communicates effectively with residents, including attending monthly Putnam Valley town board meetings where he provides updates and gives the town local television station the full legislature meeting videos each month to air. Moving forward he wants to set up a monthly e-news letter as an outlet of information for residents.

Williams moved to Putnam Valley in 2012 and knew the area years before since his wife lived in town since 2002. He has several children in Putnam Valley schools. He works with Friends of the Library, the Lake Peekskill Civic Association, the Tompkins Cultural Center, and town Historical Society and has a background in graphics and IT.

He added he was involved with several civic organizations before he moved to Putnam.

Williams said he’d like to see sustainable development in Putnam Valley and would like something set up that displays Putnam’s true history that visitors can only find within the county. He suggested a tourism office in Putnam Valley that can be a visitor’s resource and possibly paid for by a grant.

“I want to keep our nature and our true essence, I don’t want to destroy that, but I also believe there can be a balance if we use wisdom, we can create projects that promote tourism, promote economic development,” Williams said.

Williams also believes there needs to be more checks and balances at the county level. While he can work with anyone, Williams said his “true care and concern is about the needs and wants of the people in the area that I live in.”

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