Hildenbrand in New Castle, Smith in Cortlandt in Special Elections

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Over the past month, since the controversy about the resignation of now-former councilwoman Tara Kassal, there has been plenty of political sniping in New Castle.

Councilman Christian Hildenbrand, who was appointed in January following another board vacancy by the Unite New Castle ticket, is facing last year’s unsuccessful Democratic supervisor Holly McCall. The winner will serve the final three years of the unexpired term.
It is difficult to evaluate anyone’s performance with 10 months on the job, but residents would be better served if Hildenbrand gets the benefit of having the full two-year cycle to see what he and Unite New Castle can accomplish.

While there doesn’t seem to be much diversity of thought displayed by the majority, a victory by McCall won’t tip the balance on the current board, now that its members appointed Kassal’s replacement. Furthermore, the four other seats will be up again next year, and if change is warranted, the public can make that decision in 2023.

McCall previously served on the Chappaqua Board of Education and would be a capable board member if successful.

Since losing a year ago in his first attempt at elected office for a four-year term on the Cortlandt Town Board, Warren Smith has fully immersed himself in learning about town government by being a fixture at meetings and being a member of a few volunteer committees.

The native Verplanck resident has well-thought-out opinions on town issues and offers a lot of potential as a board member for the one-year term. His election is encouraged over Councilman Robert Mayes, who was appointed to the board in February to fill a vacancy but hasn’t stood out in any noticeable way.

While the Town Board seemingly hasn’t missed a beat with Linda Puglisi retiring and Dr. Richard Becker switching seats from council to supervisor, it could use an infusion of enthusiasm and a different point of view that Smith possesses.

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