For the second straight year, the Putnam County Legislature will have the same leadership in place.
Joe Castellano, who represents District 7, was elected unanimously by his colleagues last Tuesday to be the chairman for the second year in a row and Toni Addonizio, of District 3, was selected as the deputy chair out of the nine-person lawmaking body, which is comprised of eight Republicans and one Democrat.
During the meeting, Legislator Ginny Nacerino, who is a former chair of the legislature, said Castellano’s work last year at leader of the legislature warranted another term as head of the lawmaking body. When nominating him, she called him steadfast and calm, but still firm in the direction he wants to take the county.
“He’s a man of few words, however his words are always noteworthy,” Nacerino said.
Legislator Paul Jonke, who represents Southeast with Castellano, called him a “diligent and hardworking” member of the legislature.
Legislator Nancy Montgomery, who is the sole Democrat on the board, said she was supporting Castellano as chair with the hopes he would commit to appointing her liaison to certain volunteer boards in the county. Montgomery wrote to Castellano about being appointed the liaison to certain boards in December and then wrote to the rest of the legislature this month about the issue.
Castellano, who was reelected to another three-year term last November, said he was “very honored” to be appointed chairman again. The title of chairman comes with an additional $8,000 on top of a salary of $40,000.
“Looking forward to a very exciting 2019 and very grateful and thankful to have the confidence in me to lead the legislature,” Castellano said.
Addonizio, who was deputy chairwoman last year, was appointed unanimously to the position again this year. While the deputy doesn’t hold nearly the same level of power as chair, her appointment does signal her possible appointment to chair in 2020. The past two chairs of the legislature—Castellano and Nacerino—started out as deputy chair and served for two years before they were handed the gavel.
Castellano said Addonizio did a fantastic job as deputy last year and represents Kent and Putnam in “outstanding fashion.” The two have worked together on several initiatives, including the county veterans medals, he noted.
Legislator Neal Sullivan said Addonizio has done a terrific job as deputy, “supporting the chairman when necessary.”
“It’s an honor to be deputy chair again and looking forward to a productive 2019,” Addonizio said.