The Northern Westchester Examiner

Puglisi, Farrell, Becker Running Unopposed in Cortlandt

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The Democratic stronghold on the Cortlandt Town Board will remain intact for at least the next two years with three seats being unopposed in November.

Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi, who first was elected to town government as a councilwoman in 1987, will earn a 15th two-year term and continue her streak as the longest serving town chief executive in Westchester, equaled only by Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.

“I am so very proud to be the Town of Cortlandt Supervisor.  It’s been an honor and I’m seeking re-election this November,” Puglisi said. “I’m very proud of our accomplishments over the years and looking forward to our goals we’ve set for the next few years.  One of the reasons I’m asking to be re-elected is to be here for the upcoming closure of Indian Points’ two nuclear plants in 2020 and 2021.  This announcement took place in January 2017 by the Governor and the CEO of Entergy, who owns these plants.  Even since I’ve co-chaired a local task force and been a member of the state task force to discuss the impacts both of the loss of tax revenue and jobs.  I want to continue to be part of this important discussion for our community.”

The Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan contribute $800,000 annually to the town’s budget and is Cortlandt’s largest taxpayer and employer. Entergy was in the third year of a 10-year pilot agreement with Cortlandt when it announced its plans to stop operating the plants.

Cortlandt has hired an economic consultant to look at properties that are zoned commercial or industrial that could be developed and pick up some of slack of the lost $32 million Indian Point revenue to the community.

One of the hallmarks of Puglisi’s administration has been the town’s property tax record, which she often publicizes, showing an average of one percent increase annually. She has stressed the town has always been under the state’s two percent tax cap, and the town’s reserve fund has steadily increased, standing currently at about $16 million.

Appearing on the ballot this year with Puglisi is veteran councilman and deputy supervisor Frank Farrell, who is in line to secure a sixth four-year term on the board. Councilman Dr. Richard Becker will earn a fourth four-year term.

The last Republican to serve on the town board was Councilman Joseph Cerreto.

There will be a race for Cortlandt Town Justice in November as the Democratic Committee endorsed newcomer Maritza Fugaro-Norton to challenge incumbent Republican Daniel McCarthy.

Democratic district leaders also backed Peekskill Councilman Colin Smith to run for the District 1 seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators being vacated by Republican John Testa. Former Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina is the GOP choice for that position.

Meanwhile, incumbent Legislator Catherine Borgia was endorsed in District 4. She is being challenged by Republican Robert Outhouse.

The Cortlandt Republican Committee had hoped to field a ticket this year for the three seats on the Cortlandt Town Board but apparently fell short. Repeated emails to GOP Chairman Daniel Pagano were not returned.

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