The Carmel Republican Committee recently endorsed its slate for the town election in November, with Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt heading the ticket as he vies for an eighth two-year term.
Joining Schmitt for two available Town Board seats are incumbent Councilwoman and Deputy Supervisor Suzanne McDonough, who is seeking a fourth four-year term, and Mahopac native Steve Baranowski, an accountant and former chair of the town’s Conservative Party Committee.
Incumbent Councilman Michael Barile, who pled guilty last month to illegally hooking up to a town sewer district, was not endorsed for a second term.
Schmitt said he is proud of his and the board’s accomplishments over the last 14 years and wants to continue leading the town to oversee the completion of “a lot of unfinished business.”
“There’s no ‘I’ in team. The Town Board is a team. We work well together as a board,” Schmitt said. “We don’t always agree, but we respectfully agree to disagree. I try to focus on the business we need to do. We are elected to do the people’s business. We’ve had a lot of great accomplishments.”
Schmitt said he “firmly believes” town officials have managed the coronavirus pandemic well and tried to help local businesses, particularly restaurants, survive by expanding outdoor dining regulations.
“Mahopac and Carmel is a very strong community. I feel we have done everything we could to put safeguards in place,” he said. “I’ve agreed with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines, but certainly some of the Executive Orders from the governor were a little bit of overkill and very far-reaching. Some decisions that were made were counterproductive.”
Schmitt emphasized the town has been able to maintain an AA bond rating and reduced the tax rate by 3.75% in the 2021 budget.
Looking ahead, Schmitt said he is excited to see the downtown Mahopac revitalization project move forward, along with finalizing the town’s new Comprehensive Plan next year.
Negotiations are also underway with the Department of Environmental Protection for Carmel to take over the operations of the Mahopac Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“So far negotiations have been very successful,” Schmitt said.
Further down the road, Schmitt said he would like to see the construction of a new law enforcement facility that would also house the local justice court, along with more commercial development.
“We can only deliver what the residents can afford,” he said.