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Two Carmel residents will be squaring off in a June 28 Republican primary for the District 5 seat on the Putnam County Legislature being vacated by retiring Legislator Carl Albano.
Pat Sheehy, former director of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, was narrowly endorsed by GOP district leaders over Greg Ellner, a businessman who specializes in water and wastewater disinfection.
In the late 1980s, Sheehy was Director of the Office of Employment and Training in Putnam, where she developed one of the first programs recognizing services for veterans suffering from PTSD. As Director of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, which she held until retiring in 2018, Sheehy was instrumental in the redesign of the Carmel Senior Center and the design and development of the new Cold Spring Senior Center.
On the state level, she was appointed by Governor George Pataki to the position of Special Assistant to the New York State Commissioner of Social Services and served as his liaison to New York City Welfare Reform Commission of the Rudy Giuliani administration. She went on to become the NYS Regional Director of the Office of Children and Family Services covering a territory that spanned nine counties in Long Island and the Hudson Valley.
In addition, she was the founder and past president of the Hamlet of Carmel Civic Association and past president of the Putnam Community Services Network.
“As your legislator, I would ring the bell and call out tyrannical leaders who would threaten our Second Amendment rights or infringe on our civil liberties. I would also continue to support the sound fiscal policies carried out by County Executive MaryEllen Odell keeping our taxes at or below the 2% cap,” Sheehy has stated. “My experience with state and local government has taught me how to manage and assess budgets and proposals with the ability to separate “wants” from “needs,” just as we all do with our “kitchen table” budgets. My years of experience on both a local and state level are the foundation that shores up my qualifications to effectively carry out the job of county legislator.”
Conservative Party leaders have also supported Sheehy’s candidacy.
Ellner is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Throughout his life and career, Ellner stated he has become a true fiscal conservative who understands that spending must be managed so taxes do not continue to rise at an uncontrollable rate.
“Status quo policy that keeps our county government tax increase from exceeding the state-mandated tax cap is just acceptable; we need to do better,” he said. “The tax cap allows for an increased tax levy of 2% or the sum of one plus the inflation factor; with current high inflation, the door is open for potential property levy increases greater than 2%.”
“I’m not a politician, I’m a husband, a father, a taxpayer, a coach, and a businessman with deep roots in the community,” Ellner stated. “I’m running so that Putnam County can be an affordable, safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Ellner has advocated for youth sports and secured funding for Carmel Rams Youth Football & Cheer, Carmel Rams Youth Lacrosse, and the Carmel Sports Association. He has coached youth basketball and football and coordinated the logistics of a nationally competitive youth travel lacrosse team, arranging for hundreds of hotel rooms and hundreds of dinner reservations.
Ellner’s affiliations include being a life member of both the NRA and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. He also is a clay target shooter with respect for the outdoors and open spaces. He is a member of the Putnam County Firearm Owner’s Association and a long-term New York City Police Reserve Association member.
He has said his experience with municipal contracts has provided him with firsthand knowledge of municipal procurement procedures that will benefit the county by preventing overspending and maximizing value.
“Agreements made long ago between Putnam County and NYC limiting new sewerage treatment plants have not only compromised the quality of our drinking water, lakes, and streams, but it has also prevented good commercial development from taking place – this has to change,” Ellner stated.
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