There will be a competitive race for two Southeast town seats this fall.
Democrats Lynne Eckardt and Cathie Sloat announced on May 26 that they would run for two council seats. For their part, the town Republicans will have a primary to determine their nominees.
While Eckardt said no Democrats are running for town supervisor, incumbent Michael Rights will be primaried by Tony Hay for the Republican nomination. Hay has been endorsed by the town Republican committee.
Eckardt resigned her post as chair of the Putnam County Democratic Party to run for the town board. “I have long believed that it is a conflict of interest to hold important political positions and elected government positions simultaneously,” she said. “It’s hard to serve two masters, and I could not, in good conscience, do so.”
The county Democratic Committee unanimously elected Southeast resident Victor Grossman to replace Eckardt.
While Sloat is making her first run for the town board, Eckardt previously ran in 1995, 2003 and 2005.
Eckardt, who is a member of the town’s Board of Architectural Review, and Sloat, who is on the Landmarks Preservation Committee, share the same political platforms.
“We need to get our fiscal house in order,” Eckardt said. “We have little in the way of a fund balance and we have rising taxes and layoffs. This is unacceptable.” Sloat agreed. “I really think we need to get the finances in order in town,” Sloat said.
While Eckardt said it town property taxes are too high, “Freezing or reducing them will take skilled, long range planning, but it can be done,” she said.
Immigration is another important issue in town, Eckardt said. “We will work hand in hand with the village to increase property values and make Brewster a cultural and recreational draw,” she said. “We believe that this is the proper and constitutionally sound way to deal with the issue. We will not allow Southeast to face costly lawsuits by acting in an unconstitutional manner.” Sloat said, “Other towns and villages have done so successfully.”
The town board must do more to collaborate, Eckardt said. “We must bring civility back to the town board,” she said. “Without civil dialogue Southeast can not move forward in positive way.”
“We need some civility and we need to work together,” Sloat said. “We need to move forward.”
Telephone messages left for Southeast Republican Chairman Michael Bartolotti were not returned.