Monroe Election Endorsements for November 3rd.
In the Town of Monroe elections, this site announces the following endorsements:
Endorsements for For Highway Superintendent: John Karl.
We suggest that you watch the candidate forum to make your own informed decisions on the race.
Current Superintendent Anthony Rizzo was defeated in the Republican Primary by former Village of Monroe Mayor and former Harriman DPW chief John Karl. Rizzo continues to run as a write-in candidate. While Mr. Rizzo had a tough job and often locked heads with Monroe Supervisor Harley Doles during the latter stages of his term, his former association with Doles remains a sticking point for us in considering him. His election in 2011 owes much to the Kiryas Joel bloc vote. Rizzo served the office adequately, but morale remains an issue and we don’t see him as disciplined enough financially to effectively lobby for proper level of funding, nor to push back against preferential contracts. We thank him for a tough tenure, but believe it’s time for someone with more background to step into the role.
Democrat John Scherne and Republican John Karl both have the knowledge to effectively manage the role, both understand the challenges, and both have a more extensive background to address the needs of the department. While our preference is toward Mr. Karl, we are split as we felt that there was not much differentiation between the candidates. We applaud Mr. Scherne’s 29 years of service in the department, but we favor a slight edge toward endorsement of Mr. Karl for his administrative expertise and years of experience in developing this function for Harriman independently and believe he would prove the better choice for the office.
Endorsements For Town Board (2 seats): Tony Cardone, Michael McGinn.
Incumbents Dan Burke (D) and Dennis McWatters (I) are running against Cardone (R, UM) and McGinn (R, UM). Having watched the current incumbency, we have had significant reservations about the continued support of Dennis McWatters, the former United Monroe candidate who ran to fill the unexpired term of Harley Doles. McWatters has not shown decisive leadership, and his wavering stance on campaigning , plus his inconsistent stance on whether or not to run for the full-term without the United Monroe endorsement have damaged his credibility. He was, at best, a reluctant candidate in 2014, and during his tenure, he also showed reluctance to be assertive at the right times and on the right issues — specifically issues of public comment, transparency, and the operation of the theater all seemed to buckle once elected to office. He doesn’t deserve a return trip to the seat he filled for the past year, though we thank him for his somewhat symbolic vote against the Kiryas Joel annexation. However, he did a disservice to all residents of Monroe by disparaging them in the process. Thanks…but no thanks.
It’s also rather disingenuous that McWatters, a Republican, has chosen to continue running on the Independence line. It suggests that he is simply desperate to hold any office despite his recent announcement that he suspended his campaign. Yet again, more wavering and indecision. That isn’t leadership.
As for Dan Burke, the recent news that the Monroe Democratic Committee cast a no-confidence vote against his candidacy demonstrates the feeling of most on the south side of the Quickly toward his campaign. He has not served the interests of anyone other than Harley Doles, Elisa Tutini, or the leaders and land-developers of Kiryas Joel. (See our recent commentary on his candidacy, as well as the announcement by the Monroe Democratic Committee). While the move by the Monroe Democrats was largely symbolic, as well as too-little/too-late — we question if they should have even endorsed his campaign given his prior record — Burke’s own actions to remove the Committee’s platform from their Facebook page is as much a demonstration of the sheer manipulation practiced by this town board.
Both Burke and McWatters must go for the benefit of all in this town.
Leaving annexation issues aside, a major issue facing everyone in Monroe is the lack of fiscal responsibility and accountability. While true that this website does not support the annexation petition from Kiryas Joel land developers, nor do we support the policies of the entrenched, theocratic government of the village, we believe that all who live in Monroe deserve representation. Three of the current five members on the Town Board have shown only contempt for Monroe residents outside KJ. While we’d like to see the removal of Gerard McQuade and Harley Doles as well for their contemptuous and borderline illegal actions and irresponsible governing, the right first step is to put parochial considerations aside and support Tony Cardone and Mike McGinn. Both are long-time residents of the town, both have a selfless interest in the community, and both are running out of a commitment to public service. Their intentions are known, and we can rest reasonably assured that their decisions will be made with fairness and integrity, a quality lacking among our current town board.
It is the hope that unseating Burke and McWatters and installing McGinn and Cardone will bring back a sense of sanity to a town currently run by those with less integrity.
And it goes without saying that the current composition of Monroe makes it imperative among those in Monroe to not sit idly by and lament the decisions made by those they did not elect by not participating in the election process. It’s incumbent upon the entire community to vote, in large numbers, and get their neighbors to vote. Monroe is a town that is deeply divided, but not only divided by those living on either side of the Quickway. It’s a town divided even within the Satmar Hasidim ranks. It is the hope that those within Kiryas Joel understand the concerns of their neighbors, understand that development of either the 164 or 507 acres is simply lining the pocket of wealthy developers, and places them at continued odds with their neighbors. It’s a collision course for a destiny against the county and all of the communities within it. And we hope that they recognize the election as a further opportunity to unite and find solutions that are not purely to their own benefit, but that do not result in the detriment of others.
We heartily give our endorsements to Mike McGinn and Tony Cardone in that effort.
Endorsements for Family Court Judges (vote for two): Lori Currier-Woods and Victoria Campbell.
Both Monroe and Orange County have been well-served by Ms. Currier-Woods, and believe that we would also be well-served by Ms. Campbell. We give both Republican candidates our endorsements.
Christine Stage has been the Democrat’s perennial candidate for a judgeship, and was defeated in the previous election. While her service is impressive, we remain concerned by her continued insistence to be seated on the bench after losing campaigns. As for Ms. Patrizio, a check of her Avvo.com rating doesn’t instill more confidence in her ability to transcend a lackluster record as an attorney.
Endorsements for Town Justice: (vote for 1): Christopher Napolitano.
We applaud Judge Milligram’s service, but cannot help but be reminded that he is saddled with the Democrat/Working Families/Independence lines, and the Democratic Line in Monroe has become tainted since 2013 with the stench of importing a judge from Rockland County to run for Monroe’s office (Lurlyn Winchester). While Milligram has served well, we believe that it is time for the old Democratic machine — the one currently fractured and Demolished since the 2013 election — to be retooled with candidates that do not reflect the views of the current Town Council. While not a ringing endorsement of his candidacy, Napolitano doesn’t suffer under the burden of a Democratic party association.
As a voting aid, you can download the sample ballot available in the link below. It will appear in a new tab/window where you can print your own.
More importantly, please vote on November 3rd. Don’t let any lines or wait drive you away this time. the future of Monroe is far too important for readers to sit home. With voters facing budget busters such as the Monroe Theater, the upcoming potential purchase of Temple Eitz Chaim by the town (meaning millions of tax dollars), and other questions that will have an impact to our taxes and community’s future, this election is too important to miss. Please vote on November 3rd.