Several Republican officials are running unopposed in the Town of Newburgh this year. They include town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio, Councilwoman Betty Greene and Councilman Paul Ruggiero.
“I, with the help of my board, will continue to keep a balance between taxes and services,” Piaquadio said in an email to the Mid Hudson Times this week. “Public safety will always be a priority. My goal is to always improve the quality of life for the residents of the Town of Newburgh.”
The supervisor said he would resist any payments of lieu of taxes (PILOTS), which he considers to be “public assistance.” Piaquadio went on to say he would “not allow any project that will drain on the backs of our taxpayers.”
“I will continue my efforts to convince Albany and Governor Cuomo to partially fund education through a sales tax and greatly lower school property taxes for our property owners,” the supervisor said.
Piaquadio served as a part-time, deputy sheriff at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 32 years. He was a town council member for ten years before being elected town supervisor in 2014.
Councilwoman Greene served as town receiver of taxes for 28 years before joining the council in 2006. Ruggiero, owner of Eclipse Solar Control Products, has served one term on the board.
Also running unopposed this year are town Receiver of Taxes Deborah Smith and longtime town Clerk Andrew Zarutskie.
“There are a lot of challenges,” said Zarutskie, when asked about his priorities for the coming term. “I’ve got records going all the way back to the 1800s. They’ve got to be made electronic. As long as they stay on paper, we’re courting disaster.”
The town will seek state and federal grants to have the records converted electronically, said the clerk. The town clerk’s office strives to serve the needs of all town residents, said Zarutskie.
“We work for the public,” he said. “We’ve got people who are pressuring to do away with local governments and have everything centralized by the county. It would be absolutely ludicrous to have to go all the way out to Goshen to obtain a death certificate, marriage license or dog license.”
“I’m very proud of my efficient staff,” Zarutskie added. “We look forward to continuing to serve the people for the next two years.”
By SHANTAL RILEY