Although the vote is still five months away, the political landscape for the upcoming election in the Town of Pawling is beginning to take shape. At the forefront of this year’s election will be two seats on the Pawling Town Board. At the Republican Caucus on May 16, Pawling Republicans officially announced that current Town Board members Reid McGrath and Phil DeRosa will be seeking re-election. Opposing them will be Democratic candidate Coleen Snow, who lost last year’s bid for a seat by a slim margin. In addition, Town Supervisor James Schmitt was given the endorsement at the Republican Caucus, and will likely run unopposed as he seeks another two-year term in office.
Last year’s election saw a highly competitive race between Reid McGrath and Coleen Snow for the seat formally occupied by Councilman Dave Kelly. Ultimately, McGrath emerged victorious, earning a position on the Board for one year.
In November, two seats on the Board will be available, carrying the full four-year term. “As a twenty-year resident, I want to help the Pawling/Holmes community achieve great things,” says Coleen Snow. “I have developed excellent listening and collaboration skills through my career as a licensed social worker and extensive community involvement. As a five-year Pawling School Board President, I gained critical skills in managing budgets, grant writing, and complying with board rules. I instituted collaboration among the Town, Village, Chamber, and School Board. I will provide a fresh perspective on matters like my continuous advocacy for more recreational activities designed for Pawling youth and seniors. I relish the opportunity to bring my skills and positive attitude to the Town Board.”
“Over fifty-five years ago, my family moved to Pawling/Whaley Lake,” says Councilman Phil DeRosa. “Pawling embraced me and my family for over twenty-five years; it has been my goal to give back to Pawling. I served on the Planning Board for sixteen years before serving on the Town Board since 2011. I have contributed in all departments, including the Highway Department, Transfer Station, Buildings & Grounds, and at Town Hall. Just ask the town employees about me! My goals are to continue improvements on town buildings and parks, with the Lyons building being next. I want to expand opportunities in Holmes, move the sewer expansion on Route 22 south forward, and protect the Master Plan and the town’s zoning.”
As they start their bid for re-election, the incumbents remain focused on the progress that they have made recently. “We have some momentum right now in the town and have to maintain this positivity and production,” says Reid McGrath. “The camp at Lakeside Park is up 68 percent from last year and people are having parties and events there nearly every weekend. The Highway Department was in dire need of some new equipment and I am happy to say that I was a part of getting them some. We also approved a Map, Plan, and Report for the sewer line expansion down south 22 which is huge towards the economic development of our town and the environmental safety of the NYC Watershed.”
As James Schmitt prepares for a likely unopposed election, he looks to the future of what he hopes to accomplish with another term as Town Supervisor. “It takes time to get things done, and being your Town Supervisor for another two years would allow us to accomplish so much more,” says Schmitt. “We’ve already made so many positive changes within our Recreation Department, our parks and our overall communication with the community, and I am motivated to build on the successes we’ve had so far. There are so many projects and changes coming up that I’m excited about, and being Supervisor has been the most gratifying (and challenging!) experience of my life and I would love to continue doing it.”