2019 ELECTION PREVIEW - TOWN SUPERVISOR - James Schmitt - Town Supervisor
Why are you running for this office?
I’m running for this seat again to continue to improve our community and build off of the amazing results we have gotten so far. My hope is to make Pawling a place where people want raise their families and spend their time in our Village supporting our local businesses.
What are your qualifications for the position?
I’m just completing my first term in office and it has been a steep learning curve, but once we took it in stride we were able to do some great things. I am looking forward to using my experience and relationships within other communities and elected officials to continue to improve Pawling.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
I would like to recap on some of our accomplishments from my previous two years before I talk about what we hope to do moving forward. We have made substantial changes within Town Hall, starting with one of the topics that I am asked about on a daily basis, the health care plan. In my tenure so far, we have put a stop to the lifetime benefit from my first day in office and any other elected officials moving forward. This is accomplishment that I am very proud of. We have also increased the contribution for elected officials and the Town Board to 30% of their premium if they do take it while in office.
We have made great changes to many departments, such as hiring a new Recreation Director who is doing wonderful things for our children, seniors and bringing the community together. We have appointed a new assessor, we have brought in a new Building Inspector as well as new additions to our Planning Board and Zoning Board. All these changes are meant to keep us moving forward. I am very proud of the grants we have been able to get in my first two years.So far we have secured over $1.5 million in grant money that will go directly towards necessary projects like the Dewey Lane Bridge, West Main Street culvert repairs, Murrow Park roof repairs, and Hurds Corner Road drainage and pavement improvements. My hope moving forward is to continue doing what we’ve been doing and modernizing our departments, doing everything possible to obtain grant funding (we have also hired a firm to help us go after every possible opportunity!), and working hard to see our youth and senior programs flourish.
What is your educational background?
I am proud to have attended Pawling Schools, graduating in 1998 from PHS. After school, I worked full time for a large developer in lower Westchester County and Connecticut while attending Dutchess Community College in the evenings studying Construction Management. Since being elected I have attended additional trainings in Albany and NYC for elected officials that have been extremely valuable to me.
What else would you like voters to know about you?
I’m the middle child of 11, and 10 of us went through the Pawling School system. Several of us still call Pawling our home, which is something we are very proud of. My wife and I purchased our first home here in Pawling and my business is located here within our beautiful growing Village. Most of my time is spent here at local events or at my parent’s farm. When I do actually find time to relax, it’s usually on my patio smoking a cigar!