Kent Supervisor, Town Board
Tulipane, Doherty, Qquaglietta
(Original publication: Oct. 26, 2001)
Perhaps no town in the region is crying out more for fresh leadership than Kent. We strongly recommend to voters a change in the supervisor and two Town Board slots that will be before them Nov. 6.
Ongoing clashes between board members, and between them and residents, long ago reached the point of absurdity so much so that it is almost impossible in this campaign to concentrate on the issues, let alone candidates' true records and contributions.
Last-minute election-time efforts by incumbents to bring civility to the board likely are only temporary. A house-sweeping is called for, and we encourage Kent voters to do just that.
We believe that, among three supervisor candidates, William Tulipane, a Democrat, would lead the town best.
To serve with him on the Town Board, we recommend Democrat Richard Quaglietta, who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 1997 and 1999, and Kathy Doherty, who will appear on the Republican, Democratic, Independence and Conservative lines.
Tulipane, Quaglietta and Doherty also are running on the independent Volunteer Party line.
Tulipane, a retired New York City firefighter, is facing Republican Supervisor Annmarie Baisley, a two-term incumbent, and Councilman Dennis Illuminate, a 16-year Town Board member whose current term expires in December. He will appear on the Conservative and Independence lines.
Quaglietta, who owns a commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning business, and Doherty, chairwoman of the Lake Carmel Park District, also face:
" Incumbent Pat Madigan, who will appear on the Conservative and Independence lines and is seeking a second four-year term. She is a program assistant at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County.
" Republican Louis Tartaro, a New York City teacher and former county legislator;
" Terence J. Keenan, a retired shop steward from AT&T who is running on the Right to Life line.
Baisely also will appear on the Right to Life line.
Madigan attributes strained relationships on the board to Baisely's withholding of information, which the supervisor denies.
At the least, Baisely, as supervisor, is ultimately responsible for the direction of the town and proper conduct of its meetings, both of which have been sorely lacking during her tenure.
In an interview with the Editorial Board, Doherty, said, "I don't think you can just blame one person for the Town Board being a mess."
All board members should be held accountable by the voters this election, and into the future, for their elected officials' characteristic shouting, fist-slamming, sniping and spreading of misinformation.
Tulipane said that, if elected, he would institute a system of goals and objectives to track Kent's progress.
The current board, he said, subscribes to "crisis management" often, we would observe, crises of its own making, exacerbated by pettiness and finger-pointing.
It's not as if there haven't been some gains in the town over the last two years. The planned Kent Town Center, widely supported by residents and spurred largely by state and county legislators, especially state Sen. Vincent Leibell, R-Patterson, is an example of what can be accomplished in Kent.
But there are far too many other issues lingering that require officials' serious attention: expanding the town's tax base to better control property tax rates; addressing water and sewer needs; implementing a sound ethics policy and board; addressing senior housing needs; and listening to all residents' concerns. Voters should pave the way for some progress on those fronts.
The full-time town supervisor is paid $44,468 annually for the two-year term.
Town Board members are paid $13,681 a year for four-year terms.