By Nancy Kriz MONROE — The Monroe Town Board’s unanimous selection of Tony Cardone as the town acting supervisor during Harley Doles’ medical leave of absence was met with loud cheers and applause at Monday’s town board meeting.
While it’s not clear how long Doles will be officially away from his position, one thing is clear: Area elected officials, school and community leaders agree with the decision.
The Photo News reached out to leaders in the Monroe, Woodbury, Chester, Blooming Grove and Tuxedo communities in addition to county and state officials and asked them to respond to this question:
“How do you see Tony Cardone’s appointment as acting Town of Monroe supervisor impacting inter-municipal and community relations?”
Their answers follow: • Karl A. Brabenec, New York State Assemblyman, 98th District
“Tony is a new fresh face with great ideas on moving the town in a positive direction. As a local small business owner, Tony will bring his common sense experience and outlook to town government which will greatly benefit all the residents. I look forward to working with him.”
• Emily Convers, the community activist who is chairwoman of United Monroe and director of Preserve Hudson Valley
“The Monroe Town Board, in its previous incarnation, had virtually no relationship whatsoever with other municipalities, including the Village of Harriman and the Village of Monroe, both of which sit inside the Town of Monroe. For example, Mayor Welle of Harriman stated during Monday night’s Town Board meeting that he has never been allowed to have a seat at the table during Town garbage contract negotiations and looks forward to being involved in that conversation going forward now that Councilmen Cardone and McGinn have taken their seats.
“The Village of KJ is suing Monroe for their ‘no’ vote on the 507 acre annexation, while Preserve Hudson Valley and nine municipalities are suing KJ and Monroe for their ‘yes’ vote on the 164 acre annexation.
“We can be sure that the litigation launched by the Village of Kiryas Joel to overturn the 507 acre annexation decision will now be properly litigated by the Town of Monroe with Cardone and McGinn as Councilmen.
“The professionalism, transparency, competence, and efficiency shown by the new board members at Monday’s Town Board meeting was a stark contrast to the manipulations and deviousness exhibited by Doles and his cronies on the Board.
“The balance of power has shifted on our Town Board with the addition of Councilmen Cardone and McGinn, and the surrounding municipalities can expect good governance, cooperation, and stability going forward. “
• Brendan Coyne, Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson mayor and spokesperson for the municipal consortium suing the Town of Monroe over its KJ annexation decision
“I see the appointment of new councilman Tony Cardone as acting Monroe Town Supervisor, by a 4-0 vote at the Jan. 4 re-organization meeting, as sending a powerful message of a huge change in how the town will conduct business with other municipalities as well as within Monroe. And we witnessed that change immediately in the prepared and respectful fashion in which Tony went on to conduct that meeting.
“The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson can look forward to positive interaction with the Town of Monroe as we strive to protect and expand our water system. The coalition of towns, villages and the county challenging Kiryas Joel’s petition to annex land from Monroe can hope for more representative interaction with the town in that process. And I believe the Town of Monroe will participate more actively in the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities.”
• Robert Fromaget, Town of Blooming Grove supervisor
“I have met Tony on a couple occasions but don’t know him well. However, having researched his background, everything I have read and heard about his experience, character and personality makes him a strong candidate for that position. I wish him well and I look forward to working with him and the new board.”
• Jon Huberth, Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education president
“The school district and the communities it serves rely on each other to function well. Our local municipalities and Monroe-Woodbury are intertwined. A well-functioning school district can’t help but enhance the community just as a well-functioning municipal government enhances the school district. To that end, I wish Tony Cardone all the best in his new position.”
• Alex Jamieson, Town of Chester supervisor
“As supervisor of the neighboring town of Chester, I feel the addition of Mike and Tony will not only bring better communications to the residents of Monroe but also to the neighboring municipalities.
“What has taken place in Monroe is a true demonstration of what democracy is all about. The election of Mike and Tony will help solidify the town moving forward, where residents will have fair representation where it was lacking before. I look forward to working with them and assisting in any way.”
• Rob Jeroloman, Village of South Blooming Grove mayor
“I believe Tony Cardone’s appointment as acting Town of Monroe supervisor will improve and mend inter-municipal and community relations.”
• Steven M. Neuhaus, Orange County executive
“The appointment of Tony Cardone as acting Supervisor of the Town of Monroe is a positive step and will help build community relations. Having grown up in Monroe, I believe the town has long needed someone who can build relationships and be fair to all residents. I think Monroe is finally heading in the right direction. Tony is outgoing, respected and well-liked, and I look forward to working closely with him.”
• James Purcell, Village of Monroe mayor
“Acting Supervisor Tony Cardone has already impacted our relationship here in the Village of Monroe just by myself and him already speaking about working together for the future of our Monroe community. The Village of Monroe has had zero dialogue over the past four years with the Town of Monroe. Without communication you can’t be successful. Tony’s experience in business and as former chairman and board member for Smith Clove Park for the past 20 years gives us confidence for creating better government and working relationships. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with Tony Cardone and Mike McGinn, the two newly elected Town of Monroe officials . Many hands make light work!”
• Elsie Rodriguez, Monroe-Woodbury School District superintendent
“Our school district does not work alone in its mission to educate children. Collaboration with our surrounding communities is essential to our success. I look forward to working with Mr. Cardone in his new role as acting Town of Monroe supervisor in our shared mission of providing the very best education in a supportive learning environment to the students of Monroe-Woodbury. “
• James Skoufis, New York State Assemblyman, 99th District
“The people of Monroe voted overwhelmingly for change in last year’s elections. I am optimistic that the newly elected town board will take steps to make local government more accountable as well as improve relations with neighboring communities. I wish them well in the New Year and I look forward to working with them for the betterment of all.”
• Steve Welle, Village of Harriman mayor
“The attitude which has been displayed by the Town of Monroe Board and some of the employees toward the majority of the Town residents and neighboring communities for the past four years is deplorable.
“I believe the appointment of Tony Cardone to the position of Acting Town Supervisor is a very positive move which will foster great relations between the residents and surrounding municipalities. Tony has a long history of positive interaction with the community.
“Tony and Mike McGinn have already attended a Village of Harriman Board meeting and expressed their desire to work with the residents.
“Although it will take some time, Tony and Mike with the support of Rick Colon will be able to negate the effects the previous Board had on the community and prevent the continued destruction of the Town of Monroe.”
Editor’s note: Village of Kiryas Joel officials, the public relations firm representing Kiryas Joel, Kiryas Joel School District officials, State Sen. Bill Larkin, Town and Village of Woodbury and Town of Tuxedo officials did not respond to our request for comment by our deadline.