'Be impactful'

| 04 Jan 2018 | 03:25

By Bob Quinn
— There was a different vibe in the house Wednesday evening at the Monroe Town Board’s annual reorganization meeting.
There was a who’s who of Monroe politics, including the mayors of Monroe and Harriman as well as members of those villages’ boards of trustees. There were men and women of Monroe commerce and community.
It seemed as if there wasn’t a hand that did not go shaken, or a shoulder grasped or even an old friend embraced.
About 100 people attended swearing in ceremonies for Mary Bingham and Rick Colon to the Town Board, Anthony P. Cardone III as town supervisor and Audra Schwartz as Monroe’s second town justice.
One by one, Monroe Town Justice Steven Milligram called each to the center of the Monroe Senior Center to administer their oaths of office.
Each in turn agreed to uphold the constitutions of the United States and New York State and the Charter of the Town of Monroe.
“So help me, God,” each promised.
The crowd responded with applause and great cheer.
A few words“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Bingham, the former town planning board chair, said in her brief remarks. “It is only until you are sworn in do you understand the obligation of your office.”
Colon, too, thanked the crowd.
“So many people here,” Colon said, “and no one is angry.”
“This night is a very big night for the Town of Monroe,” he continued.
Colon, a Democrat elected with Harley Doles four years ago, ran this November as a Democrat with the tacit support of United Monroe. Colon aligned himself with the Cardone and Mike McGinn following their election to the town board two years to create a new majority.
Colon did not mentioned Doles’ name in his remarks, but he said it had been “disheartening these last eight years. But it means a lot that you understood that while we may not have always agreed, you understood I was trying.
“But this is not our night,” he added. “This is your night. Thank you, Monroe.”
‘Be impactful’Cardone, too, acknowledged that the moment was greater than anyone official.
“What you say is important,” he said. “But what you do is impactful.”
He urged town residents to make whatever donation of time or money or service to organizations within Monroe. “It’s important that we show that positivity grows from here. Make an impact in a small way and we will all benefit in a great way.”
Cardone then invited Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus to say a few words.
Neuhaus began by recounting how a woman earlier that evening noted to him that “the previous supervisor had asked me to come to Monroe several times” and he never did.
“I grew up in Monroe,” he said. And then, without mentioning Doles’ name, the county executive called his tenure “a nightmare ... an embarrassment ... seeing the chaos was soul-crushing.
“The entire county was looking at Monroe and asking, ‘What’s going on?’” Neuhaus added.
Then speaking to the crowd, he said: “Thank you for stepping up and fighting this.”
With that he reminded Cardone he’d probably be at work at 6 a.m., considering a snow storm was on the way.