CARMEL, N.Y. - Two Carmel Town Board members who are up for re-election in November announced last week they would not seek another term.
Councilmen John Lupinacci and Jonathan Schneider, both Republicans, have served two four-year terms, but will not seek a third.
The Putnam County Republican Committee was expected to meet Monday night (Jan. 28) and nominate former councilman Frank Lombardi of Mahopac, and Carmel hamlet resident Robert Schanil to run for the two seats in the general election this fall.
All political parties across the state have to make their nominations earlier this year than in the past, since a recently passed state law moves the party primaries up from September to June.
“We have had to scramble like crazy,” said Anthony Scannapieco Jr., chairman of the Republican Committee.
Lupinacci said that while he was proud of his time served on the Town Board he was ready to step aside. “Eight years is enough; I had my run, if you will,” he told Mahopac News. “I am losing a little energy and the time is right. I am moving on to the next chapter of my life. I have two kids in college, and it will be nice to go visit them when I choose.”
Serving on the board is a demanding job, Lupinacci said, adding it was time to bring in someone with fresh ideas and a new perspective.
“It takes a toll,” he said of the job. “You have to work and put in the time. When I get involved in something, I really get involved. I don’t just participate.”
Asked what he was most proud of from his tenure as councilman, Lupinacci cited several things.
“I am very proud that we brought in townwide garbage pickup and we have improved the infrastructure of the town,” he said. “We broke ground at Airport Park, and I can’t wait to see what happens at Swan Cove. I’m proud of the townwide reval and that we have a record of balanced budgets and staying below the tax cap. We completed contracts with the various unions and in my eight years we have grown the general fund and are at a safe level and are keeping our Moody’s bond rating high.
“We have an aging, failing infrastructure and have made some improvements and there is a lot more to come,” he added. “But now it’s time to let someone else have a run at it. Change is good; it’s not the enemy. I know I upset people sometimes, but I also made some people happy. I gave my best effort and that is all I can do.”
Lupinacci doubted he would seek public office again but said he will always seek to engage in volunteerism.
“I served my town as best as I could and it’s just time for something fresh to do,” he said. “Part of me will always be interested in public service. I will always volunteer wherever I go. I just joined the Barrett Ballard Cemetery board.”
Like Lupinacci, Schneider said he felt eight years was enough and he was ready for something new.
“I had a fun time for the past eight years and I am ready to move on,” he said.
He said he was excited to get involved in the community in other capacities.
“I can’t image I won’t be involved in some way,” he said, noting he will continue his work with the Toys for Tots program. “I would like to get involved with more children’s charities and get more involved with the NYU Children’s Hospital where my son gets treated for epilepsy.”
Schneider said he looks back with pride at his time as a councilman.
“I’m very proud of a lot of things,” he said. “Changing town codes, the reassessment project, improving the town parks. It will be interesting to see how it all comes out. There are so many good things coming in the future.”
Lombardi, who lost his seat on the board in the 2017 general election, said he hopes to be re-elected and pick up where he left off.
“I’ve been friends with [Lupinacci and Schneider] for a long time and we are losing two great elected officials,” he said. “But with them leaving, I hope to get back on the board and fill the void.”
Lombardi spent eight years on the board, six as deputy supervisor.
“I am well-positioned to pick up the ball and work on the pressing issues and provide my perspective,” he said. “I have been keeping one eye on what’s going on since I left.”
Scannapieco also had praise for both departing councilmen.
“They are great guys and they worked hard, but they have different commitments now,” he said. “I am grateful for the service they did. It is sad to see them go but time marches on.”
Jennifer Colamonico, chair of the Democratic Committee, said her party has two possible Town Board candidates and will make an announcement in the next several weeks.