North Salem residents heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8, will have a variety of local elections to decide in addition to the presidential race, which pits Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
One race is to fill a vacant seat on the North Salem Town Board after former councilman Stephen Bobolia was elected as Town Justice. The election will be for the remaining one-year unexpired term on the board.
Former North Salem Councilman Martin Aronchick, who lost his town board seat a year ago is attempting a comeback. Aronchick, a Democrat, was unseated by Lisa Douglas by just three votes.
Aronchick said he’s concerned that at present the Town Board is represented by only one political party-the Republican Party. The three existing council members and supervisor are all Republican.
“I think that everyone can agree that it is better if all voices are heard,” he said.
Aronchick said his experience and vision make him a unique candidate for the position.
“As a councilman in 2015, I took on significant responsibilities, including spearheading the development of a vision for Camp Hemlock at Mountain Lakes Park, creating the vision for the town’s use of social media by drafting social media policy and procedures, and bringing the town into compliance with the filing of conflict of interest disclosure statements,” Aronchick said.
He also said he was instrumental in updating the town’s ethics code and reviewing town contracts to “identify and eliminate potentially onerous terms.”
Aronchick said that keeping residents informed about town government’s work is of great importance to him, adding that “transparency is key in our system of government.”
Also running for the vacant seat is Republican Frank Caputo. Caputo is a newcomer to politics and a lifelong resident of North Salem.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pace University and currently works at Morgan Stanley in Purchase doing retirement planning.
While he has not served in elected office, he and his family have been active and have deep roots in the community. Caputo served as a volunteer firefighter in the Croton Falls Fire Department, which he joined at age 16 and volunteered through college.
Caputo said his mission is to look out for the middle-income families that live in the town, and said his goal is to keep taxes down and spending under control.
“Coming out of 2008, unemployment is still high. Wages are stagnant. We have to be careful. We need to tax wisely and spend wisely so these families can stay in town. These are families volunteering for the emergency services so we don’t need a paid (fire) department. We need to keep it affordable in North Salem,” noted Caputo.
Also on the ballot on Nov. 8 is the hotly contested race for the 40th Senate District seat currently held by Terrence Murphy of Yorktown. He is a facing a challenge from former Pound Ridge Councilwoman Ali Boak.
North Salem residents will also be selecting a congressman in the 18th Congressional District race. Two-term incumbent Sean Patrick Maloney of Cold Spring is running against Republican Phil Oliva of Somers. Oliva is a political newcomer and works as an advisor for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.