Elections '17: Race for Supervisor and Two Board Seats in North Salem (Uncontested)


NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--Voters have little choice in the races for three seats on the Town Board on Nov. 7, as the contenders are all unchallenged incumbents. 

Republican Supervisor Warren Lucas is seeking re-election to another two-year term,  while Republican Peter Kamenstein, the current deputy supervisor, and Democrat Martin Aronchick are asking voters to return them to four-year board terms. Council members earn $15,561 a year; the deputy supervisor, $16,061 a year, and in 2017, the supervisor earned $83,019, according to the budget. The position of deputy supervisor is appointed by the supervisor during the Town Board’s organizational meeting in the beginning of January. 

Currently the board consists of three Republicans, a Democrat and a Republican supervisor.

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In addition, Highway Superintendent Ward Hanaburgh faces no contest in his bid for the $91,903-a-year position and Karen Roach is seeking re-election to the $66,679-a-year post of tax receiver. Hanaburgh is seeking his third four-year term; Roach, her eighth four-year term. Their profiles appeared in last week’s edition; interviews can be found at www.tapintonorthsalem.net.

Below are profiles of the board candidates (responses have been edited for space).

Warren Lucas
Lucas is life-long resident of North Salem, where he has been actively involved in the community. 

He has served on the Town Board for 28 years. In 2009, he was appointed to the position of supervisor following the arrest and resignation of Paul Greewood, who eventually pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud and related charges. Lucas was subsequently elected to the position, which he has held since.  

A John F. Kennedy Catholic High School graduate, Lucas attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1972 to 1977 and earned a bachelor’s degree in science. 

Working at IBM for 32 years, he ran information management software sales in New York and New Jersey, managing a 55-person sales team with 35 technical specialists. 

In addition to serving as town supervisor, he is president of the Westchester-Putnam Association of Town Supervisors and sits on the executive board of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association (WMOA). He is also chair of the legislative committee of the WMOA.

Lucas serves on the executive board of the East of Hudson Watershed Corp., which he also serves as treasurer, and the New York Energy Improvement Corp. He is on the John F. Kennedy Catholic High School board of trustees and its treasurer.

Q. Why are you seeking re-election?
I have been blessed to be able to grow up and live in the same town all my life…Surrounded by a great staff and good elected officials, we have gotten a number of things completed in my tenure. Coming together [to continue] to solve problems is important to me and how I run town government.  

Q. What are your goals? Moving forward, what are biggest challenges facing the town? Do you have solutions or ideas to remedy them?
There are innumerable things to still work on; the list seems to get longer, not shorter. Let me just mention three things that we are working on.   
1. We negotiated natural gas pipelines into town to the high school, town highway garage as well as Bridleside Apartments on June Road.  We are working with the Public Service Commission and NYSE&G to get it further [extended] into our municipality. 
2. Over time we need to address the septic issues in the Croton Falls hamlet. The septic systems used by our businesses are grandfathered and working, but over time they will need a better communal system or small sewer plant. This is a long-term goal.
3. We have been working with the county about the need for the summer camp. While we have been using a section of Mountain Lakes for the last 30 years, it’s not ours. The Westchester County Astorino administration has agreed to turn 22 acres of Mountain Lakes over to us and also give us $750,000 to do some needed work. The only thing that has held us up is waiting for the county’s affordable housing case to be completely over, which until that happens, legally impacts the county agreement with us. Over time I see this site not only being used for our award-winning summer camp, but also for our seniors, educational seminars and cultural events for the town.

Q. Is there anything you’d like to add?
I very much deal with things based on our needs, wants and “nice to haves.” We have climbed back out of an abyss of 2009, where we had almost no money left in the bank. Since then we have funded road re-pavements, rebuilt our truck inventory (with all of the salt, they last only 12 years before rusting out).  We have put in the Peach Lake sewers, covering 19 percent of the homes in our town, obtained grants for the Purdys station sidewalks, which will be worked on in 2018, and recent grants to rebuild one of our community water systems. We have also rebuilt all of our town office buildings.  All of these were done with support of contractors with minimal costs to the town.   

North Salem also has gone green with the Community Choice Aggregation program selecting wind power as our default energy source for all residences in the program.  In 201,7 North Salem was awarded the municipality with the highest recycling percentage in Westchester County by County Executive Rob Astorino. For these reasons and others, I was approved by the New York League of Conservation Voters this year, which reflects on the entire Town Board who worked on these items.   

Peter Kamenstein
Kamenstein is  serving his second term on the board. He has served as deputy supervisor for both terms.

Kamenstein holds a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford University, where he graduated in 1966. He went to graduate school at the School of International Service at American University and graduated in 1968. For 45 years, he was chairman and CEO of Lifetime Brands, a manufacturer and distributor of household goods. He still works as a consultant for the housewares industry.

He has lived in town for 32 years with his wife, Jackie, and their two sons. During that time, he has served on several municipal boards and committees. In addition to chairing the Board of Ethics and the Zoning Board of Appeals, he was president of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library and the North Salem Bridle Trails Association, of which he is still a board member. He also serves on the board of the North Salem Open Land Foundation.

Additionally, he is a Westchester County Police Board commissioner and a member of the Westchester County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board.

Q. Why are you seeking re-election?
To continue to serve the residents of the town of North Salem.

Q, What are your goals?
To help retain the town’s rural character, to run an efficient town government, and to encourage appropriate development in appropriate areas such as the Croton Falls hamlet and Fields Lane.

Q. Moving forward, what are biggest challenges facing the town? Do you have solutions or ideas to remedy them?
1. Traffic. Nearly 10,000-plus cars pass through our town daily. Solution: [working] with the New York State Department of Transportation on issues such as improving the I684/I84 interchange.
2. Unfunded mandates imposed on us by Albany. Solution: working with our elected representatives to curtail these.
3. Encouraging Millennials to live in town. Solution: create a welcoming atmosphere.

Martin Aronchick
After serving the remainder of the one-year, unexpired term of former Councilman Stephen Bobolia upon his election as town justice, Aronchick is seeking election to a full four-year term. Aronchick had served on the board in 2014 after winning a special election in which he unseated Republican Bill Monti. However, he lost that seat in 2015 to Conservative Lisa Douglas, who has two years of her term remaining.

As an attorney, Aronchick has spent most of his career in public service. He was a member of the executive staff of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF). Prior to that, Aronchick was an assistant division chief in the New York City Law Department and subsequent to his OCTF service, he was a member of the executive staff of the inspector general for the New York City School Construction Authority. 

Aronchick has lived in North Salem for 15 years with his wife, Nancy; son, Russel, and daughter, Jackie. He is a member of the town’s Comprehensive Plan and Open Space committees; a firefighter and an EMT; a trustee and former president of the North Salem Historical Society; and an active volunteer with the North Salem Lions Club and the North Salem Open Land Foundation. Aronchick is also an assistant Scoutmaster with North Salem Troop 1. As a jazz guitarist, he also performs as part of a trio at local fundraisers and events. 

Aronchick received his bachelor’s degree in political science and went on to graduate from Rutgers Law School in 1977. He is currently the managing director with K2 Intelligence LLC, where his duties include advising clients in government on integrity and compliance issues.

Q. Why are you seeking re-election?
I believe in public service and my family and I love North Salem.

Q. What are your goals?
My main goal is to keep the town affordable for our current residents. I closely review all town contracts to develop more favorable terms and eliminate potential liabilities. My special projects include: updating our Ethics Code so that we meet current state standards; developing a vision plan for Camp Hemlock at Mountain Lakes Park; and developing policies and approaches for social media (like Facebook) to keep residents informed on town affairs.

Q. Moving forward, what are biggest challenges facing the town? Do you have solutions or ideas to remedy them?
The biggest challenges facing the town are protecting the town’s rural character and open spaces; keeping our taxes down and our property values up; battling the opioid epidemic. There are no easy answers that fit within the word limit. All these challenges can be met through collaborative effort.

Q. Is here anything else you’d like to add?
It is an honor to serve as councilman. This is a pivotal time for North Salem, and I look forward to continuing my work with the Town Board team.

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