Democrat Photos | T Waddell | Democrat Photo | F Rizzo
THREE MEN, A Democrat, Robert Fiore, a Conservative, John Moriarty, and a Republican, Nick Salomone, are all vying for the Mamakating Supervisor seat, a position being vacated by Charles Penna, who is running for a Legislator seat.
They're Vying to Replace Penna in Mamakating
Fiore Wants to Retain Town's Rural Feel
By Ted Waddell
WURTSBORO October 30, 2007 Robert “Bob” Fiore is running on the Democratic ticket for the job of Supervisor in the Town of Mamakating.
“I have been a resident of the town for 31 years,” he said. “During this time, I have enjoyed its scenic beauty as well as the friendship of its citizens. I am dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life of my fellow citizens, and I will work full time towards the fulfillment of the dreams, hopes and aspirations of all who reside here.”
Fiore, who has been involved in local politics for several years as a member of the Democratic Committee, said that while living in neighboring Warwick, he began to experience urban sprawl first hand.
“It had become too urbanized, too much macadam, too much concrete, so I moved up here because of the scenic beauty of the Bashakill and the hiking, and have been here since 1965,” said Fiore. “It’s the type of area that every time you walk through it, it’s like the first time.”
“The people are friendly, and there are a lot of activities and celebrations going on. It’s a nice place to be.”
Fiore said he’s tossing his hat into the ring for Town of Mamakating Supervisor because things are changing in his town, citing an increase in taxes, a lack of well-paying jobs and large developers who have announced plans to possibly build up to 1,000 new houses in the area.
“Taxes take an inordinate amount of money from people who don’t have jobs that allow them to have a comfortable way of life,” he said. “I would like to see developed in Mamakating a diversified tax base, [and] the only way we’re going to do that is by bringing in businesses and industry into the area… there is a lot of growth going on in the town.”
Since January 2002, Fiore has sat on the town planning board.
His take on 1,000 residences in the town and its effect on local taxes?
“Bringing in an additional 1,000 houses into our area without a counterbalance of industry essentially places a great deal of stress on our infrastructure as well as causing our taxes to go up,” said Fiore.
“A residential home consumes more municipal money than it contributes, and the only way that negative equity can be made up is to raise taxes.”
Fiore said that in order to resolve that “Catch-22” dilemma, the town “needs to see smart development, planned development, and the introduction of smart businesses into our area.”
“As your supervisor, I pledge to aggressively seek out well-paying businesses and bring them to Mamakating,” he said. “I have a structured plan and an array of experts ready and waiting to do so.”
According to the candidate endorsed by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (22nd District), Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (98th Assembly District) and the Working Families Party, key issues facing the Town of Mamakating include: disaster preparedness/
intervention (natural and/or man-made), protection of natural surroundings, revenue generation, energy management, resource utilization (financial, natural and human), safety and security, and addressing the needs of seniors and children.
Fiore is married with three children.
He attended Orange County Community College and NYS College of Environmental Sciences at Syracuse University, earning a degree in biological sciences, and received academic excellence and campus life enhancement awards.
Fiore graduated valedictorian from Middletown Psychiatric School of Nursing, and was awarded a diploma as a registered nurse with honors for academic excellence.
In addition, he attended the New School of Social Research, picking up credits toward a masters degree in professional health administration.
He served for five years as nurse administrator, educator and manager at Community General Hospital of Sullivan County (now called Catskill Regional Medical Center), another 10 years as an emergency room nurse at CGH, 14 years as staff nurse/nurse administrator/assistant director of nursing at Middletown Psychiatric Center and for the past 13 years as a communicable and infectious disease specialist nurse for the New York State Department of Corrections Services.
Professional and organizational affiliations: Emergency Housing Group board of directors (former vice president), Neversink Valley Area Museum board of directors and vice president, member of the Mamakating Historical Society, member of St. Joseph’s Church Parish Council and chairman of the finance committee, member of the Sullivan and Ulster Counties Bioterrorism Task Force and Sons of the American Legion Squadron 1266, serving two years as adjunct.
Fiore is a volunteer instructor for Crisis Management and Infectious Disease Prevention for several emergency response agencies: Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Town of Fallsburg, Emergency Housing Group, New York State Police, the Town of Crawford Police Department as well as three local volunteer fire departments (Greenwood Lake, Livingston Manor, Hurleyville).
“Government is supposed to be ‘Of the people, by the people and for the people,’” said Fiore.
“As your supervisor, I will work for you…the word ‘can’t’ is unacceptable.”
Moriarty Focuses On Living Wages, Lowering Taxes
By Ted Waddell
BLOOMINGBURG John “Sean” Moriarty, 70, is a registered Democrat running on the Conservative ticket for the job of Supervisor of the Town of Mamakating.
Born in Tournafulla in the County of Limerick in Ireland, Moriarty came to the United States in the summer of 1960 with his wife Jane (Celia) and “two kids bouncing around to make a living.”
A few years later, they have six children (Jane Ann, Catherine, Michael, Celia, Sean and Brendan) and 14 grandkids.
For the first decade or so in America, Moriarty and two brothers drove big rigs for Cross Transportation, one of the largest owner/operator companies on the Eastern seaboard.
“I had ten years in and then they went out of business,” he recalled.
So Moriarty started checking out local papers and saw a for sale ad for a bar and grill in Bloomingburg.
Moriarty soon found himself the owner of Moriarty’s Cozy Corner, which he ran from 1972 until 1986, and then switched over to real estate full time, a career he had dabbled in since 1968 while living in New Jersey.
Asked why he wants to be supervisor of the Town of Mamakating, Moriarty replied, “I like politics and I think I have something to offer the community. I’ve made a decent living, and the town has been good to me… I want to give something back.”
“I came to business in Mamakating in 1972 and have been in business since I came,” he said in a campaign flyer.
Continuing, Moriarty promised to work hard to get some economic development together with the Sullivan County Partnership, the IDA, [and] the chamber of commerce to attract tourism and businesses and corporate parks (“No smokestacks”) to enhance the local tax base, and through thoughtful growth create jobs that pay a living wage.
“I will look to create new sources of revenue,” he said. “I will use my experience to stand up for the important issues to the middle class working families and work to put some of the tax-exempt properties back on the tax rolls.”
Moriarty was elected twice as a town councilman, and as such voted against the town purchasing the Wurtsboro Airport “I thought it was a luxury the town couldn’t afford.”
“School taxes are a killer,” he added. “They keep going up. We have to educate the kids, but it’s all on the backs of the poor property owners. The promised lottery money going to pay for education is a disgrace, we have to find another way of funding the schools.”
“There’s too much property off the tax rolls, state owned land and non-profit groups.”
According to Moriarty, the way the current tax structure is set up, for every dollar brought in by property taxes, it costs the local municipality $1.25 to provide services, while commercial properties cost about 45 cents and vacant land about 17 cents for services for each tax buck.
He wants to create enough local jobs that pay a living wage, so wage earners aren’t forced to commute to the city to make ends meet.
“That’s where the money is, but people can’t afford the time to belong to the fire company, or the cost of gasoline and wear and tear on the body,” said Moriarty. “We need jobs that pay a living wage, not flimsy jobs that pay $8-$10 an hour.”
He is a past member of the Bloomingburg Fire Department, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Sullivan County, a Boy Scout leader and a retired member of the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters.
At present, Moriarty is a member of several organizations: Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, Orange County Association of Realtors, Greater Hudson Valley Multiple Listing Service, NYS Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.
Appointed positions include sitting on the Mamakating planning board and town advisory board, and as a special liaison selected by the supervisor and council, working with the town’s building, highway and landfill departments, and planning and zoning boards.
“I’m still the same guy, whether a Republican, Democrat or Conservative,” said Moriarty.
“As an independent thinker and a team player, I will be available to serve the residents of Mamakating.”
Salomone Would Bring a Different Leadership Style
By Ted Waddell
BLOOMINGBURG Thanks to YouTube, some of the shenanigans on the Mamakating Town Board have achieved notoriety in the area.
Republican Nick Salomone, who seeks to succeed combative Supervisor Charles Penna, would bring a different temperament to his town’s top job.
“I enjoy people, I have a way of bringing people together,” said the NYNEX (now Verizon) retired staff manager, who has spent 18 years as Mamakating councilman (1980-91, 2002-present). “I look at the common denominator.”
One of the biggest impacts on the town during Salomone’s tenure was the building of the Kohl’s Distribution Center on Rte. 209 north of Wurtsboro.
Though he is pleased with the center (bringing employment without the feared presence of excessive heavy trucking), Salomone pointed out the board voted down a similar facility for Wal-Mart.
“It would have been too much of one type of business in one town,” he explained.
The next big potential project is the Yukiguni Maitake Mushroom Plant, currently held up in court. Since it is in litigation, Salomone declined to comment on it.
“Development should blend in with the township,” he said. “I think we have strong planning and zoning boards and a lot of safeguards in place.”
He added that he likes “the separation of powers” arising from the boards and would like to encourage people to join them.
Of the board’s collective achievements, Salomone points out that the town has no debt and has kept property taxes under the rate of inflation.
He touted his votes to “expand recreation at our Town Park with grants in place” and “voted for impact fees for parks and recreation.”
Further, during his tenure, “Town Hall was built without cost overruns and planned for future space in mind.”
Salomone takes credit for initiating “the first Youth Center and Summer Day Camp Program,” and is most proud of taking the lead in placing the state police barracks in his town, “saving our taxpayers 1.2 million dollars annually in lieu of a full-time police department.”
In this last he made use of his many contacts gained from 30 years in part-time law enforcement. Salomone spent most of his time in the Goshen PD, along the way holding posts from officer to Acting Sergeant and Police Administrator.
Salomone, whether he wins or not, would like to see a program wherein his township puts money into a fund to expand the Sheriff’s road patrol.
He also wants to get each township’s input into a county-produced brochure to sell the towns’ good points.
Salomone is a fan of the state-run Basha Kill Wildlife Area (“Many towns are spending money on creating ‘open spaces,’ and we have one already,” he pointed out)
“I would like to see more promotion of it, to make it a tourist attraction,” he said of the Basha Kill.
The distribution center and mushroom factory are all well and good, but Salomone hopes to see white collar firms such as insurance companies or even a “computer disaster recovery center for major corporations” move into his town.
As far drawing such businesses, Salomone is not a fan of “corporate welfare” but realistic about the need for such government actions.
“I can live with tax abatements, though I don’t really like them,” he said. “As long as [the firms] don’t put a draw on town services.”
One other area he would like to improve is in the town’s highway department.
“We have to upgrade the heavy equipment,” he said.
Salomone and his wife, Patricia, have been married for 33 years. They have two children, David, 28, and Lori, 25.
“I want to be responsive to the needs of the people,” he said.