On Saturday, the citizens group Residents Protecting Montgomery (RPM) held a meet the candidates event at Veterans Memorial Park in the Village of Montgomery.
Montgomery Town Board candidates Karina Tipton and Sylvie Rainaldi as well as Orange County Legislator, District 9 candidate Frances Fox-Pizzonia presented their platforms in front of a packed audience.
Tipton, a member of RPM, is running for a seat on the town board, so she can help address issues in the Town of Montgomery head on.
“We’ve pursued the public comment process, we’ve pursued the legal process,” she said regarding the group’s work to initiate change in the town. “The next thing to do to keep our town on track to get it back on its feet is the political process and that’s why I’m running.”
If elected, Tipton will do her due diligence by reviewing materials before each meeting and asking the tough questions.
“We should be able to trust our elected representatives,” she said. “We should be able to trust the people that they appoint to the boards to be doing that due diligence, to be taking that care with our community.”
Tipton wants residents to show up to board meetings for positive reasons and not because they are afraid a disaster will derail their home or business. She loves the Town of Montgomery and wants people to stay, so they can enjoy all that it has to offer.
“I don’t want my friends to move away anymore,” Tipton said.
Like Tipton, Rainaldi wants to run for town board, as she wants to provide the town with an official that comes prepared for meetings.
“We need people who are sitting up there who do the work and have ideas and have creative independent thoughts about what can move our town forward,” she said.
If elected, Rainaldi will work to address the town’s pressing issues as well as the one’s in the future.
Rainaldi hopes that she is elected because she works well together with Tipton as well as Town of Montgomery Councilwoman Kristen Brown.
“The three of us, Kristen, Karina and I, we feed off of each other’s energy and thoughts and we brainstorm,” she said. “To have that kind of knowledge and interest and power and optimism and leadership on the town board I think would really change the dynamic of Montgomery, make it so much more professional and creative. I think that one of the things that I would look forward to if elected is working with this amazing group of women.”
Rainaldi closed her speech by saying that every decision that comes through one of the town boards causes her to think of her two children as well as her in-laws, who are all residents of the Town of Montgomery. If elected, she will work hard to make the town a better place for them and all residents of the town.
Fox-Pizzonia was inspired to run for county legislator after seeing how her opponent Steve Brescia treated his constituents at a public hearing regarding Medline at the Village of Montgomery Senior Center.
“When I saw the way that he communicated to his constituents, who by the way many of them were his Orange County Legislator constituents because he has two hats, the mayor and the county legislator, I just was appalled,” she said. “To this day, I regret not standing up and not saying something publicly about how he was and how unprofessional he had been and how disrespectful he was. That was probably where the seed got planted that I should run.”
Fox-Pizzonia added that many people along the way encouraged her to run for the position. If elected for the position she noted that she will build relationships with all of her constituents no matter where they reside.
If elected, Fox-Pizzonia will make sure that the county properly manages the funding that they get from the state. She noted that above all, a public servant works for the people and not the other way around.
“A public servant works for you [the public] and that’s the way it should be,” Fox-Pizzonia said.
In addition, at Saturday’s event, Margarita Negron and Saul Negron, co-task leaders of Hudson Valley Ride for Kids, raised awareness about the fundraiser. From May 6 to Sept. 12, riders all across the United States will ride a motorcycle in order to raise money to fight against pediatric brain tumors. Donors pledge a monetary donation per mile. On Sept. 12, they will hold a celebration beginning at Montgomery Town Hall at 10 a.m. That day, the motorcycle riders will ride a 50-mile route throughout Orange County. When the riders return, they will have lunch and listen to stories from pediatric cancer patients. More information on how to sign up on how to donate to the cause can be found on https://team.curethekids.org/event/2021-hudson-valley-ride-for-kids/e318165.
Don Berger, one of the founders of RPM, underscored the importance of voting for the candidates, as he believes they will advocate for the best interests of the town’s residents. Prior to the close of the event, RPM endorsed the three candidates.
“What is happening here in November, this is our Waterloo,” he said.