Linda’s Legacy – ‘What this Town Needs Is a Town Hall’

A Monthly Retrospective of Linda Puglisi’s 30 Years as Town of Cortlandt Supervisor

Cortlandt has joined Sustainable Westchester’s residential one-stop recycling app, Recycle Right Westchester. For info > townofcortlandt. com/SanitationSchedule.

When Linda Puglisi was elected to her first term as Cortlandt Supervisor in 1992, she had just finished a four-year stint as a first-term Town Councilwoman, her first public office after a teaching career.

“Since it’s only a two-year term as Supervisor,” she reflects, “I wanted to get started on important issues and projects immediately.”

Topping her urgent agenda was remodeling the former Lakeland School District/Van Cortlandtville Elementary School into what would become Cortlandt’s first stand-alone Town Hall.

“As a Councilwoman,” she says, “I was charged with negotiating with Lakeland, which had put the school building and its six acres up for sale. I knew it would make a great Town Hall.”

The structure dates to the 1930s, when its original wing was built as a project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of his New Deal. Two more wings were added in 1957 and 1974.

After a referendum to buy the property and real estate was approved overwhelmingly by voters, Linda set about merging several outlying offices and departments into the single building,

Major renovations were completed during her first year as Supervisor, and she moved in to the new Cortlandt Town Hall on Dec. 5, 1992.

“We are very proud of this Town Hall,” she says, “which brings identity to Cortlandt and is a warm, friendly, welcoming place for our town government.”

Another milestone of her inaugural year as Supervisor was the New York State mandate that all towns must start to recycle.

“It was a very important step for the protection of the environment,” she says. “I went into schools with staff to educate our students about recycling, we passed a local law to make it mandatory to recycle in Cort-andt. And we made sure we met those requirements!”

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