Cortlandt Forward – ‘We Will Protect and Preserve Cortlandt’s Unique Character’ 

All information on this page was written and submitted by Cortlandt Forward. All local campaigns, including candidates running for County Legislature, were invited to submit statements on “What to expect if we’re elected.” River Journal North, as a matter of policy, does not endorse candidates.  

Cortlandt Forward candidates and the offices they seek are (from left) Laroue Rose Shatzkin (Town Clerk), Jim Creighton (Town Board), Dr. Richard Becker (Town Supervisor), Cristin Jacoby (Town Board), Kimberly Ragazzo (Town Justice), Debbie Carter (Receiver of Taxes).

This year Cortlandt is facing the most significant and important town election in our recent history. For decades, our town has relied on Supervisor Linda Puglisi to provide steady, effective leadership, and we’ve relied on Indian Point to provide revenue and jobs. But Linda Puglisi is retiring and Indian Point is closing. We need a team in place that is ready to pick up the ball on Day One and effectively manage our town’s future.

The Cortlandt Forward slate, running on the Democratic and Working Families Party Lines and endorsed by Supervisor Linda Puglisi, is the right team to pick up that mantle and lead Cortlandt into the rest of the 21st Century. We need to build on success and ensure that the next version of Cortlandt leadership is just as effective and is up for the task of maintaining the high level of services and great quality of life that attracted us all to this wonderful community.  


Dr. Richard Becker, a longtime local Cardiologist and former Chief of Staff at Hudson Valley Hospital, has been serving as Linda’s Deputy Supervisor in recent years and is the right person for the job of succeeding her. He understands all the issues that our town is facing and will provide balanced, effective leadership. Working with his teammates – Jim Creighton and Cristin Jacoby for Town Board; Debbie Carter for Receiver of Taxes; and Laroue Rose Shatzkin for Town Clerk – they will protect open spaces and preserve Cortlandt’s unique character, while encouraging sensible development. Also running for re-election is Judge Kimberly Ragazzo.

Under Supervisor Puglisi, Cortlandt has a legacy of historically low tax rates and some of the best municipal finances in the entire state. We’ve received numerous awards for financial excellence and have a robust town balance sheet – all while making significant investments in our infrastructure. Building on that record is an absolute requirement for anyone who would seek to lead our town. Dr. Becker and his running mates are fully prepared to effectively manage town finances to ensure that continues. 


Our team will thoughtfully weigh the pros and cons of any development being proposed for the town, balancing the need to bring in revenue with the importance of keeping Cortlandt beautiful and making sure our residents can live and thrive here. There are things that attracted all of us to this town – great neighborhoods, a beautiful environment, high quality of life, and great schools – and we need to ensure that any changes don’t compromise those core values. We will seek and be informed by the perspective of residents as we embark on this journey: We work for you, and we will never forget that.

Climate Change and the environment are also crucial priorities for us. The whole slate is proud of Cortlandt’s track record of keeping a high level of green space – over 3,000 acres, or 34% of the town’s total land area – and will fight fervently to keep Cortlandt green. Our team has passed critical initiatives over the years – including the adoption of a Green Procurement Policy, the launch of two Solarize campaigns, the addition of electric vehicles to the town fleet and the installation of electric charging stations for vehicles at Town Hall and the Cortlandt Train Station. That’s one reason why we’re designated by New York State as a “Climate Smart Community.” 

We will build upon the vast accomplishments of the Puglisi administration and use our unique and varied experience – as engaged community members, as business people, as elected leaders and as parents – to ensure Cortlandt remains a vibrant town that continues to offer opportunity, green space and low taxes. We’re asking for your votes to continue that legacy of service and create an even brighter future for our town. 

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