Cortlandt United – ‘A New Team with a New Vision for a Better Cortlandt’ 

All information on this page was written and submitted by Cortlandt United. All local campaigns 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 United candidates and the offices they seek are (from left) Robert Chapnick (Town Justice), Tom Walsh (Town Councilman), Laurie Abbate-Ryan (Supervisor), Kylie Fitzgerald-Bernard (Town Clerk), Peter Marengo (Receiver of Taxes), Warren Smith (Town Councilman).

As a group of new and exciting candidates, we bring real-world experience in leadership, management, finance, creativity, community service and the law.  

Our main goal is to Keep Cortlandt Safe – physically, fiscally and environmentally.  

Physical safety is top on our list. Crime is unfortunately on the rise. We are witnessing an increase in reckless driving, theft and vandalism in our Town. This concern has been echoed by residents. We deeply appreciate and support the dedication and hard work of the New York State Troopers and Westchester County Police, however; we have too few and the coverage area is too large. Currently there is not an appropriate balance between budget and public safety which leaves law enforcement no choice but to be reactive. We will take a good hard look at the budget and make proactive policing our top priority.  


Other plans for physical safety include the creation of safe houses for immediate occupation for domestic abuse victims and addressing the substance addiction among our youth. We will develop transparent road maintenance and tree trimming plans as well as plans for sidewalks, street lights and stop signs where appropriate. We will inspect our Town equipment and plan for what is needed to keep our Town employees safe and our community clean, trimmed and plowed.  

Cortlandt United will keep Cortlandt fiscally safe which means protecting the taxpayer and making our Town prosperous. This begins with transparency. The Town website must be made easier to navigate so residents can press a button to easily find information. For example: view their taxes with multi-year forecasts, ask questions with “Just Ask”, review public salaries or see when any town work will take place in their area. We plan to hold public budget work sessions; maintain a 2% budget and salary cap; strategize for the property at Indian Point even though it is years down the road; implement policies and enforce the Code to create revenue; seek out developers with innovative ideas for business without overwhelming communities; review zoning and planning regulations, clear In Rem properties and return property to the tax roll.  


Cortlandt United will protect our environment. This will include maintaining proper air/soil/water testing; remediating Town-owned properties regarding condition, toxicity, safety and use; water clean-up; and addressing our recycling program. We will research appropriate alternative energy sources, however we promise to never destroy forests and wildlife to install solar farms or spend money to simply earn Town awards.  

Our other goals include making Cortlandt beautiful, happy and healthy, proud and vibrant. Our plans include programs and facilities for our residents suffering from addiction and abuse; cleaning up and removing junk; creating community gardens; incorporating neighborhood playgrounds; celebrating successes; addressing specific community needs: utilizing Channel 78 more to our advantage including teen interns and programming; building Town sports fields through the many grants available; and having more fun with joint community events including those with seniors, veterans, law enforcement, and first responders.  


Finally, we will be a resident-friendly, customer-oriented Town Hall. As we walk around meeting so many residents, a consistent complaint has been that interactions with the Town, whether waiting for promised documents, or wasting excessive time and money while waiting for approvals, or simply asking a question, are unfortunately being met with unfriendly and uncooperative people too often. Our current Board with 3 trustees running for Supervisor, Councilman and Receiver of Taxes, has allowed this to go on for years. It is time for a change.  

We love Cortlandt and want the best for our families and for yours. We ask you to make this change by voting:  

Laurie Abbate-Ryan for Supervisor 
Warren Smith for Town Councilman 
Tom Walsh for Town Councilman
Peter Marengo for Receiver of Taxes 
Kylie Fitzgerald-Bernard for Town Clerk 
Robert Chapnick for Town Justice  

Thank you.  


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