Recently I came across a Facebook post by one of our county legislators, entitled “RTE. 6 – MAHOPAC SEWER PROJECT OVER BEFORE IT BEGINS”. The post was expressing delight over how a County-led attempt to build a sewer line which would run down Rte. 6 in Mahopac, through Union Valley Road, Lovell Street, and eventually the Heritage Hills Sewage Treatment Plant, utilizing over 3.2 million dollars of state grants, had been a failure.
The legislator’s allegations continued: “In a letter from the Town of Somers Supervisor, Rick Morrissey, to Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt, Morrissey stated the County never notified the Somers officials of this sewer project which runs through their town. Instead they had to read about in the paper and press releases.” The post also alleged that the County “did not do their due diligence” by verifying the capacity at the Somers plant nor gauging their interest. The legislator lamented that the County lacks a Commissioner of Planning which “had been the subject of many heated debates.” The legislator then boasted of being the only “NO” vote when the Putnam County Legislature approved a $160,000 feasibility study back in April, and how the sewer would have served the controversial Union Place and a possible hotel.
Several things strike me about this post. WHY would a member of any board be bragging about a failure of the board? Not only is this counterproductive, but is it not the job of the entire board to seek options for infrastructure improvement? Nowhere in this post does it speak about solutions, options nor praising the county for their efforts in this attempt to put a sewer down Route 6.
I participated in the meetings on this sewer extension. Due diligence was done on the capacity for Heritage Hills, however, because Heritage Hills is privately owned, conversations took place directly with Heritage Hills. The Town of Somers does have a district formed for Heritage Hills which was not obvious until a bit later on. The good news? Action was taken to improve the infrastructure in our county and money for studies have already been approved. Being controversial for the sake of being viewed a hero and for political gain as opposed to working as a team to improve the county is not what we elect our officials to do. More action and less negativity is what is in order.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”