Orangetown Councilman Denis Troy nominated Walter Wettje of Pearl River as a candidate for Supervisor at the Orangetown Republican Committee meeting Thursday in the Nauraushank Lodge in Pearl River.
"He graduated from the finest institution in the land, Manhattan College," said Troy, himself a Manhattan graduate, drawing laughs from the assembled crowd. "He was a teacher. He had a long, distinguished career at Verizon. We have economic challenges. We need somebody capable of dealing with those challenges."
Andrew Wiley of Pearl River also put his name in to run for Supervisor, but Wettje was voted in, 57-8, and will run against incumbent Democrat Andy Stewart for the office of Orangetown Supervisor Nov. 5.
"One of the budgets I managed was the operation and capitalization of all the projects in the footprint of the United States for the data centers at Verizon was $1.2 billion, so I do know how to manage the budget," Wettje said. "I do know how to consolidate contracts. I do know how to work with people, compromise and negotiate. And I know how to lead people. This is what I believe is important for this town right now. Right now the leadership is lacking. That’s where it needs to go."
Incumbents Troy and Tom Diviny will run as the Republican candidates to keep their seats on the town council. Both won votes against Shelly Morgan Thursday night. Troy is the longest-serving member of the town board, having been a councilman since 2000. Diviny is running for his second four-year term. Both spoke about the importance of Republican control of the town board. Four of the five members of the current council are Republicans.
"We’ve done a lot of good work with the last three and a half years," Diviny said. "The board we have right now is great. Paul, Dennis, Tom and I work very well together. We don’t always see eye to eye and I don’t always see eye to eye with members of the committee. I listen to everyone who wants to talk. I’ll tell you why I stand for something. At end of day, I make decision in the best interests of Orangetown.
"I think we do need to maintain the Republican majority there. If Dennis and I do get reelected, we’re going to be in good shape. If Walter comes on with us, we’ll be in even better shape."
"We have the 4-1 with Republicans, but the guy at the top has to change," Troy said. "I'm here for the duration. I'm not leaving. I'm not going to Florida. I'm not going to North Carolina. I'm staying right here in Orangetown. I want to make sure it's a great town for my kids and my grandkids and hopefully for their kids. That's not going to happen here in this town unless you have Republican leadership."
The other candidates chosen Thursday night are all incumbents and each was the only Republican nominee. They include:
- Receiver of Taxes: Robert Simon
- Highway Superintendent: James Dean
- Town Clerk: Charlotte Madigan
- Town Justice: Richard Finning
The Orangetown Democratic Committee has only endorsed a candidate for one of those offices so far, Chris Smith for Receiver of Taxes. Dan Salmon and Annmarie Uhl will run against Troy and Diviny for town council. Salmon also ran against them in 2009.
The Orangetown Republican Committee also passed a motion recommending Republican Ed Day for County Executive. Day, who currently serves on the Rockland County Legislature, is the only Republican among the five current candidates for the office.
"This is going to be a crossroads election for this county," Day said. "Every one of you, each and every one of you, has to be engaged going forward. That’s the only way we’re going to win."
Editor's note: For parts of the remarks by Wettje, Troy and Diviny, see the video clips attached to this report.