By ERIC GROSS
For the first time in its history Putnam County will be represented in the New York State Senate by two lawmakers under a plan proposed by the state’s Task Force on Redistricting.
The process of drawing district lines every 10 years as required by law was finalized Thursday and made public.
Preliminary plans have three Putnam County towns—Carmel, Southeast and Patterson—represented in the 40th District now held by State Senator Greg Ball with the remaining towns of Kent, Putnam Valley and Philipstown being represented by Senator Steven Saland, whose district has always represented constituents in Dutchess County.
Ball also lost a large section of Dutchess County as a result of the redistricting—now representing constituents only in Pawling and Beekman; but he has gained a larger section of Westchester, including the towns of North Salem, Somers, Yorktown, Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Pound Ridge, New Castle, and Mt. Pleasant in addition to the City of Peekskill and Village of Mt. Kisco.
Ball was unfazed by his new district’s boundaries: “I am an independent voice and as an independent I criticize both parties. Greg Ball works hard every day representing his constituents whether they are residents of Carmel or Cortlandt or Patterson or Pound Ridge. With a Democratic governor working with a Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled Assembly, New York will continue to have its bipartisanship that many have called for.”
Putnam will continue to be represented by two members of the State Assembly although Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will lose Putnam Valley, which would be added to the district now represented by Steve Katz. Galef’s new district continues to represent constituents in Kent and Philipstown while Katz would be the assemblyman for Carmel, Southeast, Patterson and Putnam Valley. while losing Pawling and North Salem to redistricting.
Katz said he was “pleased to have more of Putnam. Putnam is close to my heart.”
On the day when the new district lines were released, Ball announced his re-election bid.
Ball said his Senate seat “literally decided the balance of power in the previous election. The seat will remain critical and I am focused on finishing the good things I have begun that will help our seniors, small business owners, and veterans. I will continue to fight for tax relief, a freeze of school taxes for senior citizens, a balanced budget that reduces government spending and roots out waste while expanding on my important work as chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee.” (ARTICLE)