Letter to Editor PCNR
September 19, 2023
To the Editor:
According to Putnam County’s health report, our county has more lakes contaminated with dangerous bacteria (HABS) than any other county in New York state.
State law says that a county’s health department is responsible for guaranteeing healthy water for our community. Sadly, our county has so far not lived up to its responsibility and left residents of each lake community to fend for themselves.
In Lake Peekskill, studies show that 55% of the pollutants in the lake come from septic tanks. If septics can pollute the lake, are they also polluting our wells? And what does that mean for our property values and the tax base of our town and county?
Putnam County has a legal, moral and financial responsibility to be fully involved in solving this problem. Unfortunately, it has not been. When the federal government gave Putnam County infrastructure funds, the Legislature voted to give $400,000 to a golf course, in spite of the serious needs of our county.
Recently, our Health Department issued its priorities for Putnam, and clean water was not on the list of their concerns. And, despite the fact that septic problems are a major factor in polluting our water, it has claimed that it has no responsibility for residents’ individual wells.
Given climate change and increasing development, predictions are that our water problems will increase.
THAT IS WHY I URGE THE COUNTY LEGISLATURE:
1. To hold an emergency meeting on the extent of our water problems in Putnam and especially in lake communities,
2. To hold public hearings on new technologies, costs and their potential usefulness,
3. To implement past proposals made by specialists, requiring the Legislature to increase monitoring of group and individual septic systems in lake communities,
4. To organize a clean water fund to help people pay for new technology at low interest rates, and reward homeowner action with new tax incentives that will pay for themselves.
While I am running for a seat on the Putnam County Legislature, I believe water is so crucial for all of us, it should unite us and not be a point of political division. That is why I urge my opponent and all members of the County Legislature to join together and get the County and its resources to solve this critical situation.
Water is life, and clean water in our lakes and wells is required for a healthy growing community. Communities cannot solve this on their own. We need all hands on deck.
Candidate for Putnam
County Legislature, Dist. #2
JULY 19, 2023
Maggie Ploener, a Democrat who is running for Putnam County Legislature District 2 in Putnam Valley against incumbent William Gouldman, a Republican, recently criticized the county government for passing legislation that would essentially ban motels and hotels in Putnam from housing asylum seekers being sent this way from New York City. Ploener said she stands for “liberty and justice for all.” “Kevin Byrne, our county executive, seems afraid of immigrants, portraying them as people who just want handouts, while sucking our funds,” states a press release from Ploener’s campaign manager. “When, in fact, all the documented immigrants want is a safe place for their families to thrive and work. Furthermore, how many hotels does Putnam have? Taken at face value, Kevin Byrne is exaggerating the threat, ‘Chicken Little, the sky is falling.’” Ploener noted that this nation has historically been a safe haven for immigrants for more than two centuries. However, in the past year, there has been an upsurge of legal immigrants sent to New ...
*Courtesy of The Putnam County Times
March 28, 2023
By Eric Gross
Maggie Ploener, who describes herself as a “socially conscious Democrat,” announced her candidacy last week to seek a seat on the Putnam Legislature.
Ploener will be challenging District No. 2 Legislator William Gouldman, one of eight Republicans on the nine-member governing body.
Ploener is a small business owner and when asked why she was running replied: “I am caring, creative and nature loving and know I can make a positive difference for my neighbors in Putnam Valley in addition to all residents of Putnam County.”
Ploener explained that she cares deeply about the environment: “I am quite concerned about the potability of drinking water and am aware that the health of the lakes in Putnam County is deplorable, with the worst algae bloom in New York State. Besides I realize how important our lakes and streams are. Their current dire condition can lower residents’ property values.”
Ploener has also promised to “seek more honesty and transparency in local government.”
Ploener is no stranger to the community, having been involved in a number of local issues. She has led food and coat drives while volunteering her time in governmental concerns on the county and town levels.
Taking a swipe at the incumbent, Ploener said she was “100 percent committed to be constantly in attendance as a driving force in our county legislature.”
Ploener has been endorsed by the Putnam County Democratic Committee and Putnam Valley Democratic Committee. She will also be running in November with the backing of the Working Families Party. *courtesy of putnam county news & recorder
Mar 19, 2023
By Sarah Bartlett
The race for Putnam Valley's primary representative on the Putnam County Legislature heated up last week with the announcement that Maggie Ploener, a town resident for more than ten years, is running against incumbent William Gouldman.
Gouldman, a Republican, announced in mid-February that he would be seeking a fourth and (due to term limits) final three-year term, stating that "there is still much more to be done." In 2020, he ran unopposed.
Ploener, a Democrat, is a small business owner with a massage therapy practice who lives in the Lake Oscawana district. She says she became interested in county politics after watching the legislature vote in favor of an anti-abortion resolution and against a proposed state law to increase environmental protection of local streams.
The county legislature currently consists of eight Republicans and one Democrat, Nancy Montgomery, whose district primarily encompasses Philipstown and a sliver of Putnam Valley.
Ploener credits her political activism to her mother, a long-time president of a League of Women Voters chapter who used to take her daughter on petition drives and marches. In announcing her candidacy for the county's District 2 position, Ploener says she wants to focus on cleaning up the town and county's lakes and drinking water, and providing more support for those in greatest need, particularly those facing food insecurity. She has been endorsed by the Putnam Valley Democratic Committee, the Putnam County Democratic Committee, the Working Families Party, and has the support of State Senator Pete Harckham.
For those interested in learning more about Ploener's views, she is holding a "meet and greet" session with pizza, refreshments and petition-signing in the community room at the Putnam Valley Library (30 Oscawana Lake Road), on Saturday, March 25th from 5pm to 8pm. She can be contacted at email@example.com or at (845) 907-5999.