Republican Nominee Looks to Unite Community

Photo by Jack O'Brien.

Nine days after New Paltz Democrats endorsed their slate of candidates for public office, it was the Republicans’ turn to vote.

The Republican caucus was held on Thursday, Sept. 17 in the New Paltz Community Center. Due to the absence of a town Republican chairman, Ulster County Republican Committee Chairman Roger Roscoe oversaw the event.

Former Deputy Inspector General for Frauds Robert Gabrielli won the nomination for the position of town supervisor of New Paltz.

“I thought the caucus went very well,” Gabrielli said. “There were plenty more than the 22 people who it was reported had attended. Some weren’t registered in the party, but there was a sizable turnout from people who have been voting in elections in this town for years.”

Gabrielli has made a proposed internship program for SUNY New Paltz students a cornerstone of his campaign, emphasizing the importance of bettering the relationship between the town and the college.

In a letter obtained by the Oracle addressed to SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian, Gabrielli said:

“I am very interested in developing and implementing a program of both internships and independent studies between SUNY New Paltz and the Town of New Paltz local government. I believe a valuable educational opportunity could be developed in which the township would realize the talented resources of students in legislative research. Students, in return, would obtain insights into the development and implementation of public policies and programs that would be of great use in their future endeavors.”

Gabrielli’s proposed campaign platform focuses on major issues concerning the town, including addressing the tax rate, going after unfunded mandates and protecting the environment.

“I’ve served 18 years in governmental service,” Gabrielli said. “I know the importance of negotiation and compromise. I also understand how being proactive to address the issues we face is important, too.”

Ray Lunati, a local contractor who had also sought the Democratic Party’s nomination, was endorsed for a position on the town board. Lunati has said that given his experience and involvement in the New Paltz community, he thinks he would be an ample candidate for a position on the town board.

“I’m interested in bringing back two things to the town board: integrity and respect,” Lunati said. “I have a good idea of the town operations and believe there are some changes, like the new municipal center, that we could implement to make the town better.”

Lunati said candidates for town positions should be ready to examine solutions for any problems that could arise, and shouldn’t solely run for one cause in particular. Lunati also spoke very highly of the candidates he was endorsed with.

“Bob [Gabrielli] is a stand up guy, what you see is what you get,” Lunati said. “He has always acted with the best interests of the community in mind. Chris [Marx], is as honest and trustworthy as they come. He’ll give you his best effort 365 days a year, 24/7. And Rosanna [Mazzaccari], has found her niche as town clerk. I think she’ll hold that position for as long as she wants.”

Chris Marx was cross-endorsed by the Republican Party for the position of highway superintendent. Rosanna Mazzaccari, who did not attend, was endorsed for the position of town clerk. Marx was not available for comment.

Gabrielli said he is aiming to inform voters of his background in the weeks leading up to the election. Reflecting on the town’s master plan, which he worked on while he was on the town board in 1994, Gabrielli said he does not think the plan needs to be revised. Gabrielli also stands behind his position that he would be in favor of an architectural inspection of the proposed CVS/Five Guys project on North Putt Corners Road.

In reference to his Democratic opponent, Neil Bettez, Gabrielli welcomed the idea of a debate or public forum, saying it would give voters the opportunity to see a discussion of various policy proposals.