CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- More than two months into their current terms, four New Castle town officials took ceremonial oaths of office on Monday before a large crowd at town hall.
The four are Supervisor Rob Greenstein, who in his second term; Councilman Jeremy Saland and Hala Makowska, who are in their first terms; and Town Justice Douglas Kraus, who has served for decades.
All of the officials won their current terms in November's elections.
The tone of the event was upbeat and devoid of partisanship, an atmosphere that was in marked contrast to last fall when a pair of slates vied for the supervisor's office and two council seats during a heated election cycle.
Greenstein, a registered Democrat, ran on the Republican ballot line and under a ticket called "Team New Castle." Saland and Makowska ran under the Democratic ballot line and under a ticket called "One New Castle.
Greenstein defeated One New Castle Supervisor candidate Victoria Alzapiedi in his re-election bid, while Makowska and Saland defeated Team New Castle council candidates Eileen Gallagher and Seth Chodosh.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Mount Pleasant Republican, administered the oaths to Greenstein and Kraus.
Astorino, who served on the Mount Pleasant Town Board for a dozen years earlier in his political career, noted that national party labels don't mean as much in local government.
“I know this is predominantly a Democratic town and yet you will look at issues fairly and decide on the best person as you've done, and I appreciate that," Astorino said.
Saland's father, former state Sen. Stephen Saland, echoed the sentiments of local government being different when it comes to party markers.
“You know the candidates. It's about what they're doing to address what you consider to be the pressing issues in your community.”
The elder Saland served as a Republican in the legislature and represented a district covering Dutchess County.
At the Monday ceremony, Stephen Saland got to swear in his son - whom he referred to as “a source of great pride” for the family - and Makowska.
“New Castle's an amazing town, and I love it and I call it home," Makowska said.
Saland, noting the values that he learned from his father when it comes to public service, emphasized having compassion, making sacrifices and putting forth a significant effort. He also praised his father's character, including a vote that he cast to legalize same-sex marriage in New York State.
Greenstein discussed the value of public service and spoke about the positive feedback he gets from community members.
“It's truly an honor to serve the residents of New Castle. Some say it's a thankless job. I actually disagree. Almost every day I receive a thanks and appreciation from residents, even if it comes in a quick smile or a handshake.”
Kraus, who ran unopposed on both major party lines, thanked community members for re-electing him.
Several officials were on hand for the inaugurations. They included Deputy Supervisor Adam Brodsky; Councilwoman Lisa Katz; Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz; former New Castle Supervisors Mark Tulis, Janet Wells and Clinton Smith; members of the town's two local boards of fire commissioners; and first responders from the New Castle Police Department, Chappaqua Fire Department, Millwood Fire Company and the Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Katz, who provided the event's opening remarks, stressed what town officials have in common.
“At the end of the day we all aspire to the same: a stronger, more vibrant and united community who take pride in calling New Castle our home.”
Video of the inaugurations is attached.
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