Pelham Town Republican chairman ‘dismayed at the rhetoric displayed in this year’s campaign’

To the editor,

Full disclosure: I have been a Republican my entire life. I am also the chairman of the Pelham Town Republican Party. I also know that many in our community have a diversity of opinions, and that is what makes our town special.

But political party should and does not matter at the local level. As a veteran of many successful campaigns, I believe that the reason for past success was the positive message, “what is good for our community.” Therefore, I am concerned, disappointed and dismayed at the rhetoric displayed in this year’s campaign. I fear that the non-issue-based attacks in social media and elsewhere are creating a divide in our town that will not be easily closed.

Working together for the benefit of our community has always been our watchword. The Pelham I know has always supported our youth programs. The Pelham I know had a fundraiser so the children of Mount Vernon could have sports after a failed school budget. The Pelham I know filled the Town House with clothing for victims of an apartment house fire on Boston Post Road. The Pelham I know gathered on Ingels Field to pray together on 9/11. The Pelham I know supported my family when I was given a devastating diagnosis of leukemia. The Pelham I know followed up with a bone marrow drive with 600 donors that also raised $150,000 for blood cancer research. The Pelham I know generously supported the building of a new school for Hutchinson Elementary.

So, on Nov. 5 (as well as early voting), the community will be voting for town supervisor, town clerk, two town council members and one town justice. When you are in the privacy of that voting booth, you will have to make a decision and should ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have the incumbents and the candidates running with them made a case to deserve your vote?
  2. Have the challengers identified the issues and stated their position well enough as to what they propose to improve life in our town?
  3. The bigger issue is what do you want our town to be when this election is over?

Having lived in Pelham with Joan and my four children for 47 years, I have confidence in our neighbors and community in making the right choice on election day.

My wife and I have already early voted for Dan McLaughlin, John DeChiaro, Blake Bell, Michelle Marcellino and Annie Clemente as an acknowledgement as to the work they have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Joe Solimine Sr.

179 Secor Lane

P.S. On Halloween night, stop by the house. We give out the real big candy bars!!!