By Grace Bennett
Take a former Secretary of State and two time Senator who happens to be a long time, community minded resident of this town. Add three new inductees to town government and a town justice, who has already served six years. Pack in persons, Democrats and Republicans alike, from in and around town. And what do you get? A swearing in ceremony for the history books!
Tonight, about 5:30 p.m.: Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton Town Hall swore in Robert Greenstein as Town Supervisor, Lisa Katz as Deputy Supervisor, Adam Brodsky as Town Councilman and Noah Sorkin as Town Justice. The ceremony was also presided over by Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Susan Spear, a representative for Senator Kristin Gillebrand.
Town Justice Doug Kraus opened the ceremony introducing Congresswoman Nita Lowey as one of the “hardest working and nicest people in U.S. Congress.” Nita Lowey offered, in turn, “I don’t live in Chappaqua but I love Chappaqua…and “coordinate with local officials so resources are utilized and opportunities seized to improve the quality of life of New Castle residents.” Lowey went on to note Clinton’s worldwide popularity. She noted in particular a trip in which she “tagged along” to Kenya: “All anyone wanted to do was see the rock star. She is beloved and respected every place in the world.”
And then it was Clinton’s turn. She commended Nita Lowey for her ability “to get along with anyone” and she thanked Town Council members Elise Mottel and Jason Chapin for their continuity and service. She noted how proud she “and Bill are to be your neighbors and support the excellent schools here” …and paid tribute to the police, fire and ambulance services here too. “They are the real backbone of the community…and very grateful to them.”
Clinton related that a common question she was asked in one of her first missions as Secretary of State—to countries in the Pacific coast–was “how could you work with Obama after losing to him?” “I realized that for much of the world, you can get exiled, killed after losing…not be asked to serve in the same cabinet!” Their wonderment, she said, made her appreciate “how we govern ourselves” and the “rule of law” here.
First to be sworn in was Town Justice Noah Sorkin, who has already served six years in New Castle as a prosecutor or judge. He said he would continue his service toward “lawful, fair resolution” of cases and that he emulates former town justice David Zuckerman and long time fellow town justice Kraus.
Town councilman Adam Brodsky came next. “I am humbled by the faith the community has placed in me,” he said, “and I will use it to help New Castle grow and prosper.”
Deputy supervisor Lisa Katz, after being sworn in, expressed her “humility, pride and excitement…we came together through a shared vision.”
And last to be sworn in, Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein lightened the occasion, turning to Clinton, and stating: “Since I know that fairness is so important to Secretary Clinton, I’m confident that if the occasion should arise when Secretary Clinton is sworn into office in the next few years–she should know that we would happily return the favor by attending her inauguration. Fair is fair.”
He also thanked Nita Lowey, Susan Spear and Alex Rothmayer (who was representing Assemblyman David Buchwald’s office).”
He noted County Legislator Michael B. Kaplowitz could not attend. “He happens to be in Little Rock, Arkansas–which is very fitting. Mike texted me today. He asked me to send your regards, and mention that he went to the Little Rock High School, the Clinton Museum and Doe’s Eats.”
Finally, Greenstein said: “It is so appropriate that Secretary Clinton joins us today. At the Democratic Convention in 1996, she spoke about how we are part of one family–each of us has a value.
He concluded his remarks as follows:
“Secretary Clinton often speaks about community. Our town’s last election demonstrated that our community is united – not so much in politics – but in ideas.
Lisa, Adam and I ran as a slate expressing a new perspective, one that encompasses the wishes of all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. Our perspective is to hear all of the voices. Every voice has a value in improving our town. Every resident, every neighbor counts. Community, not partisanship, is our motto.
And that is what this swearing-in is about. It’s about community. And as a community, we are so fortunate to have the Clintons as our neighbors.
I am honored and humbled to serve as Supervisor of New Castle. And I will do my best to live up to the expectations of our great community.”