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Jonke, Sayegh Continue to Lead Legislature in 2024

By Holly Crocco

The Putnam County Legislature has renamed Chairman Paul Jonke, R-Brewster, and Deputy Chairwoman Amy Sayegh, R-Mahopac Falls, to lead the governing body in 2024.

During the Oct. 2 organizational meeting, Legislator Joseph Castellano, R-Southeast, nominated Jonke as chairman. “Paul brings a great deal of knowledge, not only in government, but from the business community,” he said.

First elected in 2016 to represent District Six, Jonke served as chairman of the Legislature last year, and has also chaired the protective and personnel committees. He is currently serving his third term in office.

“Legislator Jonke is a conscientious and dedicated public servant and deserving to serve as Legislature chair for a second term,” said Legislator Addonizio, R-Kent, who seconded the nomination.

Jonke said it’s been an honor to lead county government for the past year.

“We’ve done some incredibly good things,” he said. “For the first time in 30 years, we’ve reduced the tax levy, giving our taxpayers back their money. We’ve done some good things for our first responders in that we’re now offering exemptions. And I’m proud of my first year as chairman and I will continue do the same diligent job.”

To serve as his second in command, Jonke nominated Sayegh to keep her post as deputy chairwoman.

“Amy has done a superb job as deputy chair in 2023 and is deserving of this position for another term,” he said. “Amy is steadfast and calm and always does her best for the people of Putnam County. She uses her heart, her head and her spine to serve our residents.”

Castellano seconded the nomination, calling Sayegh a dedicated advocate for her community who for six years has been well prepared, and governs in a respectful and compassionate way.

“I want to thank my colleagues for your trust in me as deputy for the Legislature,” said Sayegh. “I’m really looking forward to a great year. We have a lot of positive things ahead of us.”

Legislator Nancy Montgomery, D-Philipstown, who was the only “no” vote for both nominations, (Legislator Ginny Nacerino was absent) asked if Jonke has any special training to handle incidents of violence, which have become more popular across the globe.

“I have different levels of training for incident management,” she said. “I have a great deal of concern in this county that, are we prepared for these incidents? And our resident look to us as elected officials in times of these incidents for guidance and leadership and answers, and I would like to know what our proposed chairman, that we’ve just nominated, has in incident management.”

Jonke said he will defer to the county’s sheriff’s department and Bureau of Emergency Services to manage such situations, should they arise. “We have professional people in the county who handle these incidents, not the chairman of the Legislature,” he said.


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