(Photo: riverhouseinpeekskill.com)
(Photo: riverhouseinpeekskill.com)

The petition controversy has made its way to Overlook Avenue—specifically The River House condo complex—where residents say a constant barrage of signature seekers in recent days is sending them close to the edge.

“Apparently, the Democrats are so dysfunctional that they are sending multiple groups to River House and driving our shareholders crazy,” said Nick Corbi, who serves as president of The River House Board of Directors. “In some instances, these groups are knocking on the same doors two or three times in one night and one group has no idea that the other groups are there. This started Friday night when we had one group up—I guess it was the two Democrats (Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan) who are running with the Republicans. Then, on Saturday night, we had two groups of Democrats knocking on doors and Sunday night we had two or three groups of Democrats up here knocking on the same doors! What the hell are they doing?”

Corbi is receiving complaints from residents of both political parties who wish to have dinner without several knocks at the door. A registered Republican, he says he has not had his door knocked on.

“This has nothing to do with politics,” he said Monday morning. “Every election year we hold forums for all the candidates, and, believe it or not, I voted for Mary Foster and often vote for the Democrat for president, with the exception of their last two candidates. This is about the well-being of our shareholders who signed a lease that says they are entitled to a quiet enjoyment of the property. Instead, they are being harassed which is strange because in the past they have been very professional. This year they have uncoordinated groups roaming the halls. They are in a total state of disarray.”

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Corbi said he spoke with River House resident Marta Brooks, a Democrat District Leader, and asked her for the contact information of party chair Val Alcena in an attempt to put a stop to the petitioning. Brooks, he said, did not give him the information and said he could not stop them from soliciting the building.

“I told her that I can if it becomes a nuisance,” said Corbi, who has lived at the Overlook Avenue complex since 1980. “We have never had to in the past, but if this continues I will call the police or kick them out myself because I have a fiduciary responsibility to the residents.”

Attempts to obtain a reaction from Alcena during the day Monday were unsuccessful, as were attempts to speak with Brooks.

Gina Pullano, who serves as vice president on the Board of Directors with Corbi, is a registered Democrat who said she too is bothered by all of the knocks on her door, but never thought of involving the police.

“I am not sure I would consider it harassment, but I certainly have had a lot of visitors the last three days,” she told The Peekskill Post Monday afternoon. “Other residents are concerned about it, too.”

Pullano, who has lived at The River House since 1996, continued:

“I had two gentleman on Friday evening knock on my door who said they were Democrats, so I signed their petition. On Saturday evening, I had another knock on the door from two more folks to sign a petition for the Democratic ticket. When I told them I had already signed something the night before, they said something to the effect of ‘Those men are Democrats that decided to run on the Republican ticket.’ They told me since I signed the night before I could not sign their petition and they left. Then, last night, Marta Brooks came by after she found out that I signed Friday night and had more visitors on Saturday. She said she was going to try to straighten it out, but the whole thing is just so strange. I have never experienced anything like this before. It was getting to be annoying and then the two who were here Saturday night came back again last night and tried to explain again what was going on and showed me with a phone what the two Democrats running on the Republican ticket looked like. By that time I was completely confused. I was like, wait a minute, who is running for what here?”

Pullano echoed Corbi in saying that the complex often hosts events for both political parties come election season, and they hope to do so again this year.

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  9. Sorry, I spelled Latimer wrong. George is also endorsed by the Independence Party as I am told.

  10. Now, some of us are hearing that Ken Jenkins will also be in a Democratic primary here. He is running for County Executive. Westchester Democratic Party has apparently already endorsed George Lattimer. If I am not mistaken, it seems that Jenkins has good credentials and is also worthy of consideration. Seems to me that if Jenkins or Lattimer wins the primary or if someone else enters and wins, that person will be actually running with you regardless if they like having you on the same ticket with them or not. Will you be distancing yourself from certain County Democrat candidates as it seems you have already done with City ones? Since all of the Democrats here will have an equal chance to vote their choice in a couple of months, there will be time enough for all to consider. Let’s hear their story. What are you afraid of? The People’s Choice will prevail – unlike in some other countries.

  11. Why aren’t residents being told that these two men are asking to be in a primary against the slate supported by the Democratic Party? If this is all above board why not tell people the truth?

  12. The process is the same for all parties in our state. Although here in New York a relatively large number of signatures is required. With a primary the voters of a given party have an equal voice in choosing party candidates. More democratic. Self-determination. Why settle for those beholden to a panel?

  13. The process is the same for all parties here in New York State. Although here in New York a relatively large number of signatures is required to get on the ballot. A primary gives voters the choice of candidates and a better opportunity to get to know their views. It’s more democratic! Self-determination. Why settle for someone beholden to a panel when you can have a voice? Don’t forget that signing a petition doesn’t obligate you to vote for that person.

  14. This is what happens when pseudo-Democrats run on the Republican ticket. And I don’t expect it will be the last of the Republican dirty tricks we see this year. The Democrats are presenting a slate of candidates that has been reviewed and interviewed by the party – and voted on in open public meetings. It’s the Republicans that are muddying the waters by nominating two men who have not been active with the Democrats and did not seek the Democrats nomination. These democrats-in-name-only are trying to confuse voters. I guess they hoped to do that at River House. Glad there were alert residents who saw though the scam!

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