Maloney planning to open office in former courthouse in Newburgh
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney plans to do something no state or federal politician in recent memory has done: open an office in the City of Newburgh.
Maloney staffers expect to move into half of the second floor of a city-owned building at 123 Grand St., a former courthouse. Enthusiastic City Council members authorized the deal on Monday.
"I thought, and I still think, it was a good idea, because it shines a different light on Newburgh," Councilman Gay Lee said, adding, "It says somebody cares, it says the congressman cares."
Lee said she, City Manager Richard Herbek, Community Development Director Courtney Kain and public works Superintendent George Garrison met with Maloney to work out the deal. The lease, which still has to be finalized, calls for a monthly rent of $2,000.
The closest Newburgh has had to a local district office in at least three decades was the Town of Newburgh office used by former state Assemblyman Tom Kirwan before his death in 2011. Former Newburgh Mayor Nick Valentine, a lifelong resident, said he can think of no district offices in the city's history. Richard Schermerhorn, a former state senator, ran an insurance office in the west end of the city, which might as well have been his district office.
"That's where you got him," Valentine said.
Schermerhorn lost his seat in 1988 and died in 1995. Maloney represents the re-drawn 18th Congressional District, covering part of what was once former Rep. Maurice Hinchey's territory. Maloney's Fishkill office is already open, but he's been looking for another, central location.
"We are committed to being accessible and open to the people of the district and being in Orange County is a big part of that," Maloney said in a statement. He said the city office would be up and running in the near future."
Hinchey's staff operated offices in Middletown and Kingston. Kirwan's successor, Milton Democrat Frank Skartados, has an office in the Town of Newburgh. City leaders said they've heard his lease is up soon and hope to lure him into the city as well, possibly in the same building as Maloney. Lee said having a congressman and state assemblyman's staffers close would help all the city's elected officials align their efforts.
Skartados couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.