This first appeared in News That Matters, October 29, 2008… (and nothing has changed since then.)
In a stunning vote last evening the Carmel Town Board voted 3-2 to change the name of their town to the “Town of Camarda”.
Supervisor Ken Schmitt said, “It’s not that difficult and only requires altering the last few letters of the town’s name from “rmel” to “marda”. The costs would be negligible.”
Speaking to reporters after the vote, Councilman DiBattista said, “I voted against the idea. We all know Paul Camarda owns this town, runs this town and has bought and sold this town, but everyone knows us as ‘Carmel’. And though folks confuse us with ‘Carmel’ in California and mispronounce ours as Car-MEL, there are better ways to show our gratitude to Mr. Camarda.” Asked what better ways there were, the councilman said, “We could designate Mahopac, for example, or Lake Camarda, or rename Route 6 to “The Camarda Inter-Mall Highway”, which was my idea.”
The changeover would take place beginning January 1st, 2009 with an official re-naming ceremony at Town Hall at which time the name on the building would change as would internal letterheads and other documents. Other documentation would be altered over time and the process would be fully resolved by June 1, 2009. The re-naming also comes with a change to the Town’s Charter. In place of yearly elections, the Town’s new namesake would hand-pick the town council and gain supervisory control of the Highway and Parks Departments as well. According to Supervisor Schmitt, this would simplify municipal management thus cutting costs for all Camarda residents.
Carmel Hamlet resident Walter Rider supported the idea. “I can’t think of anyone else in Putnam County who has done more to support business and commercial development in my town other than Paul Camarda and this would be the perfect tribute to this visionary, this man among men.”
Kent Supervisor Kathy Doherty acknowledged that the Town of Kent would benefit from the name-change. “For once Kent could have its own post office name rather than share one with Carmel,” she said. “For too long we’ve been stuck to that town even though we don’t live there and most of my residents don’t venture too deeply below the Hamlet anyway.”
The US Postal Service has said that a special new zip code would be introduced to coincide with the name change but could not yet say what it would be. “New zip codes are hard to come by,” said Postal Service spokesman Bart Nadel, “So it will take us a little time to come up with something.”
But not all residents were so pleased. Linda Kamp, a long-time resident said, “I can’t believe this. I just can’t believe this!” Route 6 business owner Matt Lamploght said, “Do you have any idea how much this is going to cost me in lost revenue? How are my out-of-area customers going to find me with this name and zip code change? This is going to kill my business!”
But Town councilman Richard O’Keefe responded, “We’ve recently struck a deal with Camarda Development Corporation where we’re permitting him to build – tax free – an enclosed shopping mall that will run along the Route 6 corridor from where Dill’s used to be northward and ending at the new firehouse in Mahopac. This will include Mr. Lamploght’s business. Customers will have no trouble finding him as the new mall will be visible from outer space.”
When reached for comment, Paul Camarda said, “The new mall will be the height of green construction. Not only will it encompass several miles of highway, thus cutting traffic in the surrounding communities, it will also enclose Lake Mahopac, giving us a pollution free source of water for the facility as well as the world’s largest year-round indoor recreation lake. Just think, water-skiing in January!”
County Legislator Robert MacDonald said the mall would bring in $1.2 billion in tax revenues for the county and be the largest employer within 75 miles. “People will flock to Putnam County,” he said.
When asked about the change of the town’s name to his own Mr. Camarda had this to say, “I’m humbled. Really. Considering it cost me millions to get this far, I rather think I deserve it.”