Meet Michael Celestino

Moonlight Golf @ Centennial


The Chamber Legislative Advocate

The Chamber Legislative Advocate -Edition 1 

It has been almost a year since the Town of Carmel town board meeting that attracted a crowd of concerned business owners over a proposed highly restrictive signage revision. This was the evening your Chamber’s Legislative Advocacy Board was born (affectionately called The LAB.)

Co-chaired by Thom Ianniccari (Allan Twitty Insurance) and Amy Sayegh (Community Cares), this committee has evolved into a watchdog group for any restrictive legislation targeted at the business community limiting free enterprise conducted and marketed or make the Town of Carmel appear business unfriendly.

The LAB’s first project was to aid town supervisor, Kenneth Schmitt, list projects that would improve our commerce districts and the needed infrastructure upgrades.

“Kenny was very receptive and appreciative of our ideas”, said Thom I. This list was included as part of the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) all Putnam municipalities were sending to the County Executive, MaryEllen O’Dell, who bundled them with other counties in the Mid-Hudson Economic Development region. Unfortunately, our application returned with only $50,000 to all of Putnam County for an economic development and tourism feasibility study. It remains to be seen yet how that money will be used.

Meanwhile, The LAB was busy researching other municipal signage codes to see what worked for our community and mix them with input from business owners at open meetings with Chamber leadership. LAB members sat with town board leaders to exchange ideas and to recognize the diverse characteristics of the Town of Carmel; the hamlets, business corridors, restaurant row, and other areas.

Sayegh says, “The suggested regulation is still under development and the group is looking for further input from code enforcement officials and legislators alike.”

Another issue cropped up recently and your chamber advocates jumped into action. Chapter 44 of the town code was proposed recently in a public hearing. It was a meeting well attended by the Chamber and other groups that would be affected. The Carmel Police was asking for a permit process to help them better organize for mass gatherings, parades and festivals. A draft of the proposal was obtained by The LAB and found two items confusing. Wording within the piece could have allowed for double permit fees on a parade or festival to not only the organizers but to their vendors as well. This fee schedule was deemed as business unfriendly. Also, the proposed code amendment was not clear as to what the permit fees would be and many organizations are non-profit by nature did not support the idea of putting out more money on top of their other expenses. The fees were removed for now and some grammatical changes will be made. LAB will once more scrutinize the revisions when they are proposed to the public.

The town wide property revaluation has many nervous especially owners of commercial properties and condominium owners. Putnam County for better or worse is primarily a bedroom community with a massive amount of property taxes paid by single family home owners. Many fear the introduction of the Homestead Act, which could be a negative for both commercial property and condo owners alike. The town realizes this is a complex process and to be fair the Town of Carmel extended the spring 2016 deadline by a year so more discussion and reviews can be made. The Town of Southeast is a local municipality which enacted the Homestead provision and has the lowest property taxes in the County.

Finally, a project involving the upgrade of Lake Plaza Shopping Center on Route 6 in Mahopac will replace Key Food & CVS with a new building to house a Stop & Shop of more than 20,000 sq. feet. Additionally, the smaller stores will get face lifts and the parking lot will be improved including new level asphalt, LED lighting, landscaped islands to help with traffic flow and an updated sign at the entrance. LAB is monitoring the planning and zoning process to ensure it is fair, effective and smooth. This will take an old property and give the community a nice spot to conduct shopping and be a new point of pride.

In summary, your chamber is your voice to town authorities. If you have an issue interfacing with the town or questions about legislation, please call our new Executive and CEO, Erin Meagher, who has breathed new life to our cause at (845) 628-5553 or email Thom I at


The Greater Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce

Legislative Advocacy Board

Fostering goals & visions for a strong, vibrant and inviting community.”


Chamber of commerce directory

2016 Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce Print Directory is being published!


Do something different…get something different…

Do something different this week.

journaling-manTry to take 15 minutes out of your day today to sit down with a pen and paper, and think of two or three areas that you’d like to grow in…professionally and/or personally.

After you write down those couple of ideas, think about what the causes are of why you haven’t done it so far…whatever it is, I can promise you…those reasons are not unique, and you’re not alone.  They can be good reasons too…or they can be BS…but you gotta own them, because it’s what you’re believing. Don’t lie to yourself. 

If you keep reading, and do what’s next…then you’ll be in a select few.

Whatever those causes are, whatever you’re choosing to not do or do every day is what’s stopping you.  It’s not YOU, it’s just…well, you…but it’s your decisions, your habits, your activities, your mindset, your attitude.  We need to attach a new belief to whatever you’re doing or not doing that will empower you to take the kind of action you’re looking to take.  Listen good, if you change nothing…What is the actual cost to your business?  To your life?  To your family?  Have you ever examined that?

Bet you haven’t?  Want to know why?  Because everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.  Everybody wants to be successful but nobody wants to grind.  Do something different this week and really really reflect on this:

What would be the impact on my personal life, and my business, if I just did those few things I jotted down…?


It’s a big deal…yes or yes?

Do yourself a favor and use us…use our knowledge, our resources, our network to help you grow personally and professionally.




Write into and let us know how we can help.

New Chamber Park Sign is 100% Funded!

New “Mahopac Chamber Park” sign is fully funded!

With thanks to Erich Schneider of Boy Scout Troop 371 of Mahopac, his troop, his family and friends and every single person that donated money to the cause…we have completed a goal for our community:  Install a beautiful sign in our Chamber Park that showcases events held in the Park by our Town, and events held by our Chamber in our community.

We’ve now had that goal accomplished after over a year of hard work!  Special thanks to the Town of Carmel and the Parks and Recreation sub-committee for being a constant positive presence always trying to make Mahopac & Carmel as beautiful and pro-business it can be.


<div id=”fb-root”></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = “//″;  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script><div class=”fb-post” data-href=”″ data-width=”500″><div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><blockquote cite=”″><p>So cool. Now Erich can purchase the rest of the materials to finish our much-needed Chamber Park sign!</p>Posted by <a href=”#” role=”button”>Mike Bucci</a> on&nbsp;<a href=”″>Saturday, August 8, 2015</a></blockquote></div></div>