River Journal invited all candidates representing our coverage area to submit campaign statements, listed here in alphabetical order for each office. All information is authored by the candidates. If a candidate is not represented, it is because that person did not respond to our invitation to participate. See Journaling for insight into why we do not endorse candidates as a matter of policy.
U.S. Congressional District 17
Mike Lawler, Republican
While campaigning for Congress in New York’s 17th District, I’ve been running into a situation that spells out exactly where we are as a state.
Fixed-income senior citizens I’m visiting, among others, are sitting in the dark late in the day, with the heat turned off, to save money for January and February when things really get bad.
New Yorkers can’t afford basic necessities like heat because they’ve been robbed blind by rapacious state, county, and federal taxes, fees, special assessments, and penalties, so they sit in the dark to save a few bucks. Everywhere they turn there’s another expense — a new middle class tax increase hidden in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act championed by my opponent, which will do nothing to lower inflation; the loss of the SALT deduction which used to allow us to write off the full cost of our property taxes on federal income taxes, and infuriating new expenses like the coming $23 Congestion Pricing Tax to drive into the city south of 60th Street (I’ll stop that dead in its tracks in Congress.)
At the grocery store the pain is worse: With forty-year high inflation, we find ourselves handing over six dollars for a gallon of milk, $16 for chicken tenderloins, prohibitive prices for fresh vegetables, and for parents of young children like my wife Doina and I, $30 for Pampers. The price of baby formula is up by more than 200% — if you can even find it.
What’s the federal government under one-party rule doing to address this? It’s hiring 87,000 additional green-eye-shaded IRS officers to eyeball our tax returns. God forbid they miss the chance to claw back from us a few more nickels and dimes.
At the same time, Hudson Valley residents are justifiably afraid. With the advent of cashless bail, which my opponent also championed, crime rates have skyrocketed in New York, with 40 percent of those arrested and released committing additional crimes while awaiting trial. Nearly every day there’s a shocking new headline about someone beaten, shot, or pushed in front of a train by someone out on cashless bail. Former Democratic Governor David Paterson says he’s never felt more unsafe in New York.
My opponent is spending millions of dollars to suggest this race is all about abortion because he has no answers on crime and inflation, which he’s made worse. It’s not. New York is a pro-choice state and will remain one. And while I’m personally pro-life, I will vote against any effort to ban abortions at the federal level.
There are many critical issues facing New Yorkers — mental health, infrastructure repairs, underperforming schools, despite our spending more than any other state per pupil, environmental concerns — but crime and the cost of living is what I hear most about every day. Something’s got to give.
For those of you sitting in the dark, or worrying that you soon might be, please know that I won’t forget you in Congress. Your struggles are why I’m running.
Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat
I ran for Congress ten years ago so I could fight for working families like the one I grew up in. As one of six kids in a middle-class family, I know what it’s like to have to stretch groceries at the end of the week when there’s no room in the budget for more. That’s why I am so focused on getting costs under control.
Right now, the average family is being forced to make tough choices because costs are rising while their incomes remain the same. It’s unacceptable and unfair. That’s why I’ve fought to pass legislation to cap prescription drug costs for seniors, lower energy prices for all Americans, and invest in our economy to create more good-paying jobs that can support a family here in the Hudson Valley.
Just this month, IBM announced that they will be investing $20 billion dollars in the Hudson Valley over the next decade, creating thousands of good-paying jobs. That’s the kind of investment that will grow our economy in a way that helps everyone, not just those already at the top.
While many of the causes of inflation are global challenges from the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we still must do everything in our power to get prices down, which is why I’ve introduced legislation to stop Big Oil companies from taking advantage of consumers to line their pockets.
Other vital issues we face in the Hudson Valley include public safety and reducing gun violence, protecting reproductive rights, rebuilding our infrastructure, ensuring clean drinking water, and investing in our education system. I have a record of putting progress ahead of partisanship to deliver real results on all of these issues. This summer, I helped pass the first gun safety legislation into law in nearly 30 years to help keep our kids and communities safe from gun violence. When it comes to reproductive freedoms, I’ll never stop fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose and have voted consistently to protect those rights. And we can and must do more to support our men and women in law enforcement. I’ve helped deliver more than $7 million in federal funding to local police departments to provide training, technology, and resources that allow them to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. Education has always been a top priority for me, which is why I’ve helped pass historic levels of funding for our public schools and will always fight to improve our schools. Lastly, but certainly not least, I know our roads, bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure are in desperate need of repairs, which is why I helped write the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that is bringing billions in funding to New York State.
I love our communities here in the Hudson Valley, and if voters honor me with their trust for another two years, I will keep fighting to deliver for our local needs and priorities in Congress.
New York State Senate District 40
Gina Arena, Republican
I was born and raised in a working-class Westchester family. I have spent my whole life here. I raised my family here. I love our community.
I am a proud working mother with eight children. Public service is important to our family. My husband, father, father-in-law, daughter and son are all volunteer firefighters and my daughter, Victoria, was an Army Sergeant who served in Afghanistan.
When my daughter, Jesse, who had autism wasn’t getting the education she needed, I researched cutting edge educational programs and developed a program for her. I helped create the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism and the Devereux Millwood Learning Center.
When my son Jimmy died from brain cancer at age 6, my husband and I established the Just Imagine Making Miracles Yours (JIMMY) Foundation in his memory. This organization helps children suffering from life-threatening diseases and/or injuries with financial assistance.
I am running for State Senate because New York – the state that I love – has become too unsafe and too unaffordable to live in. I want my kids and grandkids to have the same opportunities I had growing up.
Albany Politicians passed bail reform, which puts dangerous criminals back out on our streets. They have passed reckless budget after reckless budget with little to no relief from record-high inflation. And they are now pushing forward with a congestion pricing plan that would tax hard-working Hudson Valley residents trying to commute to the city.
Like the many families of the Hudson Valley, I am an everyday person who lives on the ground-level and feels the problems Albany Politicians have created. Unfortunately, the politicians in power have remained out-of-touch and have not met the needs of our district. It has become clear to me that we need to bring common sense and balance back to our State Government. So, I am running to make a difference for my neighbors – because that is what democracy is all about.
What to expect if I am elected:
- Restore public safety by repealing bail reform and backing our law enforcement;
- Make New York housing more affordable by eliminating burdensome regulations and lowering property taxes;
- Fix our economy by cutting taxes, slashing red tape, fully suspending the gas tax, and rejecting the congestion pricing plan;
- Invest in Infrastructure by curbing reckless spending and fighting for smart spending;
- Enhance Mental Health and Addiction services to help those who are suffering in our community;
- Ensure our local schools have the proper funding and enhancing special education programs;
- Protect our environment by fighting for proper funding to preserve our waterways and many natural beauties of our region.
By far, the biggest challenges facing New York are the complete erosion of public safety, the unaffordability of the state, and the mental health crisis facing our youth. It would be my honor to earn your vote on November 8th. Together, we can combat these issues and achieve a Brighter New York.
Pete Harckham, Democrat
Four years ago, in a historic election, voters sent me to Albany to reverse decades of obstruction of progress on reproductive healthcare, common sense gun safety, climate change, education funding and help for taxpayers and small businesses statewide.
Since then, I have become one of the most productive members of the New York State Senate. I worked to make the 2% Property Tax Cap permanent; protected women’s healthcare rights; delivered record aid to education; and, as chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, addressed the opioid crisis by doubling minimum treatment times and reducing barriers to life saving treatment.
I helped pass the toughest climate action legislation in the nation, and also introduced legislation, later enacted, requiring all new passenger car and truck sales to be zero emission by 2035 and allowing municipalities to build solar canopies and jumpstart community renewable energy projects. Earlier this year, Governor Hochul placed my landmark wetlands legislation protecting Class C streams and fragile drinking water resources into the 2023 State Budget.
Additionally, I have been a leading voice to hold the utilities accountable in the wake of failed responses to natural disasters; and I was there for residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, I have held 13 food drives to fight hunger, assisted thousands of residents with unemployment claims and delivered PPE to first responders and municipalities throughout the 40th Senate District.
I come from a labor family and have been endorsed three times by the Westchester Building Trades, Westchester-Putnam AFL-CIO Central Labor Body, a host of service and public unions, as well as nurses and teachers. I work closely with my union partners around the issues of decommissioning of Indian Point, and passed a law to protect wages and local jobs, as well as created the Decommissioning Oversight Board.
I am in regular contact with law enforcement professionals around the 40th Senate District, and introduced legislation at the request of a local police chief to keep victims of domestic violence safe from gun violence. Last year, we initiated meetings between law enforcement officials, our local DAs and the legislative sponsors of bail reform to correct some of the issues identified in the law.
My work to safeguard in the 40th Senate District includes over $1.5 million in state funding appropriations I have secured for police departments and just as much for our first responders—fire departments, ambulance corps and EMTs. Since I have been in office, I have been able to secure nearly $20 million of state grants for our municipalities for various projects, equipment and infrastructure repairs. These grants end up lessening the burden that taxpayers must shoulder.
While I am proud of my accomplishments in the State Senate, there’s much more to be done. We need to help businesses create new, good paying jobs and continue investments in infrastructure while keeping taxes from rising. But if I have learned anything over the last two years, it is this: if we work together, we can accomplish great things to make New York fairer, safer and more affordable.
New York Assembly District 92
MaryJane Shimsky, Democrat
I am honored to introduce myself to the River Journal’s readers and share my plans for the major issues facing New York.
I was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the daughter of an assembly line worker who believed in the power of education. I earned my law degree from New York University and my PhD in History from the City University of New York. I have worked as a prosecutor, a college instructor and as Community Relations Director for our late Assemblyman, Richard Brodsky, before being elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
In my ten years at the Board, I served as the leading advocate for infrastructure and public health, and worked to make both more resilient in the face of the pandemic and ongoing climate crisis. Earlier this year, I sponsored legislation protecting our reproductive health clinics from a radicalized anti-abortion movement that now plans clinic invasions.
From crime to inflation to climate change and housing, New York’s problems are not unique to New York, and we are coping with them better than many other places. We can do better – but only when we accept that each problem does not live in its own silo, but is interconnected with other issues.
Our current inflation rates are due to a post-COVID jump in demand while supply chains are being reestablished; and a rise in energy prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and price fixing by the oil cartel. Democrats are reducing household costs with gas tax and bus fare holidays, helping families save money on home heating, and reducing medical costs.
But we’ll only end Russia’s and OPEC’s blackmail when we end our dependence on fossil fuels — a transformation that will moderate climate change, improve our public health, spur American economic development, and end inflationary spikes in energy costs.
New York’s murder rates are far lower than what you find in most Republican states with loose gun laws. But traffickers are flooding New York’s streets with illegal guns, which are finding their way into the wrong hands. To fight violent crime, we need to fight gun trafficking, we need to hold those who commit gun violence accountable, and we need to ensure an adequate supply of mental health professionals.
So, what can you expect from me? I’m a taxpayer, too, and I want Westchester to be safe, economically strong, and fair for everyone. To get there, my initial plans include:
- Establishing a robust constituent communication system;
- Organizing an economic development forum with small business owners;
- Increasing the supply of mental health professionals for children and first responders;
- Strengthening New York’s clinic access law;
- Ensuring that our district’s worst State roads are on the Department of Transportation’s to-do list;
- Revitalizing the CHIPS and NYBridge programs for local roads and bridges;
- Demanding our local school districts’ fair share in State aid;
- Expanding housing that is affordable for our seniors, young people, people with physical and developmental disabilities, and working families.
Carlo Valente, Republican
The Valente campaign did not respond to numerous requests for his statement.
New York Assembly District 95
Dana Levenberg, Democrat
The first thing residents can expect when I’m elected is a well-run office staffed by competent people. With the benefit of eight years working in Assemblywoman Sandy Galef’s office, I know how an Assembly office should function, which will enable me to choose qualified, capable staff.
Residents can also expect me to hit the ground running on legislation, because I know how the Assembly works. People who know what it takes to be successful in this role have endorsed me because they know I’ll be effective at the job. My experience at multiple levels of government – as a school board trustee for nine years, Ossining Town Supervisor for seven years, and in the Assembly – has given me a solid understanding of how government works and how it can help residents thrive.
The best predictor of what a person will do is what they’ve done in the past. Since taking office, I have improved the fiscal health of the Town of Ossining, resulting in an increase in our Moody’s rating. We’ve upgraded our infrastructure through a number of capital projects. We’ve increased our affordable housing stock. Quality of life is better thanks to parks improvements and programming like our RiverJam summer concert series & food truck lineup, and is set to get better still with the adoption of our new comprehensive plan, Sustainable Ossining. I co-founded the Ossining Community Equity Task Force with our local NAACP. And I’ve undertaken many initiatives related to climate action and resiliency, leading to Ossining’s designation as a Clean Energy Community.
In the Assembly, I will be guided by a mission: building healthy communities in every sense of the word. Environmentally, economically, physically and mentally healthy, all through the lens of equity. I list the environment first because nothing else will matter without a planet to live on. Moreover, because the 95th is largely composed of river towns, combating climate change and promoting environmental resiliency must be a top priority for our next representative. We cannot risk our lives and livelihoods with a representative who doesn’t understand this threat.
I will also be guided by my constituents. I’ll continue Assemblywoman Galef’s practice of sending out regular newsletters, surveying residents and holding town halls to ensure my constituents know what is happening in Albany and that I am aware of your priorities and ready to act on them.
I will draw on my experience working with the Regional Economic Development Council to promote economic growth that benefits everyone. I’ll continue working for fully-funded schools that prepare our children for the future, not the past. I’ll fight for common sense gun legislation and improved policing because everyone deserves to be safe. And I’ll support a woman’s right to choose, the right to privacy, the right to vote, and other rights being threatened by extreme right-wingers. For an effective representative who will defend your rights and our shared home, vote Dana Levenberg for Assembly, then flip your ballot and vote Yes on Prop 1!
Stacy Halper, Republican
The Halper campaign did not respond to numerous requests for her statement.
Town of Cortlandt Board of Trustees
Warren Smith, Republican
I’m Warren Smith, lifelong resident of Verplanck and a candidate for the Cortlandt Town Council. For over 35 years I have been married to my wonderful wife, Margie; and have three beautiful children. In July, my daughter was married, so now I also have a talented, new son-in-law. Over the past 27 years I have spent each weekday working for Earth Enterprise, a Manhattan–based, environmentally responsible, commercial printer.
For the past few months, I have spent my weekends knocking on doors throughout our 50.02 square mile town, introducing myself to as many Cortlandt residents as I can. At every door the first question people ask is “What party?” Once I respond Republican, if I am not “tossed off the porch” the next question is “Why are you doing this?”
I am running for public office because I am tired of sitting on my couch, yelling at T.V. newscasts and wishing that our elected leaders exercised restraint and used common sense when making decisions. Instead of complaining about “what is” I want to affect change where I can, locally here in Cortlandt, and work towards “what can be.”
If you elect me to your town council, I will add a new perspective and voice a new viewpoint that is different from the status quo. Over the past couple of decades our town has been governed by one party. I believe that one party rule leads to myopic thinking. An open dialogue that includes voices on all sides of an issue is key to developing good solutions and to good governance.
I genuinely enjoy and am truly challenged by working with people of differing viewpoints and opinions. To my mind this is an inclusive and beneficial way of making progress. I don’t have any superpowers or special wisdom to dispense; but I am intimately aware of challenges that everyday working people face when finding solutions to problems. While keeping taxes low is important, it is just as important that our tax dollars are spent wisely. Over the past two years our town invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on a mini-golf course, pickleball courts, and a boathouse; and this year we are investing in an ice hockey rink. Meanwhile our public safety on our streets and in our homes depends on just two Westchester County Police officers that are on patrol from 6 a.m. to midnight and the state police that cover the remainder of the night watch. In an emergency, when minutes count, police response is determined by the geographic location and availability of the on-duty officer. In my view, this is an example of how our board needs help finding a balance between needs vs wants.
The top priority of the Town of Cortlandt must be to furnish its citizenry with a transparent, fiscally responsible, accessible, and responsive government that reliably delivers quality public services. I believe that my qualifications for the office of Town Councilman, and the unique vision and dedication that I would bring to the office, meet the moment. I humbly ask for your vote on November 8th.
Robert Mayes, Democrat
As a Cortlandt native, I was humbled and honored to be unanimously appointed to the Town Board. I am running to keep this seat because I believe my strong track record of pragmatic advocacy for our community makes me best suited to help Cortlandt continue to thrive as a family-oriented community. Here is where I stand on some of the issues.
Public safety isn’t just a campaign issue for me, it has been the focus of my entire career. I served for over a decade as a Westchester County Assistant District Attorney. As a prosecutor, I investigated white collar criminals who greedily defrauded unsuspecting citizens and local businesses. As Chief of the Environmental Crimes Unit, I held responsible polluters who dumped hazardous substances into the Hudson River and our reservoirs. And I joined the fight against the opioid epidemic as a member of the Opioid Overdose Response Team. While on the Lakeland School Board, I voted to approve School Resource Officers in all schools. And as a councilman, I support the law enforcement agencies that keep Cortlandt safe.
I want to continue Cortlandt’s legacy of low taxes and top-notch services. I believe in prudent fiscal management that incrementally raises revenues during periods of strong economic growth to avoid large, painful tax increases during downturns. We must maintain our assets and engage in long-term planning for replacements and upgrades. I applied these principles while on the Lakeland School Board and, for two years in a row during COVID, Lakeland passed budgets with 0% tax increases – without cutting services.
I believe in responsibly encouraging growth in a post-pandemic world and beyond. We can retain the character of our community while growing in a way that anticipates and accommodates future requirements, all while being mindful of local neighborhood needs and infrastructure capacity. As a councilman, I have worked closely with Cortlandt’s economic development team to encourage investment in our community. When elected, I will continue to fight for a coordinated regional approach to growth, as economic, social, fiscal, transportation, and environmental issues are not contained within municipal borders.
Improved infrastructure is a necessary precursor to smart growth and climate resiliency. We need to think ahead, and invest in infrastructure that will accommodate and encourage sustainable living and economic development well into the future. When elected, I will continue to work alongside our partners in government – local, state, and federal – to procure investment in our community, such as the recently obtained one million dollars in state funding for sewer infrastructure in our town.
As a fifth-generation Cortlandt resident, I understand that Cortlandt is a family-oriented community, and I will continue to fight to make sure families can afford to live here. This includes seniors on fixed incomes, as well young adults entering the workforce who want to remain in the only community they have ever called home. I believe in local control on affordable housing and support public input and participation in these critical decisions.
Village of Ossining Board of Trustees and Mayor
Ossining Village Mayor Rika Levin, and Trustees Manuel Quezada and Dana White are the Democratic slate running for re-election. They are running unopposed.
Ossining is on a roll. We have created a Youth Bureau, revamped our municipal parking and weathered the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of our stellar village staff, we have won more grants than any past Village administration, including New York State’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), for improvements and upgrades to our Historic Downtown Waterfront District. We can’t wait to keep building on recent successes to improve quality of life for all our residents.
Designed to drive economic development, the DRI process is underway. After a six-month community wide discussion, we are awaiting word from the State on which projects will receive DRI funding. They include the restoration of the historic bank building at the top of Main Street, a parking and transportation hub, a new village square, weekend ferry service to Haverstraw, and much more. We are also actively seeking a developer to rebuild the south side of Main Street, providing new store fronts for retail experiences while restoring a sense of place lost to Urban Renewal.
Ossining’s commitment to affordable housing is real. Wilder Balter Assocs. plans to break ground next spring on 109 units of affordable housing on Water Street. The project will also create a linear park and continue the Sing Sing Kill Greenway to Water Street.
Our historic Five Corners intersection is getting its long-awaited makeover, with construction to begin before year’s end. The improvements, including updated signaling and streetscaping, will enhance the Five Corners’ 19th century character and make it safer, greener and ADA compliant. At the top of Main Street, our proposed Route 9 Road Diet will calm traffic, add parking, and enhance pedestrian safety. The plan is under consideration by NYSDOT.
Ossining is fortunate to own a water treatment plant and the Indian Brook Reservoir. Our current water treatment facility has reached the end of its useful life. Plans for a new facility are being reviewed by the NYS Dept. of Health for final approval. The new plant is one of the Village’s most important investments as it will ensure a healthy supply of water, our most essential resource, for many years to come.
The Ossining Police Department is among the County’s finest. The Police Reform Advisory Committee is a volunteer, two-year citizen board that will work with the OPD to implement the recommendations from our 29-point police reform plan. Our police department also hosts one of seven Mobile Crisis Response Teams, a County initiative designed to respond to behavioral health emergencies.
Our goal is to be “the greenest village in the country.” Our tree-planting programs earned the village its first-ever Tree City USA designation. The Ossining Riverfront Resilience Plan, funded with $50,000 from the DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Stewardship Planning program, will help prepare businesses for future sea-level rise. In the short term, we plan for a rain garden at Richard Wishnie Park and a solar canopy in a train station parking lot. There’s more to come!
Village of Tarrytown Board of Trustees
Robert Hoyt, Thomas Mitchell and Paul Rinaldi are running for three open board positions. We did not hear from Mr. Rinaldi before we went to press.
Robert Hoyt, Democrat
What to expect if I’m elected.
I would like to continue to keep Tarrytown a place where residents can enjoy its beautiful natural resources that Tarrytown has to offer, the Tarrytown Lakes and the Hudson River Waterfront. Additionally, to enjoy and participate in all the beautiful walking trails and recreational facilities. One of my major concerns in keeping Tarrytown a beautiful Tree City USA Village and its walkability transit-minded community, is the importance not to over develop our precious Village. Traffic continues to be a problem on our already strained roadways, and we must continue to monitor that as we move forward before considering any possible development in the future. I am always very mindful on how the Village controls its budget. I would like all families to be able to afford to stay in this wonderful Village and all it has to offer.
Thomas Mitchell, Democrat
I have been fortunate to be appointed on the Village of Tarrytown Board as of December 1, 2021. In terms of my career tenure, I have worked in the public, private and the nonprofit sectors. My most recent position is as Chief Operating Officer of a private independent school located in midtown Manhattan. Last November, as I was serving on the Village’s Comprehensive Plan Management Committee (CPMC) Mayor Karen Brown appointed me as a Trustee, filling a vacant seat. As I assumed the role as a Trustee, I understood the time commitment, the dedication to volunteer for this position and my responsibility serving the people of Tarrytown. It has been a pleasure to work with the other Board members, staff, and volunteers who make Tarrytown the very special place that it is.
As my year as an appointed Trustee is about to end, as of this coming December, as I have decided to run for a Village of Tarrytown Trustee’s position this coming November. In doing so, I would like to give you a summary of what I have experienced as a Trustee to-date, and what future aspirations I have if I am provided the opportunity to serve on the Village’s Board for two additional years.
In terms of my Board participation a few of our accomplishments have include the following:
- Saved the Village over $200,000 a year on debt refinancing.
- Kept the Village’s tax rate low and compliant with the New York State 2% tax cap limit.
- Crime is at low due to the Tarrytown Police Department’s diligent prevention measures.
- Received a $100,000 grant for a new senior van through federal government’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
- Worked with Sustainable Westchester, including community choice aggregation and energy, smart communities, jointly with Sleepy Hollow and Irvington.
- Participating in the climate, adaptive design studio through Cornell University to plan for climate change and sea level rise. Reviewing and providing solutions to decrease the damage forecasted from rising tidal impacts on Tarrytown waterfront.
- Accomplishments from the Placemaking Committee including a downtown mural, pollinator, plantings, and new artwork on Broadway.
- Cannabis dispensaries were approved in the Village, but not lounges.
- Working with New York State and our Village’s CPMC, we received a grant for a new “map app” to help direct people to have key landmarks, attractions, parking, and places of interest around the Village. Once completed it will be a useful navigation tool for Villagers, people who work in Tarrytown and tourists.
If I am elected in November, I will continue to serve the people of Tarrytown and always aim to make Tarrytown a great place to live, visit, dine, enjoy and foremost to be a safe, and affordable Village.
Lastly, I am asking each one of you to have your voices heard – please vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
Croton-on-Hudson Board of Trustees
Ann Gallelli, Democrat
As background, I have been involved with the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for some time both as a Chair of the Planning Board and as a Village Trustee, my current position. I was also Chairman of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan of 2003 (since updated in 2017).
Although my focus has been planning and zoning, as a Trustee I have aspired to promote and undertake activities in support of the broader objectives of our adopted Comprehensive Plan.
To this end I have been involved with and supported our Sustainability Committee and other local groups to pursue many energy saving and climate positive programs such as identifying and implementing solar arrays throughout the Village, both public and private, supporting Community solar opportunities, moving to electric vehicles, food composting sites and strict adherence to recycling rules.
I have been an advocate of planned and funded infrastructure improvements, including our streets, buildings, parks and water system.
Most recently, I have been an advocate of zoning to allow for more workforce and affordable housing opportunities, increasing the much-needed housing supply in the Village. To that end, I am a supporter of current zoning improvements that strengthen both local housing and commercial opportunities.
All of this, of course, requires responsible budgeting. I have worked successfully with fellow Trustees to keep the Village’s tax increases below the NYS Tax Cap while still meeting the above-mentioned municipal service needs. I look forward to continuing in this position and furthering these objectives.
Len Simon, Democrat
It’s been an honor to serve Croton-on-Hudson as a Trustee since election in 2020. Working for some extraordinary local leaders around the country, I learned that if we dedicate the time to bring all parties to the table to collaboratively forge solutions, good results will emerge. I have found that guiding principle to be very helpful here in Croton. Here’s some examples of how that has worked for the last two years and a hopeful preview of the two years to come.
A large portion of Croton’s budget comes from parking at our Metro-North train station, a funding source depleted by disappearing commuters during most of Covid. Working with my Board colleagues, our management team and community, we maintained core services while keeping tax increases under the state 2% cap. We funded the necessary, deferred what we could, and found new fiscal resources. We begin the next budget cycle with Covid behind us, ready to work with our residents on key decisions for better times.
Croton lacks housing choices appealing to younger people, many of whom work in Croton, and empty nesters who no longer wish a single family home. In the last two years we have set the stage for three new multifamily housing developments in Croton to provide these new housing opportunities. They contain 101 apartments, with a significant percentage of them in the affordable category. We are also working on zoning for future multifamily opportunities, including near our train station. Strong neighborhood involvement has strengthened our approach at every stage and will continue.
We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a sustainable Croton. So we’ve undertaken projects like solar roofs on some our public buildings and a major solar canopy soon to begin construction at our train station. We are transitioning our municipal fleet to hybrids and EVs and recently adopted the NY State Energy Stretch Code. Croton’s citizen Sustainability Committee helps lead the way for our green achievements and I am proud to work closely with them. And there will be more exciting sustainability projects in the next two years.
Public safety is a core responsibility of local governments and I have worked with Croton’s dedicated police, fire and EMS teams to ensure they have the budget, equipment and facilities our community needs. That will continue as a top priority for me in the next two years.
New businesses are eager to come to Croton. I’ve worked to help their entry into our community and that they receive the Village government and the community support they deserve. Each new ribbon cutting is one more indication that Croton’s economic development prospects are bright.
Next year, Croton will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its incorporation as a Village. In 2023 we will enthusiastically celebrate Croton’s past. But if elected in November to a second term, I look forward with equal energy to working hard every day with our community for tomorrow’s Croton, where the sky’s the limit.
Peekskill Common Council
Brain Fassett, Democrat
I was first attracted to Peekskill by the historic architecture, but the diversity and inclusion I felt when we visited made it the right choice for my husband and me to move to and put down roots. In 2015 we invested our life savings into a historic Main Street property and moved our hopes and dreams to Peekskill.
Owning two businesses in Peekskill, I have a strong understanding of what it means to work with a team, hire locally, balance budgets, and ensure that companies stay afloat even in hard times.
Along with a group of long-time community members, I was instrumental in creating “Peekskill Pride,” now a fully incorporated non-profit organization focused on fostering safe, healthy, and supportive environments for LGBTQIA+ individuals of all ages, their allies, and families by working within the community to further the foundation for inclusion, diversity, and pride through education, advocacy, and celebration.
I was elected for two terms as President of the Peekskill Business Improvement District, helping to build up our downtown businesses, putting processes in place, and re-igniting the relationship with city government.
In February 2022, I was honored to be appointed to the City Council.
I want voters to know that I aim to ensure that our city is a place where everyone is welcome. ‘Everyone’ encompasses those with long-time roots in our community and those who want to join and plant new seeds. We must continue to build a family-friendly city, as I believe that no matter who you are, you should be able to live in a healthy, prosperous, and resilient place. People should be able to remain in our community during all stages of life. I understand that housing people can afford is crucial to maintaining our cultural and economic diversity, which continues to drive Peekskill forward.
I, along with the full City Council, are pushing developers to ensure Peekskill gets what it needs. We must accomplish equitable growth that promotes affordability. We need appropriate commercial development that brings jobs and new opportunities to our community. We are working closely with our Economic Development team to ensure that we drive what our community wants here. We’ll continue to work with all levels of government to secure the funding to keep Peekskill moving forward without increasing the property tax burden on homeowners. We will find a balance in our growing tax base to support high-quality city services and significant, positive changes underway along our waterfront and downtown.
Peekskill, like most cities in America, has an aging infrastructure. We are focused on these concerns and have put people into leadership positions in our municipality with the skills to oversee our path forward.
Our Police and Fire Chiefs and dedicated members of their departments continue to implement policy and work together to build a community-based force for now and the future.
I will continue to work with all to raise Peekskill up and find ways to sustain the momentum for our future. Working together and focusing locally, I’ll strive to help guide this unique, diverse, creative, and caring city to its full potential.