January caucuses have come to a close in Irvington and the upcoming mayoral election will see Erin Malloy run against Sheila Attai.
Most Irvington residents predicted that the 2005 Democratic mayoral candidate, Erin Malloy, would make another bid for mayor, and that current Mayor Dennis Flood would not run for re-election.
Top: Sheila Attai, Bottom: Erin Malloy
Though that much was expected, it was still unsure who, if anyone, would run on the Republican/Independent ticket. Party chairman, Paul Ficalora, approached former Irvington Trustee, Sheila Attai, about running — a request she gladly agreed to.
Attai, a retired registered nurse, has eight years of political experience as an Irvington Village Trustee. Although this is her first time running for mayor, it has not been the first time she has been asked to run. "My time on the Board [of Trustees] was with Dennis Flood as Mayor. I felt he did such a great job that I couldn’t run against him," said Attai. With Mayor Flood not running, this is the opportunity for her to continue the job he started while also addressing new issues in the village.
One major issue she feels needs to be accomplished is holding lines on taxes without cutting services. Attai, along with Trustee candidates Heather Bancroft and Joy Goudie, feel it is important that the village maintains a balanced budget that won’t come at the expense of raised taxes or lost jobs. Other issues which the Republican/ Independent candidates are concerned with are: keeping Dobbs Ferry Hospital open, re-addressing issues concerning the wetlands and surrounding developments, and hastening the development of Bridge Street. Sheila affirms that it is very much a team effort rather than a Republican/Independent party effort. "I believe that you should vote for the person not the party," said Attai.
Attai’s opponent is current Village Trustee, Erin Malloy. After the long and tumultuous 2005 mayoral election, she was asked why she decided to run again. "I couldn’t find a better reason not to," Malloy replied. She has been involved with Irvington politics as a member of the League of Women Voters and even rose to become President of the Westchester County branch. As Trustee, Malloy sees the creation of the Citizens Budget Committee as a huge achievement in involving the community through the budget process. "It has been a great resource to the Board [of Trustees] and the administration…providing different studies and alternatives," said Malloy.
Along with Malloy, Democratic Trustee Nicola Coddington is up for re-election and John Malone is running for the other Trustee position. Together, they are looking forward to continuing current programs such as the Citizens Budget Committee, which they feel has been a "huge step forward…addressing the tax issue in a new light" and also, finding solutions to drainage problems by taking a serious look at the Village’s infrastructure. "It is not an easy thing but I am very committed," said Malloy.
Both mayoral candidates agree that it is important to have a healthy, contested election in Irvington. Both teams plan on campaigning door-to-door, speaking to Village residents about their cares and concerns. "I want people to feel that I am approachable," said Attai.
There is also a scheduled debate for all candidates on Wednesday, March 7. The election will be run by Westchester County, which will be responsible for the voting machine transport as well as absentee ballot applications. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.