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10 Questions: Tarrytown Candidate Mary McGee

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Elections for village trustee are less than a month away and The Daily Tarrytown is preparing by asking each Tarrytown trustee candidate 10 questions about local issues, what they hope to accomplish and why residents should vote for them.

Six candidates are running for three open seats on the board of trustees. Incumbents Thomas Basher, Mary McGee and Robert Hoyt are running on the Democratic and Tarrytown United line. Challengers Alison Boldyrev, Eleanor Miscioscia and Christine Miscioscia are running on the Republican line.

The following questionnaire was filled out by McGee, who notes that she answered all non-personal questions together with Basher and Hoyt because they are running as a group.

Check back during the next two weeks for each of the other candidates' answers.

Please tell us a little bit about you:

I am a homemaker. Before that, I was an editor on a number of industrial publications. I grew up in many places. Because of my father’s job as a construction engineer, we moved a number of times. As a child, I got the opportunity to live in several states and foreign countries.

I arrived in Tarrytown as a student at Marymount College. Tarrytown immediately felt like home to me. After graduating, I lived at 177 White Plains Road, then 320 South Broadway. I spent a few years in Sleepy Hollow. My family and I have lived in our current home in the Crest area for nearly 28 years.

What qualifications make you the best candidate for village trustee?

I think my experience, including 12 years on the school board, knowledge of the community and my willingness to listen and learn all sides of an issue are available assets to the board. I have the desire and energy to keep our village moving forward.

What committees and organizations are you involved with in the village and area?

I served on either as a member or liaison of the ethics committee, the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Celebrations Committee, the education committee, side-by-side committee, Warner Library Board, and the ad hoc Farmer’s Market Committee. I was very involved in PTAs, including being the EPTA president. As I already mentioned, I served on the school board, including two years as president. I am a parishioner of Transfiguration Church.

How would you address the tax cap and residents' concerns about higher taxes?

This board has continually strived to keep expenditures and taxes as low as possible while still providing the services our residents deserve and expect. As evidence of this, we would point to the fact that our number of employees and salary expenditures have actually dropped over the last three budgets and the amount of property taxes collected has been flat. We are always searching for new sources of revenues other than the property tax – for example, we have requested that the state allow us to charge a hotel occupancy tax and we have received over $12 million in grants.

What are your opinions on affordable housing and Westchester's Housing Settlement?

We have always supported providing affordable housing. For example, we negotiated a commitment from the waterfront developer to provide 12 units of affordable housing at the site of the old village hall. In addition, we recently passed the new model affordable housing law that complies with the housing settlement.

What are your opinions on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and how would you address residents' concerns with construction and increased traffic?

Among the various issues we have raised with the state, we are extremely disappointed and dismayed that the new plans do not include any mass transit, in particular bus rapid transit. Further, we are very concerned about the negative impacts of the bridge on our neighborhoods, especially how it will affect the Quay Condominiums. We have submitted and will continue to submit official documents calling for the environmental review to address these issues. In addition, we will be monitoring the construction process closely and will work with state agencies to ensure that if project moves forward, these impacts will be minimized.

What are your opinions on the lawsuit Tarrytown has filed against Sleepy Hollow concerning the General Motors redevelopment?

Though we were reluctant to file the lawsuit and attempted to negotiate a resolution, we voted in favor of filing because the plans approved by Sleepy Hollow would create unacceptable negative traffic impacts on Tarrytown and there were no effective mitigation measures provided.

What are your thoughts on working with other municipalities and government agencies to share services?

We clearly are in favor of working with other municipalities and have done so on many occasions. For example, with Sleepy Hollow, we run a consolidated day camp, share Warner Library and are currently working on developing a joint public access television station. In addition, we have worked with the other villages in Greenburgh to share equipment and jointly bid contracts, such as those for paving streets. These efforts have yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to the villages. Also, we have recently submitted a grant application with Sleepy Hollow and Briarcliff Manor to study the feasibility of consolidating our water supply operations.

What other issues need to be addressed within the village?

The timely completion of the Pierson Park Project, implementing more efficient ways to deliver services in order to reduce costs, continuing to improve and update the water system, and always seeking additional revenue sources other than property taxes.

Why are you running for the position of village trustee?

I am seeking another term as village trustee because there is so much to be done and I think that Tarrytown needs experienced people. I have the knowledge, energy and abilities to keep Tarrytown the great place to live, work in and visit that it has so long been.

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