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 Hoyt, who notes that he answered all non-personal questions together with Basher and McGee 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 life-long resident of Tarrytown. I am 49 years old and proud father of 4 children. I have served on the Board for six years. I am a Senior Manager with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and have been with them for sixteen years. I attended Mercy College and live in the South end of town near the Pennybridge area.
What qualifications make you the best candidate for village trustee?
In my six years as a member of the Board of Trustees, I have gained a vast knowledge and understanding of the everyday workings of Village government. The distinct knowledge and experience I bring to the board is from being a dedicated volunteer for many years. I am a 30-year member of the Tarrytown Volunteer Fire Department and a 13-year member of the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corp. The knowledge and experience I bring from my 16 years working in private sector at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which include projecting and maintaining department financial budgets and management of staff.
What committees and organizations are you involved with in the village and area?
I continue to actively serve as a member of the Tarrytown Volunteer Fire Department for the past 30 years and have been an active member of the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corp for the past 14 years, serving as Captain to both departments. I am a past President of the Tarrytown Dads Club baseball league, and trustee liaison for Parks and Recreation, Communications Committee, Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Historical Society and Tree Commission.
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. We have submitted and will continual 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?
To continue to help Village residents with everyday concerns that need to be addressed. We have accomplished many projects over the past six years and I look forward to completing the Pierson Park Rehabilitation Project and starting the Village's first PEG access station along with the Village of Sleepy Hollow just to name a few. Over the last 6 years, our current Board has accomplished so much while being fiscally responsible. I will continue to work hard and listen to the people of this community. We continue to strive to preserve Tarrytown as the Jewel of the Lower Hudson Valley and will make every effort to best serve all of the residents of this great Village. It would be my pleasure and honor to continue to serve as member of the Board of Trustees for the Village of Tarrytown.
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