The Democratic Caucus has nominated their three candidates for Trustee, but it may not be the slate Mayor Wray and some sitting trustees had in mind.
The nearly two hour proceedings were entirely different than last year’s hasty in-and-out when three candidates received their easy endorsement (until another candidate showed up…too late).
Ken Wray had asked trustees Bruce Campbell and Barbara Carr not to run for their seats again. Instead, new recruits Vishal Brown and Glenn Rosenbloom were to join current trustee Evelyn Stupel.
Despite this blow, Campbell was able to win Democratic Party endorsement. Carr however did not.
Brown never made it into the nomination process, a system that pairs two candidates in each of three rounds. A candidate who doesn’t win one round may get nominated for the next, thus shoving Brown out of Saturday’s line-up.
Registered Democrats, of which there were over 100 in attendance at the Galgano Center on Saturday, lined up to place their orange ballots in the box for each round. Party Chair and Village Attorney Janet Gandolfo ran the proceedings by the books, however she did say she was breaking the usual protocol by allowing candidates to come up and speak for themselves following their nominations from colleagues and friends.
First the Mayor received an unopposed endorsement to run for another term. He took this moment to explain his perhaps surprising new slate.
“Some may be confused as to why I decided to make a change to the team,” Wray said. He wanted to ensure the trustees would be “consistently prepared to work” on all the many challenges the village faces. He admitted he asked Campbell and Carr to “step aside” to make way for “new voices and energy.”
In the first round:
Bruce Campbell was nominated by Dorothy Handelman for his “proven ability and dedication” and a resume including growing Halloween in the village, creating emergency alerts, holding board meetings in different neighborhoods, procuring a Cablevision agreement, writing press releases and more.
First, Campbell wanted to praise the audience. “What a turnout; this is amazing,” he said, asking everyone to give themselves a hand.
“I have supported the mayor both publicly and privately yet I have questioned when necessary and pushed the debate,” Campbell said. Though he said he’s all for change, with two new trustees added to two potential new trustees this year, that’s “just too much.” Rather, now, he said, “is a time for stability, continuity and experience.”
“Positions are not appointed. Nominations are not [the Mayor’s] but the party’s,” Campbell said.
Evelyn Stupel, nominated by Wray, earned her reelection, he said, by taking on the illegal housing problem in the inner village.
Stupel described reaching a “tipping point” in her efforts where if she can push a little further in her second term she will see big returns. She described a “time of great change in our village.” Over-crowded buildings are an enormous drain on the village as well as a safety concern, she said.
(and 3 voids)
In the second round:
The Mayor got up to again nominate Stupel. Stupel congratulated Campbell on his victory in such a close vote.
She got more specific on her record: Because of the efforts of the Safe Housing and Code Enforcement Committee she founded, the Village has issued 700 violations, 41 illegal occupancy/apartments have been removed, and about $136,000 in fines have been collected.
Carr was nominated by a close friend as a “steward of the earth and a guardian of the environment,” who “cares about our town, our children and our future.”
Carr said she hoped to serve her third and what would be her last term as an active member who enjoys “putting time and energy into improving village life.” She cited the three water main breaks we had within a 30 day period and said with most of our infrastructure being 100 years old, we “must develop a long term plan.”
In the third round:
Stupel nominated Glenn Rosenbloom, a resident since 1990, active in youth sports and now chair of the Planning Board.
Rosenbloom spoke to why he wants to run. “I happen to love this village and I think it is an extraordinary time.”
He listed as his top priorities:
- Get the GM project started, "executed against a very smart plan,” which will bring in additional tax roll revenue and funding for our schools.
- Improve our relationship with sister village Tarrytown, “building bridges to find ways to share services.”
- Sleepy Hollow revitalization, especially on Beekman with more retail and restaurants. He said his background in communications, entertainment and media for both Disney and ESPN could certainly help in this area.
- Keep taxes as low as possible, “without needing to give up anything as far as quality of life.”
Carr, again standing up, added to her resume. Under her term, the board has cleaned up the police department, gotten tanks out of Castle Oil with tax revenue from a new development soon to come. She returned to the need for a master plan for our sagging infrastructure and spoke of her environmental concerns, as a woman who has been known to clean parks, plant trees, and fight leaf blowers.
Mayor Ken Wray is rerunning unopposed.
Wray, before the meeting began, listed to Patch the critical work that lies ahead for the village, which he is eager to continue.
- Water main issues and we how we deliver our water supply
- GM development
- Infrastructure needs – namely long-term issues for the village like parking and the continuing revitalization of Beekman and how it affects inner village residents.
- Moving DPW to the east parcel is eventually down the road, leaving Village Government a rezoned parcel that is “the most valuable piece of land left for the village.”
Finally there was the uncontested nomination for Justice Andres Valdespino, who unlike the other two-year stinters, is looking toward another four-year term.
In the course of his last four years, he’s introduced another court session each month to deal with housing issues and “I think we’ve done a good job,” he said. Continuing this “would be nice.”
At the microphone, Valdespino foremost wanted to thank his wife for those arraignment phone calls that come at times like 7:30 a.m. on Christmas morning or late at night.
Down but (maybe) not out:
Carr said after the caucus' conclusion that she was uncertain if she would continue to fight for her seat or not. “I don’t know,” she simply said as some in the crowd came up to her to say they were sorry.
Brown, despite lacking democratic endorsement, seemed confident nonetheless. Vishal is new to Sleepy Hollow but sits now as chair of the Recreation Advisory Committee. He still holds the full backing of his original slate, who say they plan to stick together on their own ticket despite Saturday's results.
So an exciting season begins in full force.
Click here for photos from the caucus.
Do you have questions for these Democratic Candidates? I'll be compiling your questions, which can be directed at individuals or to their slate as a whole. Email me at email@example.com.