The free pizza chilled quickly at the table outside , as three young men collected the signatures required to get their Sleepy Hollow Independent party on the March election ballot.
And so begins our local election 2012 coverage with this very grassroots/snowy sidewalk campaign.
David Bedell, Sean Roach, and Daniel Scott introduced themselves to passersby, registered voters, and asked those registered to sign a petition so they could run for the three Trustees seats up for grabs this year.
While the two main parties – Democrat and Republican – must hold caucuses to announce their competing candidates (if any), other party affiliations require 100 signatures to get on the ballot.
Initially, Roach and Scott had allied together to run, and lately they filled out a trio with Bedell. The three say they share the same core values and that it helped them to align their thoughts to work together.
“I've been thinking about running for several years. Dan and Sean bring a lot of energy to Village politics and I'm happy to join them to build a better community,” said Bedell, who plans to continue his involvement, with Roach, on the Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Council. Bedell has been chair of the Council since Mayor Wray appointed him in 2009.
Scott was clearly the veteran campaigner – – telling one resident who stopped to talk, “there's no obligation to vote for us though we're hoping to win you over in the next few weeks.”
Once every party has announced their candidates, the race will really kick in with a string of February debates.
The Sleepy Hollow Independent party aims to get past partisan politics and “unify the community,” said Scott. “It has to do with being independent, and creating an open and transparent forum with more real dialogue at meetings.”
What will Scott do different this time around? “I will be so much more adamant about not getting tied up on the past. It's about positive leadership, and I will be that much more positive,” he said.
The group is interested in greater outreach, particularly to the Latin community and younger people, involving both more in government. They see committees as playing a greater role, but by only seeking out very qualified and commited volunteers, “almost like applying for a job,” said Scott. They envision groups like a Downtown Revitalization Committee to enliven Beekman and a watchdog group to oversee development of the G.M. site. And, obviously, the environment will be a priority.
They will begin, said Scott, with a public meeting to really hear what the community wants.
They also hope for more alignment between the Villages, with quarterly meetings, Mayor to Mayor meetings. Forging a relationship “like borrowing sugar from your neighbor,” said Scott, “seems very reasonable.”
Roach has been involved with government on the local level for five years, as an “impartial observer." Readers will know him as the former Editor of the Tarrytown.Patch.com from its launch in 2009 to 2011. He is now the Public Relations Manager for the National Kidney Foundation, based in Manhattan.
Scott is an attorney in Chadbourne & Parke's Private Client Group, and the father of two young children. Bedell, also the father of two, is a computer programmer.
The men were halfway to their petition goal after about an hour and a half in the cold and, for now, it was time to distribute a few balloons to the kids and be on their way.
They might have gotten a few more names if they knew more Spanish, as many folks walking by were of the Latin population. “I know a few select phrases, none being 'are you registered to vote,'” Roach said.
In the meantime, those interested can "friend" them on Facebook at the Bring the Legend Back page.
“Sleepy Hollow is so much bigger than this. It's about inspiration, inspired-literature, that native spirit of the Hudson," Scott said.
"There's a lot of challenges," said Bedell, "and a lot of opportunity."
Stay tuned for our continued Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Election 2012 coverage as nominating caucuses are scheduled in both villages.
- The Tarrytown Democratic Party will hold its Caucus for the March 20th Village elections on Jan. 26th, 7PM at Village Hall. All registered Democratics are invited to attend to nominate candidates for the three trustee seats up for election, namely those of Thomas Basher, Robert Hoyt and Mary McGee
- The GOP Committee also announced that its 2012 Nominating Caucus for Village Trustee will be held Monday, January 30, 2012, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Tarrytown Village Hall in the Court Room. All registered Republicans residing in Tarrytown may attend and vote in this caucus, which will nominate three candidates for Trustee.
- Sleepy Hollow Democratic Party will hold its Caucus for the March 20th Village elections on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. in the James Galgano Senior Center at 55 Elm Street. All registered Democrats are invited to attend to nominate candidates for the three trustee seats, namely those of Thomas Capossela, David Schroedel and Karin Wompa.
- There has been no announcement of a Republican Caucus as of yet in Sleepy Hollow.