Bruce Campbell – Sleepy Hollow – Incumbent Trustee
Bruce Campbell has lived in the village since 1989, spending ten years in Philipse Manor and 11 years in Sleepy Hollow Manor. He currently teaches film and television media at Locust Valley High School. Prior to teaching he was a news producer at CBS and Fox. He earned his BA from Syracuse University and a Masters in television from Brooklyn College. He's married and his daughter is currently at university in Delaware. He was involved in AYSO and the YMCA before being elected for his first trustee term in 2009.
1) Name some of your proudest accomplishments in office.
As a team, we've done everything we promised to do when we ran two years ago. We brought tax relief to the village. We promised responsible development and after ten years of stagnation we're on the cusp of moving ahead with GM. There is new life and energy in the downtown area. We've brought good practices and procedures and we're holding people accountable in government.
I've chaired the Parks Committee and the Community Relations Committee. In the last two years, we've opened two new playgrounds. With the CRC, we've brought government to the people and brought our board meetings out of Village Hall to get more direct feedback. We were successful with our Halloween celebration and were closer than ever last year to breaking even on the Haunted Hayride. We're reaching out and working with businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to find creative ways to leverage the name Sleepy Hollow.
2) Can you name any mistakes that have been made over the past two years, or things you would do differently?
There is one thing I voted 'no' on. We voted to raise parking fines in the village. We raised them, I think too much. Also, not starting early enough on Halloween. We are just starting to reach out now to Historic Hudson and the Old Dutch Church and looking to begin selling sponsorships. Those are two things.
3) What do you think of the opposition's view that Village government is not open enough to the people and it's hard to get involved?
I think it's totally false. As I've said, we've done everything we can to bring information to the residents. We've held local meetings around town in various communities. We've involved many community members and volunteers in Halloween or other events. More officially, we've started a Police Advisory Committee, that is a significant step to take. So we feel we're very responsive to folks. We've done substantially more than any previous administration to inform and involve our community's residents.
4) Do you think there have been mistakes in the GM process or that it could be gone about in a different way?
If I could wave a magic wand and be present at the creation, there are a lot of things that could have been done differently. Perhaps we could have made a less dense development with less potential for traffic problems. But when we took over, that ship had sailed, agreements had passed and were signed which put in place what that development would be.
5) Do you think it is a liability to continue with hearings against suspended Sleepy Hollow Police Detective Jose Quinoy?
I feel it's required, it's a requirement by law. I can't say anything more about that. I certainly enter it with an open mind and don't know where it will lead.
6) Can you name some state mandates that unfairly affect the budget of the village?
The thing right now is pension systems. We extended an early retirement incentive to several village employees which increases our pension cost in the short term, but is cheaper for the village in the long term. The other things is our water bills. Those rates are set by New York City and we have no choice but to pass those rates on to our users. New York City isn't bashful about what they want to charge us.
7) Downtown revitalization has been a big issue. What is your take on how will this affect the Spanish-speaking population of the inner village?
That is difficult. All we can do is assure that we're going to make sure the places they live in are safe. We started an aggressive code enforcement agenda to hold landlords accountable and make sure unsafe housing is ended. We kind of expect that Beekman Avenue will become gentrified over time. The only thing we can do is keep a close eye on it, and that we provide our people with the ability to find affordable housing.
8) If reelected what would you consider to be your two-year agenda?
I want to do more, personally, with branding and leveraging the name of Sleepy Hollow. I want to bring in more tourism and really put Sleepy Hollow on the map. We want to continue the revitalization of downtown, much of this will flow with the development of GM. That is an enormous piece of the agenda, it will create an atmosphere that attracts more businesses to our village.
9) How do you feel about shared services? Do you approve of the proposed plan to consolidate the Parks and Recreation departments of the two villages and the school district under the leadership of TUFSD?
I am very much involved in that study. As a rule I am very much in favor of shared services. It makes intuitive sense. Not to say we will rush into any agreement. The reason you look at shared services is to save money and improve service. Unless the proposal does those things, we're not going to move ahead.
When our opponents say that a police merger is a bad thing, no one knows that, it's a knee-jerk reaction. We have a responsibility to investigate it. It doesn't mean we're going to go through with it.
10) Are there any final comments or issues you think are important that you would like to share with our readers?
We're kind of on the cusp here. A few years ago, people wanted to jettison the administration. We think we're moving in a new positive direction and we're at a turning point to continue moving this village forward. We have to do it or the village will suffer as a whole. The problems that face this village in the future requires the kind of commitment that we've demonstrated over the past two years.