With a month to go until the Trustees elections in the villages, the campaigning has begun in earnest in Sleepy Hollow.
At first it was the Sleepy Hollow Independent Party (composed of newcomers Dan Scott, David Bedell and Sean Reach) vs. incumbent Karin Wompa with newcomers Susan MacFarlane and Jennifer Lobato-Church hoping to run on both the Democratic and the would-be Village Independents line. However, the Westchester County Board of Elections ruled that 'Village Independents' sounded too confusingly close to the 'Sleepy Hollow Indepedent Party,' so the Dems are now instead running on the “Better Government” second line.
“The presence of a second line on the ballot reflects the true bipartisan nature of the slate,” wrote current Trustee Bruce Campbell on their Facebook page. Lobato-Church is a registered Republican.
Another label that remains similar, but different enough to stick, between the campaigning groups are their mottos. “Moving the Legend Forward” for the Dems and "Bring the Legend Back" for the Indepedents. Both are on Facebook updating their statuses, and both sets of candidates are out and about, and if not pressing the flesh exactly, talking and listening to the people.
After the Dem/Better petition was officially filed with the BOE, Campbell described a “whirlwind” launch weekend of three different neighborhood stops. The candidates “began their campaign in earnest, listening to voters' concerns and laying out their agenda for the future.”
The women talked downtown revitalization efforts and addressed inner village concerns such as parking with residents at 100 College Arms on Cortland Street. Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray hosted a reception for the candidates at his Webber Park home, complete with puppeteer entertainment for the kids while parents talked about the Village’s water supply to conditions in Douglas Park.
Finally, there was a Sunday morning brunch at the home of an Ichabod’s Landing resident. "Ichabod’s is a key location in the village’s future with developments planned next door at both the Castle Oil and GM sites," Campbell wrote.
“The candidates promise to visit every neighborhood in the village over the coming weeks," Campbell wrote. "They will point up the success of the current village administration in holding the line on taxes, advancing the GM project, stabilizing the village police department, updating the village Code and much more. Current Board members believe these are the candidates best equipped to help lead the village and join in 'Moving the Legend Forward.'"
Meanwhile, the Sleepy Hollow Independent Party, which handily can be shortened to SHIP, is also now official and in high gear, with their petition filed with the Westchester BOE coinciding with the launch of their website.
"It's great to have our petitions filed on time and in good order," said Scott, who was a candidate for Mayor last year. "Now we're ready to gear up and continue the conversation with residents about our vision for the Village of Sleepy Hollow."
SHIP also released a press release announcing that they will be holding a fundraiser for campaign costs at Moon River Grill this Saturday, February 18, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friends, family, everyone are urged to come partake of the food and open bar at the cost of $50 per person. Any money raised that is not spent on the campaign they plan to donate to a local non-profit.
But don't expect the campaign funds raised to go towards litter-worthy junk mail. The group noted that materials used in their campaign will be carefully picked based on their environmental impact.
"We're planning on running a very green campaign," said Bedell, who chairs the Village's Environmental Advisory Council. "We're going to print all of our materials on reused paper that can easily be recycled, and we're not going to bombard people with numerous, wasteful, mass mailings."
Like the women, the group is also looking to reach every neighborhood in the village, scheduling coffee appointments and meet-and-greets in various locations. Taking an intimate approach, they stated they are always open to meet with more residents at their homes or in local businesses. Those residents or business owners who are interested can contact SHIP candidates through their website.
A Manor Debate is scheduled for Thursday, March 15th. At 7:30 p.m. there will be refreshments, with the debate beginning at 8 p.m., at the Philipsburg Manor Restoration.