This letter appears in this week's issue of the Gazette.
To the Editor:
Many times over the last decade I have written letters to this newspaper to discuss a variety of village issues. In this letter, however, I wish to introduce myself to the residents of Croton as a candidate for Village Trustee this November. I am running with Greg Schmidt and Bob Anderson with Croton United.
I have been a resident of the village since 2004, and a local business owner since 2011. My husband and I own a law practice in Croton, and our children attend Croton schools. I have always believed that it is important to be more than a bystander in one’s community, and as such, have served in various volunteer positions over the last thirteen years, on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, on the parent committee and advisory board of Circle School, as a Destination Imagination team manager and as a member of the Rotary Club of Croton on Hudson.
In 2014, I helped found Croton United, a nonpartisan coalition, with several other residents of various political affiliations (for the last twenty years, I have been a non-party aligned voter). We were brought together out of concern for our community and a commitment to core values such as good fiscal stewardship of the village, openness in government and service to the community. I served as Croton United’s first chair until my nomination for office recently, and in so doing, successfully brought together residents who, while expressing sharp ideological differences on matters of state and federal policy, nonetheless found common ground by embracing the principle that partisan politics is counterproductive at the most local level of government. The members of Croton United, myself included, are motivated by the desire to give service to our community, and not by the desire to advance individual or organizational political agendas.
While there are a number of challenges facing our community, I think none is more important than the need to prioritize responsible, long-term financial planning in all of our public policy decisions. Unlike some neighboring communities, the village no longer has large tracts of lands whose development represent the potential expansion of our commercial or residential tax base. In the current climate of steadily rising costs and unfunded mandates, it is more important than ever that we find ways to maintain and improve the quality of life for all residents while ensuring the village’s continued financial sustainability. To help us do so, Croton United’s elected leaders have leveraged the expertise of village residents who have given service to the community on the village’s newly formed Financial Sustainability Committee. Sound financial planning for our collective future has begun but more needs to be done, and will be done if I am elected.
It is also vital that we remain able to come together as a community to fashion practical, locally-focused and community driven solutions to village issues. To do so, we must remain able to see each other as neighbors and fellow stakeholders in the community we all call home. All voices need to be heard if we are to deliver the message that we care about each other. I want to encourage volunteerism and participation in local government. I want to make residents feel that when they give, they make a difference.
If elected, I will draw upon the breadth of my experience—as a resident, a homeowner, a local business owner, a mother, a teacher, a lawyer and a lifelong community activist—to move our community forward responsibly for all residents. I look forward to speaking with many of you during my campaign and thank you for your support.