Town Supervisor: A Real Job

Sue Donnelly and Peter Tripodi are running for the office of Ossining Town Supervisor.  This is a job for an experienced professional, and how (s)he manages the town resources impacts how my family lives.  Apparently Peter has been making some unfavorable and disingenuous comments about Sue.  Her supporters in the community tell a very different story of her experience and commitment in this video.  In my exposure to Sue, I’ve found her to be fiscally-conservative, business-minded, and enthusiastically supportive of environmentally sustainable practices.

Dor-Dor came to OH for my college graduation.

It’s my understanding that Sue’s business is with cash register systems.  Before that, she worked in grocery stores.  I like this about Sue for entirely personal reasons.  She makes me think of my grandmother Dor-Dor.  Dor-Dor worked much of her adult life as the head cashier of an A&P.  I remember visiting Dor-Dor in her small office where her window was a view of all the “girls” at the registers.  In an only slightly altered universe, I imagine Sue might have visited Dor-Dor at work periodically and they would have both looked forward to those meetings.  Like my Dor-Dor, Sue has spent decades working with people and managing the needs of a business and a household.

Of course, my late Dor-Dor’s presumed opinion of Sue is irrelevant to how you will vote next Tuesday.  But if the video linked in this blog doesn’t persuade you to vote for Sue, consider the alternative…

My reasons for not voting for Peter are two-fold.  First, I disagree with all of his positions.  But more importantly, he lacks the experience needed to make decisions that directly affect the lives of town workers, residents and taxpayers.  He’s 25 years old, lives with his parents, and has never had a full-time job outside of town politics.

Here’s what I like about Peter—he’s eager and accessible.  He knocked on our front door one Sunday afternoon on his quest to meet constituents and potential supporters.  I like this.  I like that he stood on our front porch for nearly a half hour while Eric and I asked him questions about himself, healthcare, unions, and local issues.  I also like that a week later at the end of a meeting about potential improvements to government efficiency, Peter stood up and defended the process of the steering committee as transparent despite, or perhaps because, his friends and supporters were many of the most vocal critics.

When Eric and I spoke with Peter that afternoon on our front porch, we discussed upcoming contracts for town workers.  Peter dismissed the suggestion that it is unfair to ask these union laborers to suddenly pay a large chunk of their healthcare premiums—essentially forcing a pay cut.  Peter’s oversimplified belief is that this is what every community requires today because taxes are too high.  No kidding taxes are too damn high.  In our home we struggle to pay every tax bill.  But is the solution to make it harder for our town’s workers to manage their household bills?

How can a kid who has never had to decide which bills to pay off and which to pay down…has never applied for a mortgage…has never hesitated whether to bring his sick kid to the doctor because a copayment is more than the household budget can handle that month…has never had to stay at a job he hates because without it the rent won’t get paid…how can that kid be elected to a full-time job managing a budget for a town of over 36,000 residents?

Next Tuesday, 11/8 please join me in voting for Sue Donnelly as our next Town Supervisor.  This is a job for someone with real life experience.  If you’re not sure what else is on the ballot or how you’ll vote, you can start your research with this voter guide to Ossining town and village candidates.  Elections matter.  Vote.

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