Election Day(s) & Ballot Thoughts

When are you planning to vote this year? Did you know that early voting begins this Saturday, October 26 and continues through Sunday, November 3? I recently posted this brief video spreading the good word about early voting. Ossining folks who want to vote early will go to the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center. If you want to vote on the traditional Election Day, November 5, head to your regular polling place. Click here for FAQs on the Westchester Board of Elections website.

In Ossining, even more interesting than the candidate races this year, are the ballot proposals asking us to consider changing some elected positions to become appointed positions. I generally do not publicly express my views on Town government policy making. I try to stay in my Village lane, and appreciate that my colleagues in the Town try to stay in theirs. However, I do frequently let people know how I am voting and why, and ballot proposals are no exception.

I am voting YES on the ballot proposals. Electing people to serve in administrative positions that have no legislative or policy making responsibility is a quaint throwback a time when town governments were smaller and less complex. While Ossining has been pretty lucky in our election of individuals to these positions, the community would be better served by a policy that prioritizes having experienced professionals leading departments. Click here to read a brief article summarizing the proposals and putting them in the context of similar actions taken by other towns. For greater detail about the proposals, view this video of the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters about the proposals.

All of the candidates running for Village and Town positions this year are unopposed. I don’t think this is an ideal scenario. I have persevered through hard fought campaigns, and I believe I’m a better mayor because of those races. Campaigns force a candidate to consider deeply their positions and goals, so the winner enters office on day one with a clarity of purpose. That said, if every other year an official is focused largely on a political campaign, the amount of actual governing that can take place is limited. Thanks for indulging my brief tangent on a topic worthy of thoughtful discussion in its own right. Now back to this year’s election…

Early Voting image

I’m looking forward to welcoming Bob Fritsche and Omar Lopez to the Village Board on January 1. I’m also supporting the Democratic slate in the Town—Dana Levenberg who is seeking to be reelected as Town Supervisor, and Liz Feldman and Greg Meyer as Councilmembers. Plus, I’ll cast a vote of support for Ben Leavitt, our current Town Prosecutor running unopposed for Town Judge, and Sue Donnelly running unopposed for Town Clerk.

For County Legislator, I’m supporting Catherine Borgia. She is one candidate this year who has a competitor. One other familiar name who will have my vote is Nancy Quinn Koba. Nancy is currently our Town Judge and is seeking election to become a NYS Supreme Court Justice. Click here to enter your address into the League of Women Voters site and read about all the candidates and ballot proposals.

I’m excited about early voting. I’m optimistic that it will significantly increase voter participation. With so many opportunities for occasional voters to be reminded to go to the polls on a day that’s convenient for them, we may see a significant increase in turnout. You can help! Remind your social media followers, email contacts, coworkers and neighbors to get out and vote!

 

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