Vic’s Votes

Lawn signs 2013Do you realize next Tuesday, November 5 is Election Day?  Do you know who and what is on the ballot?  There were many years when I stood in the election booth feeling hesitant to complete my whole ballot because I didn’t know the candidates—especially judges.  For today, I offer my thoughts on candidates for the county, judicial and local races.  (My next post will be about proposed amendments to the NYS constitution—there are six of them and my support is split.)

Being active in local politics has many benefits, including a familiarity with the candidates.  In the interest of helping my fellow voters prepare for Election Day, I waive my right to a secret ballot—offering you my opinion and providing links to help you read more on the candidates and issues.  Clearly I am not impartial, but the League of Women Voters is.

County Executive:  Noam BramsonI’m a big fan.  Here’s a link to a closing statement he made during a debate earlier this month that sums up well the reasons I support Noam.  This Journal News article and video offers an in-depth comparison of the two candidates.  Taxes are the first question asked in the video interview—a must watch.

County Clerk:  Tim Idoni is running for re-election—and that’s great news for taxpayers.  He has saved us $5M by reducing staff without layoffs, made county government more efficient with innovative electronic systems, reduced operating expenses by 18%, and eliminated document backlogs with active daily management.

County Legislator:  Catherine Borgia—hardworking, responsive to her constituents, and reflects my family’s values.  In her first term Catherine took the lead on several important pieces of legislation designed to keep Westchester families healthy and safe, and to increase opportunities for small business to succeed while making smart environmental decisions.  She understands the importance of finding balance in the triple bottom-line:  people, profits & planet.

I’ve spent enough hours at Democratic Committee meetings and the endless political fundraiser circuit to have spoken with each of the judicial candidates I’m highlighting here.  I’m not a lawyer, and I hope I won’t personally be in front of any of these judges.  But as I consider offering my public support for their candidacy, I imagine if I, or someone I loved, were ever to find themselves in front of these individuals, would the judge be fair?  These are the candidates for various judicial positions who pass the test…

The NYS Supreme Court 9th District covers Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties.  NYS Supreme Court Judges are elected to 14 year terms.  These are the 9th District candidates I enthusiastically support.

Janet Malone

Maria S. Vazquez-Doles

John Colangelo

Victor Grossman

County Court Justice is a 10 year term.  David Everett will do a great job.  He’s an incredibly decent guy with a wealth of experience.

Kathy Davidson is running for re-election as Westchester Family Court Judge.  She is running unopposed and is very well regarded by all who know her.

Nancy Quinn Koba is running for re-election as Ossining Town Justice.  Nancy is widely recognized as smart, fair and well-tempered for her role as Town Justice.

And on to my friends running for positions on Ossining boards…

Sue Donnelly is running unopposed for Town Supervisor.  I find Sue to be collaborative and accessible.  I greatly admire the Town Hall meeting format that she initiated which demonstrates her commitment to engaging the public on issues that matter to our community.

Northern Wilcher is running for re-election on the Town Council.  Northern serves our community with a kind and soft-spoken smile.

Kim Jeffrey is seeking her first term on the Town Council.  When the primary election posed a bit of challenge for these seats, I wrote this glowing endorsement of my friend Kim.  We share a lot of values, and yet sometimes disagree with the best way to achieve them.  I believe our ability for disagree while continuing to listen and be challenged by each other speaks well for our ability to collaboratively serve Ossining from our distinct roles in the Town (Kim) and Village (Vic).

Manuel Quezada & Bob Daraio, my colleagues on the board, are seeking re-election as Ossining Village Trustees.  I hope you will join me in welcoming them each to their second term.

Local and county elections matter.  In fact, on a daily basis they have significantly more impact on our lives than national or state elections.  I implore you, please vote.  Bring a friend to the polls.  Encourage your neighbors and co-workers to vote.  And if anyone needs a ride to the polls, let me know.  Volunteers have already signed up to help get voters out on Election Day.

Vote! Tuesday, September 10 is Primary Election Day!

VOTE logoDemocrats & Independence Party members get a bonus election day this cycle!  On Tuesday, September 10 Ossining Democrats & Indendents, go to your polling place between 6:00am and 9:00pm.  Not sure where your polling place is?  Visit the Westchester Board of Elections website.

If you are a registered Democrat in the Town of Ossining—that includes all of us in the Village of Ossining, and nearly everyone in the Village of Briarcliff Manor—I hope you’ll join me at the polls today in supporting Northern Wilcher and Kim Jeffrey for Town Council.

I encourage Independence Party members to support Catherine Borgia in her bid for re-election to serve as our Westchester County Legislator.  Catherine has been a leader on issues that matter deeply to me—in particular by protecting us from toxic hydrofracking waste, and making it easier for local contractors to install solar panels.  Earlier this year, I attended a meeting of the Government Operations Committee as Catherine chaired the discussion on whether and how the county will implement a Complete Streets program.  Catherine works incredibly hard on behalf her constituents and I am grateful that she represents us.

The race I’ll be watching most closely is for Town Council.  There are two seats up for election, and three candidates seeking the Democratic Party endorsement.  No Republicans are running for these seats, so the election will be decided by Democratic primary voters.   I’m supporting Kim Jeffrey and Northern Wilcher.  Northern Wilcher is seeking re-election.  Kim is running for her first term.

Kim Jeffrey is a friend of mine.  Still, we disagree and argue pretty regularly.  We both express our opinion and listen to each other, yet we don’t necessarily come to share a perspective.  And that’s ok.  We just move on to the next topic.  I really admire and enjoy people that can disagree with me on a particular issue, and not let that determine whether we are friends, and not deter us from working together on another initiative.

Kim and I have a lot in common—sons nearly the same age, we’re soccer moms, and we have a lot of mutual friends.  I met Kim when we were both working with Ossining Citizens for Schools on campaigns to pass school bonds and budgets.  Since then I’ve served on a fundraising committee that she chaired for the Ossining Town Democratic Committee, and supported her remarkable leadership in gathering our community together for a vigil in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

Kim is bold.  Kim is dedicated.  Kim will be a great public servant.  I look forward to more opportunities to work with her when she is on the Town Council.

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