Communication is a two-way street and I will always do my job with that in mind. Unless it is necessary for me to be out of the office to conduct town business, I will be in the office and available to the community. I will listen because without listening I cannot possibly lead in a way that considers the truly best interests of Somers.
I will create a variety of ways to inform our residents of what is happening in town. A weekly “Notes from the Supervisor” column will be arranged with the Somers Record, and informational updates will be a regular part of the Somers Town website. Town Hall meetings will be a monthly part of my schedule so that interested community members can come together to share mutual concerns and learn about what is being worked on to benefit Somers in a warm and welcoming manner.
Transparency is essential in successful leadership and communication. An open-door policy means nothing if it is not followed up with complete transparency. I want the residents of Somers to know what is happening and will always be honest and thorough in our conversations.
Internet Choice and Reliability
There is an urgent need for choice and reliability in internet service providers. This is a top priority for Somers and I am determined to utilize all available resources and contacts in the local, county, state, and federal levels of government to insure improved reliability and choice. As we have learned during the many months of COVID working and learning at home requires availability to not just the tools, but also the services.
Reliable and Sustainable Energy
It is essential to make sure that NYSEG continues to maintain and improve our power infrastructure. Changes for the better have been made recently, but I intend to put pressure on NYSEG to continue the work through equipment upgrades, emergency preparedness planning and vegetation management programs. I know this is an issue of significant importance to my Democrat running mates, and as a team we will focus a great deal of our personal energy to improve energy reliability and sustainability for Somers.
In an effort to find low cost options to expansion of recycling services and sustainability options I am currently researching the successes and failures of other local municipalities so that I will be prepared to hit the ground running on day 1 with new and improved recycling ideas and a possible community composting program.
Town Center Redevelopment
Our town center needs to be reimagined into a pedestrian friendly walkable space that supports the needs of our community while both promoting the health and growth of our small businesses and attracting additional small businesses to fill our vacant commercial spaces. In an effort to be clear about my desire to successfully develop this area of town I have begun the WALKING SOMERS FOR SOMERS SIDEWALKS program. I am walking every day that does not have a scheduling conflict to a location where I will be available to chat with anyone and everyone interested in why I’m running and how I want to help our community. Updates will be posted on walking plans on my personal and campaign Facebook pages.
Improve Community Resources
Somers has been blessed with space and continues to maintain a small town feel while being in close proximity to several urban areas. It is possible to maintain the many blessings we are privileged to enjoy here while expanding and modernizing what we have. We have been waiting years for a land swap to be completed that will increase the size of Reis Park. If that hasn't happened by the time I take office I'll make sure it gets done. This will give us the opportunity to expand and add resources like a Splash Pad, new ballfields and a second entrance/exit from the park to reduce congestion at large events. We should take this opportunity to work with the community to envision what else can be done to make the park safer and more attractive to residents. It's my hope that we can work toward a plan that would allow us to accommodate larger community events and one day move the Independence Day fireworks back to Reis Park where it belongs. We are in the very rare and fortunate circumstance to have our town library in a park. In addition to the improvements that will be done to the park itself I want to work with the library to update and expand as funding allows, and I will work hard to find a variety of funding resources that allow the work to be done without a hit on our community pocketbooks.
These ideas and others will help us to be able to create more opportunities for community programs and events.
Somers is very proud to be able to boast of being one of the lowest taxed towns in Westchester County, and I do not plan to change that! Interestingly, in 7 of the last 8 years Somers taxes have gone up while remaining comfortably below the tax cap. The unfortunate fact is that for all of those increases not much has improved in terms of services and benefits to the citizens of Somers. Historically our town has not taken advantage of funding resources beyond taxation to benefit our community. In an effort to make sure that there are improved services and benefits to all Somers residents I will research and apply for all available grants both through the State and Federal Government, utilizing my existing connections to County, State, and Federal level legislators to give our town what it should have without unnecessary impacts to our wallets.
Diversity and Inclusion
Somers needs to be a safe place to fall FOR EVERYONE. There has been much conversation about how to expand Diversity and Inclusion, but not much has actually changed. It is my intent to form a committee made up of Somers residents and access well versed advisors to insure that the conversations, events, activities, and resources in our town are properly designed to insure a safe and welcoming environment for all. As a former educator I believe it is important to include members of town school committees in this conversation so that there is consistency for our children while respecting the separate nature of school and town government.
I have worked as a Veterans Advocate since the loss of my veteran son in 2016 and will continue to advocate for all who have or are serving nationally and at the community level. We would not be the remarkable country we are or the safe and comfortable town we are without those who have served or are serving in the military and police forces. I will work hard to make sure that all who have made the choice to put on a uniform and put their lives on the line in order to protect us are honored and respected here in Somers. Pride and respect for our military and police is not owned by one party or another, and I will make it clear that I am proud to support those who serve and protect!