OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining Village Trustee Victoria Gearity has announced she is running for mayor.
Gearity will be facing off against incumbent and fellow Democrat Bill Hanauer, who is running for re-election.
"This was a tough decision for me to make," Gearity, who said she had been thinking about the decision since last fall. "I love serving the people of Ossining."
Gearity said she likes Hanauer and the decision was not personal. She did not say whether she would pursue a primary, only that she will be seeking the endorsement of the Ossining Democrats.
"The biggest concern I have is our approach to governing," Gearity said. "Community members feel it's not worth voicing their concerns, they are not part of the conversation. There's not enough collaboration and engagement with the public."
Gearity said while she has seen residential development, she would like to see more commercial development in Ossining.
"My kids, 10 years from now, need some place to go have ice cream and hang out with their friends," Gearity said. "We've built a lot of residences. It's time to focus on building businesses."
Gearity said she also wants to make sure money is spent carefully by the village board. Gearity said she went through her first budget process last year and learned a lot.
"I know who the players are," Gearity said. "I know where the priorities are. I want to engage with members of the community."
Gearity's term on the village board is up for re-election this year. Hanauer said he was not surprised since Gearity declined his offer to be deputy mayor.
"Someday she may make a good mayor," Hanauer said. "Unfortunately she chose to run against me."
Hanauer said the village is in the best financial shape its been in in a long time.
"All of this development is bringing new money and new people," Hanauer said. "That will bring more commerce into the village. Commerce follows population. There's been very little development for a long time, now we have a lot of development."
Hanauer said he would primary Gearity if he did not receive the endorsement of the Ossining Democrats.