OSSINING, N.Y. Republican challenger Linda Cabral Marrero and incumbent Democrat William Hanauer are running for mayor in the Nov. 6 election.
Hanauer is serving his third term as mayor, which expires in December. The position pays about $12,000 a year. The Ossining Daily Voice asked each candidate to fill out a questionnaire with some basic information. Answers were limited to 150 words. Below are Hanauers answers.
Name: William R. Hanauer
Family: Dr. A.M. Stahl, spouse
Years lived in Ossining : 16 years
Party affiliation and ballot lines held: Democratic Party; Democratic and Working Families ballot lines.
Years in office: Six
Other elected positions held: Village trustee, March 2005-December 2006.
Civic organizations: First vice president, Westchester Municipal Officials Association; secretary-treasurer, Historic Hudson River Towns; founding member, Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium; nominating committeeman, New York Conference of Mayors; associate member, Ossining Independent Hose Company No. 6; member, Ossining High School PTSA Steering Committee; member, Ossining Communities That Care; board director, Prison Communities Inc.: Rehabilitation Through the Arts; member, Rotary Club of Ossining; president, Sparta Association, 1999 to 2004.
1. What are the three biggest issues facing the Village of Ossining?
Hanauer: Keep taxes down. Develop and improve Ossinings Historic Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Develop our historic Hudson Riverfront and tie it to downtown.
2. How would you address those issues if elected?
Broaden tax base with new commercial and residential development for all income levels, developing parking lots on Main Street; working with the Westchester County Association to attract and retain young professionals; by consolidating additional services with neighbor communities.
Increase market-rate housing, attracting and retaining new businesses and young professional residents, increase walkability, implementing safer, calmed traffic/pedestrian patterns, e.g., making Spring Street one-way at Main; retrofit municipal buildings, provide free home energy assessments and very low interest loans for retrofitting homes and businesses, and requiring green future construction, leading to energy savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
Help owners of waterfront property to find businesses for their sites and the village-owned former DPW property, mixing residences and recreational destinations; increasing tourism by developing a museum in an underused building of Sing Sing and destination restaurants.
3. As an incumbent, what were your biggest achievements?
Maintained strong fund balance, improved Moodys rating to Aa2, while continuing high level of services, avoiding layoffs, investing in infrastructure.
Engaged downtown and economic development manager; despite economy, developed 137 units of new housing, with 205 more approved and 325 at the Planning Board; added approximately 40,000 square feet of new commercial space and 137,000 completely rehabilitated square feet.
Developed and implemented Affordable Housing Law, the first Comprehensive Plan since 1959, and first wide-ranging zoning amendments since 1992.
Achieved taxpayers savings by merging Village and Town courts, developing new intermunicipal agreement with Town of Ossining to provide engineering services and fuel, and fuel for school vehicles.
Rehabilitated water filtration plant and began rehabilitation of the dam, saving hundreds of thousands per year in operating costs and producing significantly more purified water.
Co-founded Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium and Energize Ossining.
4. Westchester is among the highest-taxed counties in the nation. What would you do to lower the tax burden?
Spread tax base through expanded development.
Increase shared services.
Continue to lobby for the repeal of the state MTA tax (now applicable only to municipalities, except New York City), for lower increases in state-mandated pension contributions, and, whereas it has been only arbitrarily followed for years, for the appropriate and mandated acceptance by the state of permanently disabled police personnel onto its pension system, rather than on the village payroll until age 70.
5. Why should people vote for you?
Hanauer: Things are happening in Ossining! During my tenure, despite the economy, the village has remained in excellent fiscal condition, achieving a Moodys rating improved to the highest appropriate for this municipality, which allows us to bond for capital project expenses at historically low rates.
High levels of services have been maintained, and we have made many improvements to the infrastructure and recreational facilities.
There has been continuous development, with much more planned. In the next few years, we have an opportunity to continue to transform the village into a more prosperous community, rejoicing in our diversity, celebrating our successes.
My role as optimist-in-chief, my solid record of improvements to the village infrastructure and its economy, in making our government more efficient and cost-effective, and my work to protect our environment should, I hope, inform voters choice of my re-election.
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