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Donahue Sees Indian Point As Major Issue In Buchanan Mayor Race

Al Donahue is running for mayor of Buchanan.
Al Donahue is running for mayor of Buchanan. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Al Donahue

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Al Donahue is an institution in the Village of Buchanan.

Donahue is running for mayor of Buchanan against Theresa Knickerbocker to replace outgoing mayor Sean Murray in the town of just over 2,000 people.

Donahue has been in a fixture in the Buchanan political scene, having been mayor from 1994 to 2002 and 2008 to 2010 and also serving village trustee.

This time, Donahue said he is running because of Indian Point. The village's PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement with the nuclear power plant expires this year and Donahue would to see it put back on the tax rolls.

"The agreement was a disaster when it was signed in 2002," Donahue said. "Indian Point should be put back on the tax rolls like everyone else."

According to Donahue, the PILOT agreement cost the village $7.7 million and causes taxes to increase 464 percent. Donahue said a friend moved to Buchanan paying $6,000 in property taxes and six years later had to pay $18,000.

"It is ridiculous," Donahue said. "The village board likes to pat themselves on the back and say how wonderful they are, but they don't do anything. Somebody has to step up and do something."

As mayor, Donahue had seven straight years of zero tax increases and said that would continue if he was elected. He also criticized the current board for only allowing people to speak once at meeting.

"If you don't say something nice, they attack you and you can't answer," Donahue said. "I believe in open government."

Donahue also blasted the current board for wanting to get rid of the village justice.

"People were outraged," Donahue said. "It was out of control. I was very annoyed."

Donahue, who has raised five kids in Buchanan, has 21 grandchildren.

"Buchanan is a nice little village," Donahue said.