CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Croton-on-Hudson will hold a three-way Democratic primary Thursday in conjunction with the primary date for state offices. It's the first village primary to be held in September in Croton since the Village Board of Trustees election, historically held in March, was moved to November by referendum.
Candidate Kevin Davis is a 23-year-old lifelong Croton resident, and Hunter College senior. Davis has served on the Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee since 2006.
Davis is challenging Trustee Ann Gallelli and resident Andy Levitt, who have have been endorsed by the Croton Democratic Committee.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Jessica Glenza: What do you think is the most important issue in the village right now?
Because, people have to be able to afford to live here, so, even though mortgages are high, taxes are high as well. So, the reason why the high taxes are such a big issue is because the high taxes are making it hard for people to be able to sell their houses, or to be able to afford to live here.
I think the village needs to continue addressing ways to make the government more efficient, because even without new programs the taxes will go up 5 or 6 percent a year. So for the last village budget, the first proposed budget, even without programs that were new, the proposed tax increase was close to 7 percent. So, you need to find ways where you can provide the same service but pay less for it.
What would you do to help control taxes in the village?
There's ways, in general, where we can work through attrition to get rid of positions, where no one loses a job, but the village is paying less people. So I think, as a policy, the village should wait for people to retire and we should see whether this is optimal for the village to keep its current arrangement, or if it should change. And in order to figure out the best way to arrange it, I need to work with the professionals that work for the village, to determine what's optimal. But in terms of policy directions, I think that's something the village needs to put more consideration into, and get the public involved.
What's the most positive development in the village, in the last 12 months?
The upper village. The fact that the Black Cow is moving in, and that Craig Purdy is moving in Moroccan food to Bella Paula. I think that Wondrous Things will soon not be vacant anymore will be very good for Croton, because that's really the heart of the village. There's a lot of positive stuff going on the village, so there's a lot to choose from, but the revival of the upper village is something I feel very good about.
What would you like to see in Croton's future?
I would like to see Croton continue to have lots of green space, including the access to the river that no other Hudson River community can compare to. So I’d like to see that preserved. I'd like to see the fact that you can walk everywhere and not worry about crime preserved. And in Croton's future I'd like to see more businesses succeed here in the long run. So it's not just good enough to have new businesses, but we need to make sure they stay here for a long time, because in the first few years it's hard for a business to survive.