CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-- After losing their majority in the last village elections to Croton United, the Croton Democrats are hoping to hang on to their remaining two seats.
Brian Pugh and Ann Gallelli are running for another term on the village board, which is controlled 3-2 by Croton United. Pugh and Gallelli are running against Mark Aarons and Dan McNatty.
Pugh said he wants to preserve the village's quality of life, protect environmental stability and keep Croton affordable for middle class families.
"In the last term, Trustee Ann Gallelli and I supported two back-to-back tax freeze budgets," Pugh said. "We also adopted the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program, which protects seniors and tenants with disabilities from rent increases. I am sure many residents are relieved by the substantial progress the village has made against the “brown water” issue with our improvements to the water system. All this was done while maintaining our bond rating and earning a clean audit from our independent auditor."
I also joined the Board in approving 2 new projects under the 2013 Harmon Rezoning Law. One of these, is already under way and is replacing the old Nappy’s station with a mix of retail and residential. The leadership of Croton United has been vocal in its’ hostility to Harmon Rezoning--despite this progress.
If re-elected, Pugh hopes to continue to control property taxes by sharing services with other municipalities, encourage smart growth and participate in the Sustainable Westchester's Community Choice Aggregation program. He also would like to bring back the village monthly newsletter.
It "was abruptly cancelled by the mayor without any public discussion, Pugh said. "The newsletter helped keep residents informed about Village events, programs and issues. The new 'quarterly' newsletter is an inadequate replacement.
Pugh said Croton United offers nothing but soundbites and slogans and is not the bipartisan organization they claim to be.
"They have effectively asked the voters to buy the proverbial 'pig in a poke'. They have gone as far as removing the issues section from their web page," Pugh said. "My opponents are registered Republicans running under the banner of Croton United. One has to wonder if their evasion on the issues is because their values may not sync up with those of most villagers.
Gallelli said she wants to help create a healthy commercial environment and improve the village's infrastructure. In her last term, she helped initiate the Croton Point Avenue Traffic Improvement Project and accepted the donation of Gouveia Park.
If re-elected, Gallelli said she would like to the village government to be more transparent and adopt an updated Comprehensive Plan.
"The Croton Democrats have demonstrated their ability to accomplish many things that most residents take as the 'norm,' Gallelli said. "Our demonstrated ability to draw on our highly talented populace has been instrumental in many of the important changes in our village. Moving forward, we are best poised to continue to engage our residents to pursue further goals and projects."