CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The first fall election in village of Croton history is around the corner, and two vacant trustee seats are up for grabs. Democratic primary winner Kevin Davis and incumbent Ann Gallelli are on the ballot, running against unaffiliated write-in candidate Virginia Calcutti.
Current Trustee Greg Schmidt is not seeking re-election.
Davis, 23, is a lifelong Croton resident and Hunter College senior who has served on the Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee since 2006. He lives with his mother and father in Croton.
The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
The Daily Voice: What are the three biggest issues facing the village of Croton?
Kevin Davis: Taxes, the economic climate for business, and number three is the rising costs of running the village.
The Daily Voice: How would you address those issues?
Kevin Davis: In terms of the economic climate of the village, I support the Harmon rezoning, because I think for that area of town changing the zoning will give the property owners more options to change their properties. Besides the Harmon rezoning, I think the village does need to find ways to work with the existing business community, and they need to do what they can to keep existing businesses in Croton.
The Daily Voice: How would you keep existing businesses in the village?
Kevin Davis: In terms of keeping existing businesses in the village, I think keeping property taxes under control is a good way to start. I think that staying open to discussion is another good way to be open to them. So, if they have any pressing needs to be open to working with them. The last thing I want is for a business to leave Croton, because they need something and the village government could have helped them and they didn't get around to it.
The Daily Voice: What would you do differently than the previous office holder?
Kevin Davis: The difference between Greg Schmidt and I, is I agree with much more of the Democratic board's agenda than he did. So I will be able to work more constructively with the board with the things I agree with them on. Which, there's more things I agree with them on than disagree with them on. So that's one huge difference.
I support Ann Gallelli in this upcoming election. I'll be voting for her.
The Daily Voice: What would you do to lower the tax burden?
Kevin Davis: Besides streamlining services, and sharing services, and increasing the non-residential tax base, part of what governs sharing services or working between governments is an IMA, Inter-Municipal Agreement. The key is not when you're going to share services but how. So, when sharing services, I would make sure the IMA is in a way that benefits the village, in terms of quality of service and saving money. They can't compromise the quality of services, but you have to save money. So that's my criteria for writing good agreements for the village is.
But budgetary, you have to make some tough choices because of rising pension costs and contractual expenses. Any proposed budget that doesn't propose any cuts is going to be over the cap, so in order to be under the cap you have to make some tough choices.
The Daily Voice: Why should people vote for you?
Kevin Davis: I have more energy than anybody else, and that's part of the reason that people in the primary voted for me, because they say I provided a new, fresh, independent voice. So I stand for the right things, but I'm also a fresh voice.
So I have the right balance between knowledge of the issues and not being tied to any old thinking. So the fact that I stand for what is right no matter what, and I'll work to do the right thing, those are two qualities.