With three in the race for mayor and six competing to fill three city council seats, this year’s election is a big one for Rye. No matter what the outcome, at least two new faces will be seated at the city council dais and Rye will have a new mayor. Outgoing Mayor Douglas French is not running for re-election.
Patch asked all of the candidates to answer a series of questions about their experience, their platforms and proposals for the City of Rye. Over the next two weeks we will post all of the candidates’ responses. This is the first of the city council candidate responses.
The candidates running for city council are: Jason Mehler, Julie Killian, Terry McCartney, Meg Cameron, Shari Punyon and Kirstin Bucci
The candidates running for mayor are Peter Jovanovich, Nancy Silberkleit and Joseph Sack.
Jason Mehler is running independently. You can more on his background here.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Q: Why are you running for Rye City Council?
A: I want to be part of the process to “Make Rye Better”. As a parent, homeowner, resident and someone that works in this great city, I want to assist in any way possible to making Rye the best place to live, visit, work and raise a family. I feel strongly that being part of a community means taking an active role in making it the best possible place to live.
On a personal note - My wife, Carin works locally as a schoolteacher in Rye
(fourth grade, Osborn School). As the parents of two young children that both
currently attend Rye City Schools (Emily 11 & Rachel 9) , a few of the
primary reasons we were attracted to the City of Rye were the school system,
community and proximity to the park and Long Island Sound.
Q - You can’t make everyone happy all the time -
How do you plan to balance the needs of different neighborhoods,
community groups, businesses, city employees and special interest groups?
A - My approach will be "Non Partisan" and I am looking forward to working with all members of the council. I am a good listener. I am a quick learner. I love Rye and want it to be the best in every way. I pay attention to details and will listen to everyone's opinion. I am committed to serving our community with everyone's best interest.
Q: What is your position on the Sustainable Playland deal? Do you want SPI to take over management of Playland? If so, why? If not, then what should be the future for Playland?
A: SPI - There are many positive aspects of the SPI plan and still many unanswered questions/concerns. SPI's plan for a Sustainable Playland includes multi-use facilities for recreational including amusement park components, educational, cultural and arts related activities that are open to the public. The SPI plan is a public-private partnership to revitalize and restore the iconic 85-year-old park on the Long Island Sound shore in Rye and provide year-round activities and attractions.
Q: What should the future of Rye Golf Club look like in terms of management and its relationship with the city?
A - With the recent re-election of the golf club commission chair John Duffy
and newly elected commission members Leon Sculti, who should be credited with
bringing the RGC scandal to light and Mack Cunningham, a former Rye City
Council member, I fully support and believe the expanded commission will
continue to implement new policies, procedures, internal controls and make the
must needed changes.
I believe that more oversight and control
should be given to the Rye Golf Club Commission. We should continue to
have more workshops between the commission and city council and bring new ideas
and changes to the club that will drive membership enrollment. We need to
listen to the club members and get everyone involved. My family uses the pool
all summer long and I appreciate this facility for what it offers to the
What do you feel are the top three issues facing the city of Rye right now?
A - 1) Keeping Home Values High and Property Taxes Low will be
my main concern during my first term on the Rye City Council. We must do
more with less! Expenses continue to rise and we must think differently to
balance and implement a new budget.
2) Pedestrian Safety - safe sidewalks and crosswalks - with an emphasis on child safety issues.
3) I support and have tremendous respect for the Rye Police Department/PBA, Fire Department, Public Work employees and all Rye City employees. We must urge the City Manager to negotiate a fair and amicable agreement with the Rye Police Association.
Name two decisions the current city council made over the last four years that you think were the right choices for Rye.
Selling 1037 Boston Post Rd and installing a stop sign on Midland Avenue
Name two issues with which you think the current city council could have done a better job over the last four years.
Rye Golf Club Scandal and Ratifying a fair and amicable contract with the Rye Police Association without the use of an arbitrator
Tell us one thing that you learned about Rye, or the people of Rye, on the campaign trail that surprised you.
Rye is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family. The residents of Rye deserve no less than the very best and I am willing to make a full commitment to serving all of the residents of this great city.
I will be a second set of hands, fresh set of eyes and be that committed seventh member of the Rye City Council.
I have met many residents over of the last week and they all have thanked me for volunteering to fill this position.
What in your experience and background prepares you for this job?
previously worked as a Corporate Controller, Accountant/Auditor and Tax
Specialist. My extensive financial background and understanding of budgeting,
employment issues, financial statement and cash flow analysis will be a great
addition in helping the council with its essential task of fiscal
accountability. I believe that my experience, coupled with my passion to keep
Rye's local government strong, will help me bring new ideas and new solutions
to the Rye City Council.
I am a good listener. I am a quick learner. I love Rye and want it to be the best in every way. I pay attention to details and will listen to everyone's opinion. I am committed to serving our community with everyone's best interest.
What differentiates you from the other candidates?
I am running as an Independent Candidate for Rye City Council on the Independence line. I do not belong to any political party. I am not accepting any political contributions. I am funding my own campaign. No one suggested or asked me to run for the Rye City Council. I have no personal agenda. I am volunteering to run for this position. I owe no favors to any political party, party leaders or special interest groups. I am a true Independent!
I am prepared to make the many important and necessary decisions from day one! I understand what is meant by a sense of urgency and I will do my best to exceed all of your expectations.
Anything else you want to add?
I am available to meet with anyone to discuss any issues. My cell phone number is(914) 943-6450.