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. This is the sixth of the city council candidate Q&As. Find others here.
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.
The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Killian is running on the Rye United ticket, nominated by the Rye City Republican Committee along with Terry McCartney, Kirstin Bucci and Joe Sack for mayor.
Killian is the only incumbent running to keep her seat on the Rye City Council and this is her second official candidacy for city council. She was one of three candidates who offered to fill former city council member Suzanna Keith’s seat when Keith moved out of town in summer, 2012. Current city council candidate Jason Mehler and Rye resident Charmian Neary were the other two candidates who ran for the seat at that time. Mayor Douglas French appointed her to that position then. But Killian was not officially elected to that seat until she ran unopposed and was elected to complete Keith’s term in Nov. 2012.
The 53-year-old council member is a mother of five children, four of whom graduated from or currently attend Rye City schools and one who graduated from Holy Child. She is a 22 year resident of Rye who lives on Forest Avenue. Read more on Killian’s background here.
Why are you running for Rye City Council?
Rye is a great city with great people, traditions and institutions. I want to help the City run efficiently and for the benefit of our citizens so these traditions and institutions can thrive and Rye stays the vibrant community that we all know and love! Watch my video at:
What do you feel are the top three issues facing the city of Rye right now?
1. Financial sustainability
2. Outstanding union contracts
3. Infrastructure improvements
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?
SPI was the best option both financially and environmentally for the County but it is important that the City review plans for all building when the detailed plans are available.
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?
The job of a City Council person is to serve the citizens of Rye. I am committed to reaching out to all parties to look at all sides of an issue, asking tough questions and formulating independent decisions that are in the best interests of the citizens of Rye.
What should the future of Rye Golf Club look like in terms of management and its relationship with the city?
I believe outsourcing the food service to a professional organization will be in the best interest of the members, the citizens and City staff. Once we know how the food and beverage business will be handled, the City Council, City Manager, RGC Commission, and RGC Strategic Committee need to work together to put the proper management structure in place to both manage the day to day affairs of the Club and allow for appropriate oversight by City staff and the RGC Commission.
Name two decisions the current city council made over the last four years that you think were the right choices for Rye.
1. Hiring a real estate broker to sell 1037 Boston Post Rd. 2. Passing the infrastructure bond and issuing that debt and also refinancing outstanding debt when interest rates were low all of which saved money for the City.
Name two issues with which you think the current city council could have done a better job over the last four years.
1. Council should have been more involved in negotiating union contracts. 2. Council should have had a stronger Conflict of Interest Policy.
How would you have managed those situations differently?
During union negotiations, I would have had one or two representatives from Council actively involved in the negotiations along with our City Manager. I was instrumental in getting a new Conflict of Interest Policy passed along with corresponding changes to our Ethics Law. Going forward I believe the Ethic Committee should be increased from its current 3 members.
Tell us one thing that you learned about Rye, or the people of Rye, on the campaign trail that surprised you.
I am surprised that so many people watch City Council meetings on TV.
What in your experience and background prepares you for this job?
I have an analytical and financial background with a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Finance with 14 years of experience at Merrill Lynch and Citibank. I have an understanding of the City finances, which is the linchpin for everything else that the City does. In addition, I have been volunteering in our community for over 20 years as a volunteer in our schools and at the Arts Center, Historical society and the Library. I have served on a number of boards, which prepares me for the oversight responsibilities of the Council.
What differentiates you from the other candidates?
I have lived in Rye for over 22 years and I am the only incumbent with over a year of experience already in serving our City.
Anything else you want to add?
I am running with the Rye United team of Joe Sack for Mayor and Kirstin Bucci and Terry McCartney for Council. Serving our community has always been important to me. If honored with your vote, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the City of Rye is run the way you expect and deserve.