On Nov. 8 Peekskill voters will have a lot of choices to make. There are three open Common Council seats and the mayor is also up for reelection.
Patch sent all candidates the following five questions and asked for brief responses. We will run a series featuring the responses over the next two weeks. Here is the third of our series, featuring Darren Rigger's unedited answers.
Rigger was announced by the Peekskill Democratic City Committee on July 20 after two other dem candidates Read his biography .
Democratic candidates Kathleen Talbot, Darren Rigger and Don Bennett (incumbent) are running for the Council seats. Mayor Mary Foster is running for re-election into what would be her third 2-year term.
Republican candidates Joe Brady, Steve Woods and Barbara Kerasiotes are running for the Council seats and Tony Washington is running for mayor.
Read more about the Republican candidates and the Democratic candidates .
1. Why are you running for political office?
I love Peekskill and I think it is a terrific small city. When I walk around downtown, I think it looks better and feels safer than 5 years ago. I notice the new shops, new restaurants, new lights and new community activities. I want to bring energy and enthusiasm to the effort. I want to work hard on behalf of my family, my friends, my neighbors and all the citizens of Peekskill.
2. What do you feel makes you qualified to run for your position based on your professional and personal life?
I have a degree in Diplomacy from Georgetown University and I have worked in government and politics for 20 years. I now own my own small business and my first home in Peekskill. I commute to the city for work each day and try to volunteer in the community as much as possible. I am especially active in the American Cancer Society where I serve as a Legislative Ambassador and Relay for Life Team Captain.
3. What are the two or three of the most important issues facing Peekskill that you plan to tackle first if elected?
I would like to see more options and activities for young families. I think young families represent the future of our community and they need to be supported as much as possible. I will encourage private investment into family friendly, affordable restaurants as well as activity centers for children, such as a children’s museum, children’s art center or perhaps an interactive computer lab.
I would also like to see the revitalization of the Monument Park area. Now that White Plains Linen is moving to an industrial area and out of this residential area, we have an opportunity to see a new more appropriate mix of commercial entities. Additionally, the current physical improvements of the park’s facilities now have to be coupled with better lighting and an increased police presence.
4. How are your plans and solutions different from other candidates?
I believe the current common council and administration are making it happen for Peekskill. I share their vision of helping Peekskill become an exciting destination city in the Hudson Valley. Some candidates look back into the past and ruminate, while not appreciating the changes happening all around them. I choose Peekskill to be my home because I enjoy the diversity, art and culture.
5. How do you measure the success of elected officials in Peekskill?
The City looks and feels better than it did 5 years ago. The Mayor and Common Council helped, while keeping taxes flat - during the worst economic condition since the great depression. They did more with less and left behind a City, of which we should all be proud.