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 incumbent Don Bennett’s unedited answers.
Bennett has served as a city council member since 2003, when he was first elected to that position. He was appointed Deputy Mayor in 2008 and has served in that role since then. Read his biography .
Democratic candidates Kathleen Talbot and Darren Rigger are Bennett’s running mates 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 seeking re-election to your current position?
I am seeking re-election to continue the work that the current administration has developed over the last four years. And to start new projects that give Peekskill the advantages it needs to maintain the lead in being a new center for art, culture and entertainment.
2. What do you feel makes you qualified to run for your position based on your professional and personal life?
My professional current career in marketing and previously in retail management provide me with skill sets that include long range planning, creative planning, the ability to work with many different people and look for the unique opportunity to make change.
3. What are the two or three of the most important issues facing Peekskill that you plan to tackle first if re-elected?
If re-elected some of the issues on the top of the list are: HR structure for city employees, providing joint services from the city and school district to save budget dollars, working with our economic development and planning departments to bring more business, cultural and entertainment opportunities to our community.
4. How are your plans and solutions different from other candidates?
I am not sure, because I don’t know what the other candidates (Rs) are offering. I am a person who likes to bring people together to work on the common good. Networking with various players, seeking different ideas and suggestions.
5. How do you measure the success of elected officials in Peekskill?
Look around the city, the change is evident in the investments made by property owners, entrepreneurs of various classifications of business making Peekskill their home. Even third generations are coming back and/or taking over businesses that have been here.
Elected officials are also measured by the number of residents who ask for assistance by coming to them first.