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 second of our series, featuring Steve Wood’s unedited answers. 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 have chosen to run because my city needs strong leadership to guide it into a positive future. During the past four years the quality of life has declined drastically, past development for the down town area and the riverfront have not moved forward, all while taxes have increased and new taxes, including the transfer tax, and the utility tax have been added to the backs of the tax paying citizens. I am running for political office first and foremost because I love the city that is my home town. As an elected official that sets policies for this city, I will demand that all decisions made will be for the Progress For Peekskill and a better quality of life for those who choose to live here.
2. What do you feel makes you qualified to run for your position based on professional and personal life?
I have a proven track record over my twenty five years of professional experience in procurement, sales, engineering, and operations, making sound decisions including both risk and financial management. I have always considered all stakeholders when making difficult decisions. Personally, I have served on boards in senior leadership roles enacting policy which affects the operations of the entire organizations.
3. What are the two or three of the most important issues facing Peekskill that you plan to tackle first if elected?
The most important issue is quality of life in Peekskill. I want to be part of a city that is moving forward and taking steps to improve life for those of us who have lived here all our lives or those who are new among us and are seeking an up and coming community to live in. This desirable quality has been adversely affected by overcrowding which causes disturbances to those who live here. Absentee landlords as well as others must be in compliance with city codes to ensure safe living for the residents who inhabit these homes and to also address the impact that code violations have on neighboring homes. It is difficult for our citizens to keep paying higher taxes especially since poor financial decisions continue to be made.
4. How are your plans and solutions different from other candidates?
In the past four years, commercial development has been thwarted by the current administration. As a councilman, I will make decisions to encourage sound commercial development that will ease that tax burden of the residents of Peekskill. The commercial development will be part of a master plan that must be in place to insure progress in Peekskill.
5. How do you measure the success of elected officials in Peekskill?
Development, cleanliness, appealing entrances to the city, diligent code enforcement, contented citizens, higher property values, innovative use of city property, settled contracts with city union employees, mutual respect for all, and open lines of productive communication.