BY ANTHONY J. BAZZO
OF YORKTOWN NEWS
TITLE: Looking Across Yorktown’s Political Scene
I MADE A BOO-BOO:
Last week In one of my periods between infallibility I wrote that Don Peters was Yorktown Supervisor when the cable vision studio in Yorktown closed. I was wrong. It was former Yorktown Supervisor Susan Siegel who negotiated the contract that closed the studio. My apologies to Don.
SPEAKING OF SUSAN SIEGEL:
Last week she announced she was seeking the Democrat nod in her quest to be elected again Yorktown Supervisor. Two years ago she made quite a showing without a major party backing her. With a major party backing her, and a couple of secondary ballot lines, she could very well give Supervisor Michael Grace a run for his money. I do not see her winning though, as when an incumbent runs, usually the election becomes a referendum on that candidate’s action while in office and Michael, unlike Susan two years ago has not ticked off enough people to lose.
Another point, if she is serious about running on a platform to make the Supervisor a part-time position and having an un-elected town manager running the town full time, this is not a winning hand. As the people showed when the debate of an elected Highway Superintendent vs.an appointed one showed, the people in Yorktown want direct accountability between them and their elected officials. Her continued quest to replace accountable elected officials with unaccountable bureaucrats makes me think she should consider a secondary ballot line called “the people are to stupid to govern themselves party”.
THE RACE FOR HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT HEATS UP:
What we know now and this could change (it’s still early) is that on the Republican side Councilman David Paganelli and Gregory Bernard are seeking the party’s blessing. For the record Bernard was a Planning Board member from 1990 to 1994 and a Town Board member from 1994 to 2001. On the Democrat side you have Stephen Gardner, Virgil Borrelli and Thomas Diana seeking that party’s blessing.
A couple of thoughts. Borrelli, born and raised in Yonkers, only recently moved to Yorktown and I submit as a “newbie”, is not ready to run the Highway Department and deliver the services we have come to expect. Maybe a little seasoning on some town boards and in another four years he has the resume (currently serves as the deputy DPW commissioner in Yonkers) to make a valid run.
Gardner unsuccessfully campaigned against DiBartolo in the 2009 in a Democrat Party primary and lost to DiBartolo 817 votes to 904. A very credible showing. Yet his main claim to fame is he is, like former Supervisor Susan Siegle a charter member of the “I hate Eric Dibartolo club”. As such, caused the Town time and money trying to get Eric. This futile waste of tax dollars has revealed naughty pictures on Eric’s computer and using said computer for campaign purposes. It turned out that anyone at Highway had access to said computer as it had no pass code. That has now been corrected. We are still paying the price in higher insurance premiums over this personal vendetta.
Thomas Diana spent over 20 years as a law enforcement officer and draws a tax payer paid pension. In the private sector he currently owns and operates Comfort Heating in Yorktown. The Highway Department oversees 200 miles of roads and bridges, and is responsible for the town’s organic waste facilities. In the Democrat field he is the best candidate. He has the best resume of the three.
Bernard also unsuccessfully campaigned against DiBartolo in the 2009 in a Republican Party primary and lost to DiBartolo 603 to 640, also a credible showing. Bernard’s resume shows he knows the town. Yet his managerial experience pales in comparison to Paganelli’s.
On thing that made Eric a model Superintendent was his commitment. To him this was a 24/7 job. Always accessible, he had his finger in every pie so he was ahead of the curve when it came to the town’s highway needs. He thought out of the box, his prepping the roads with brine before a snow storm was not the norm when he started doing it. David is the same type of executive. Of all the candidates he has the most experience in budgeting. He also has the most experience in the allocation of man power. Both personally and professionally his commitment to Yorktown is second to none.
Highway Superintendent is first and foremost an executive position. Following in Eric’s footsteps will be no easy task for whoever follows him. Highway Superintendent is also not a job with a political ideology. Paganelli showed in 2011 he appeals across party lines. His ability to work well with others would be a major plus. Of all the candidates now interested in Highway Superintendent, Paganelli is the best of the lot. This is what I say, what say you?