LEWISBORO, N.Y. - We sat down with incumbent town Supervisor Charles Duffy and asked him five questions about his bid for the Independence Party nomination in Tuesdays primary.
What makes you the best candidate to represent the principals and spirit of the Independence Party?
Our team represents three parties and we believe in a nonpolitical approach to local government. The Independence Party voters I have met consider themselves more "independent" rather than members of a third party controlled by a leadership in Yonkers. They should have a voice in choosing who their candidates are, rather than leaving it to a closed-door process down county. This primary gives them that opportunity.
What is the No. 1 challenge that the Town of Lewisboro is facing right now?
While I am proud of the progress the town board and I made during my first term by ending deficit spending and the reliance on double tax increases, and by implementing a program to restore the large negative fund balance we inherited, we have much further to go. I consider it a milestone that Standard & Poor's upgraded our credit outlook from negative to stable, but they made it clear in their report that they will not raise our bond rating until we have restored the fund balance and shown continuity in our fiscal management. After the revolving door that existing in the finance department I am very grateful for the continuity of the current finance director and I look forward to becoming the first supervisor in Lewisboro in a decade to be elected to second term.
What skill sets do you bring to the table that will help you face that challenge?
I hope that my record so far shows that my skills as a CPA and MBA, as well as having been a CFO in the private sector, have been directly relevant not just to improving the town's financial position but in beginning to reorganize the way local government does business so it is more responsive to taxpayers. Also, as a parent of young children and an active volunteer I believe that I have an understanding of what Lewisboro families are facing in the current climate and I strive to bring that to the decision-making process each and every day
Can Lewisboros fiscal problems be remedied without raising taxes?
Yes, but only if we are smart about how we spend money and remain disciplined. My opponents were very vocal in last year's budget process speaking out for more funding for one or another cause and warning of the dire consequences of the necessary cuts we were making. Yet, with the cooperation of our town employees we got through a tough winter and saw collateral benefits. For example we reduced our use of road salt by $50,000, which was a boon to our wetlands, streams and lakes.
What is the town of Lewisboros biggest asset and why do think so?
No matter your age, Lewisboro is about families; it truly makes us an exceptional town. Combine that strong sense of community with our native rural charm and you have a place that is unique to the New York metropolitan area.
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