LEWISBORO, N.Y. – There will be just one local election when Lewisboro voters go to the polls on Nov. 6 as incumbent Republican Town Clerk Janet Donohue takes on Democratic challenger Jeffery Morris.
Donohue, the former deputy town clerk, was appointed to the post when Town Clerk Cathy Kory retired in March. This election will decide who will fill out the remaining three years of Kory’s term.
The Lewisboro Daily Voice has compiled biographical information about both candidates and asked them to answer four questions to help give voters a sense of where they stand on the issues.
Name: Janet L. Donohue
Family: Husband Ken, daughters Lauren 13, Jenna, 11, and Golden Retriever Remy, 3
Occupation: Lewisboro Town Clerk
How long have you lived in town?: More than 15 years
Party affiliation and ballot lines held: Republican, Conservative and Independence parties
Years in office: Deputy town clerk/webmaster for four years; town clerk for seven months
Other elected positions held: None
Civic organizations: Lewisboro Lions Club, John Jay Lifetime Booster Club, Three Lakes Council, PTO and PTA, Two Lakes Council, Former Girl Scout leader
1) What are the biggest issues facing the town clerk's department? As always, (the challenge is) trying to do more with less. Continuing the progress made in records management over the past 30 years, continuing to protect and preserve town records in a cost-effective manner, continuing to utilize 21st century technology to insure town officials and the public have access to needed records.
2) How would you address those issues? I am addressing those issues by assessing existing and emerging technological advancements for their applicability and seeking cost-effective methods of using or expanding our usage of records management technology. Due to severe budgetary constraints, I will seek to make improvements within our existing budgets and seek alternative sources of funding for improvements
3) As the incumbent, what were your biggest achievements? In my years as deputy town clerk I expanded and improved upon the town’s award-winning website. Since becoming town clerk in March I was able to provide our televised Town Board meetings via You Tube on our website. I have also updated the technology used to record the Town Board meetings.
4) Why should people vote for you? Residents and professionals dealing with Lewisboro have come to rely on the town clerk for courteous, respectful, efficient service. They have come to rely on the clerk for prompt answers to questions, for prompt responses to document requests, for confidential assistance with important personal matters and I have continued that tradition. I will continue 21st century records management and continue working with all town departments to better serve our residents. As the Lewisboro Town Clerk I have the skills, the knowledge, the experience and the dedication to continue the tradition of service Lewisboro voters have come to expect.
Name: Jeffrey Morris
Family: Married with two children
Occupation: Freelance editor and writer
How long have you lived in town?: 36 years
Party affiliation and ballot lines held: Democrat, Working Families Party
Other elected positions held: None
Civic organizations: Lewisboro Democratic Committee
1) What are the biggest issues facing the town clerk's department? The Lewisboro Town Clerk's Office has been operating from a single, unchallenged perspective for as long as anyone can remember. I can provide a fresh set of eyes to look at its systems and processes, while as a 36-year town resident maintain the same level of personal service and familiarity.
2) How would you address those issues? I would bring a thoroughly professional yet personable approach to the office. I would look at ways to efficiently make all of the town's information repositories accessible through a single point of access, so that the town clerk serves as a chief information officer while maintaining the integrity and security of each source. This would mean categorizing, structuring and indexing information so that it is easy to locate systematically, without relying on any one person's memory and without things falling through the cracks.
3) As the challenger, what would you do differently than the previous/current office holder? I would move Lewisboro into the 21st century with a more focused, accelerated effort to make services and customer interaction available online, as well as attention to structuring information as mentioned above.
4) Why should people vote for you? I have been involved in customer service in every job I've ever had, from retail management to research librarian, from editor at business magazines specializing in customer relationships to freelance editor delivering high-quality work for customers. My studies in archives and records management as part of the master's program in library science further make me ideally suited for all of the town clerk's responsibilities. As a longtime columnist for the local paper I have observed the way the town operates and I am well known to many people in town.