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Tuckahoe Trustee Hayes Answers Five Questions

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Village of Tuckahoe elections are quickly approaching and even though incumbents Janette Hayes and Steve Quigley are running unopposed for the two open seats on the Tuckahoe Village Board, The Daily Eastchester is asking candidates to weigh in on pertinent village topics.

Quigley was the first of the two candidates to have his answers published. He is running on the Democratic line. Here are the answers that Hayes's provided.

Tell us about yourself.

Janette Hayes, Age 41, Single.

I have been the Assistant to the President and the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Unitex Textile Rental Services for the past eight years. Unitex is based in Mount Vernon, and is a 90 year old privately held corporation which is the leading supplier of healthcare linen and uniform service in the New York metropolitan area.

I have been a Tuckahoe/Eastchester resident for 25 years, graduating from Eastchester High School in 1989, and alumna of Concordia College in Bronxville, earning a BA degree in Business Administration. In 2009, I completed my MBA with a concentration in Management from Iona College in New Rochelle.

What ballot line are you running on?

I am happy to have the support of the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.

What qualifies you to be a village board member? (Have you held, or run for office before? Participated in civic organizations? Served on village committees?)

I have been an active member of the Tuckahoe community for many years and involved in numerous committees and groups including:

Former commissioner of the Tuckahoe Housing Authority, former member of the Tuckahoe Youth Advisory Committee, an active board member of my cooperative, Westview Equities, Inc., volunteer for many of the wonderful events sponsored through the year in Tuckahoe such as Winterfest Celebrations, Crestwood Street Fair, Tuckahoe Day, Summertime Fireworks Extravaganza, Tuckahoe Challenge Road Race and Columbus Day Festivities.

What have you accomplished as village board member?

Since my appointment to the Village Board by Mayor Steve Ecklond last May, I have focused on many areas and worked on many projects including:

Provided a keen oversight on village finances to help keep taxes in line and spending in check. Developed and organized a "Consolidated Coalition" of village multi-dwelling board members, owners and managers to exchange ideas and share information to improve our quality of life. Created and distributed new village-wide newsletter to keep the lines of communication open with all residents. Developed multiple village department surveys to elicit feedback for the public and further improve services. Implemented greater details listed on public board meeting agendas and, continuously update village information via our website, cable, media, e-mail alerts and press releases to keep the public informed.

What are the three biggest issues facing the village today?

There are two challenges I believe go hand-in-hand: first is balancing our budget while continuing to sustain the high level of services our residents are accustomed to and second, finding new ways to help streamline government efficiency.

The third challenge is continuing to communicate and support our local business community, be business friendly and find new ways to help spread the word on how important it is to patronize our local establishments and the positive benefits they bring to our village.

If elected, or re-elected, what would you do about them?

With reductions in assessed home values in recent years resulting in decreased tax revenue, which I personally feel has not yet leveled off and will continue in the immediate future, and at the same time dealing with the tax cap mandated by Albany, rising pension and healthcare costs, the burden will continue to be put on the local municipalities to learn how to balance these challenges while sustaining the services our residents deserve and pay for through their property taxes.

One major area which could also be viewed as a challenge is going to be continuing to review what shared services are available and feasible for our village and working with our neighboring communities.

Government all around will need to continue to move forward and look outside the box or status quo and take a business approach through measuring each function it performs then managing it appropriately and accordingly.

In order to move ahead in this direction it will take commitment and oversight of what I believe are the five key components: leadership, communication, imagination, flexibility/willingness to compromise and common sense. Overall, the end result and goal should be to achieve greater economies of scale and skills.

Next, we are so fortunate, I believe, to live in a community where we can walk to just about everything. When I think of Main Street and Crestwood, our two business districts, I ask myself, what comes to mind? It's the unique shops, restaurants, cafes and specialty stores that I see and are right outside our door.

A perfect example or question to ask yourself is, when you go out to dinner, where do you go? You go to your favorite local restaurants, and why? It's because of the charm, atmosphere and offering of your favorite cuisine.

A village resident recently passed along a great article to me which highlighted the many benefits in supporting local businesses, which I believe sums up why it is so important for all of us to patronize our local merchants and continue to relay the message as to the positive effects it then has on all of us and our village, which includes:

Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy - When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, help fund village services through sales tax revenue, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.

Helps Protect Local Character and Prosperity - Our shopping districts, Main Street and Crestwood, are unique, and by choosing to support locally-owned businesses, you help maintain its diversity and distinctive appeal.

Supports the Entrepreneurial Spirit - The entrepreneur/local business owner is the backbone fueling our country's economic innovation and growth. Our local businesses select their products and services based on the interests and needs of us, the local consumer.

Enhance our Village's Well-being - Locally-owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors and by contributing more to local causes.

Local Decision Making - Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in our village and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

Environmental Sustainability - Local merchants help to sustain vibrant, compact, and a walk-to-all ability, which in turn is essential in reducing sprawl, automobile use and air and water pollution.

There is a full circle effect when we shop locally, encourage and support our small businesses, which is not only economically beneficial, but also, has a human effect by injecting life into our local community.

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