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Council Member Milagros Lecuona Runs for 2nd Term

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Daily White Plains has put together a guide for voters interested in learning more about the Common Council and county legislator candidates before the Nov. 8 elections. Each candidate was asked the same questions.

Milagros Lecuona , 57, a councilwoman, is seeking a second term on the Common Council. She's endorsed by the Democratic Party. In her own words, here's how the architect and urban planner describes her campaign:

Why did you decide to move to White Plains?

I am not originally from White Plains, but I have been living in White Plains since 1988. Actually, it has been the place where I have lived longest. I am originally from Spain and I also lived in Mexico for seven years. When I first moved to New York, I lived in New York City for one year. White Plains was the place where my family decided to move. We liked the whole scale of the city. We liked the schools. We liked the people, the diversity. And we believed White Plains had a great future as a city. And that has proven right.

Why would you be a good representative in the coming term?

I am an incumbent. I think I have, for four years, done a good job. I am very well prepared professionally because I’m trained as an architect and as an urban planner. I’m trilingual. I have traveled many countries, and I care a lot about not only city development, but the future of the city’s economy and environment. I have been working on all these aspects and working on making the government transparent, also.

If elected, what are the three biggest goals you'd work to accomplish?

I will continue working in computer smart codes, and environmental policies for the City of White Plains to make it more energy efficient. Because of the economy, I think that economic development is the main focus for me. So we have to look into the economic development without forgetting that the environmental policies have to keep on progressing. And now White Plains has the time to renew its comprehensive plan, and as an urban planner that's also a main focus for me. The plan is going to dictate the vision for the future of White Plains and there are many areas that need to be redesigned because many things in the urban planning world have changed in the last 10 years. White Plains has been going in the right direction in some aspects, and in some others we have had too much development. We need to always keep checking what is really the right balance for a city of 50,000 residents and daily operations of almost 300,000.

Has the local government made any mistakes or had any oversights that you'd try to avoid?

I wouldn’t call it a mistake at this point. I think that we have been addressing slowly but surely each of the issues that make White Plains a better city every day. But there are things that need to be adapted. We are in a process of adaptation because of the entire country’s economy and the way that the moneys are coming to the city. In going back to my focus on economic development, I would like to see the city look more into revenues. We have been looking a lot into expenses and being very smart and very efficient in the way we are using our resources so that our expenses are really minimized but the services are there. I think we really need to focus more on revenues and that will mean more businesses and stores. So, being more creative with the type of businesses that we bring to White Plains.

What's the best part of White Plains?

The people of White Plains are the best. As a politician, when you talk to people in White Plains, they are well educated, they care for their city, they care about the issues. It definitely makes White Plains so special that you can really have proactive and constructive conversations.

Other related experience:

- Twenty-nine years of experience as an architect and urban planner- Dual Masters degrees from Columbia University in urban planning and international and public affairs- Former member of Westchester Planning Board-Former board member of Westchester Red Cross- Member of the Hispanic Advisory Committee for Congresswoman Nita Lowey - Board member of Westchester Hispanic Coalition- Former co-president of White Plains High School's Parent Teacher Association

Will you vote in the Nov. 8 election? Are there any additional questions you'd like us to ask candidates? What would you like to see city hall accomplish in the coming term? Join the conversation below.

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