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 legislature candidates before the Nov. 8 elections. Each candidate was asked the same questions.
Benjamin Boykin II, 61, the current Common Council president, seeks a fourth term on the council. He's endorsed by the Democratic Party. In his own words, here's how the president of Ben Boykin & Associates, a financial planning and consulting firm, describes his campaign:
Why did you decide to move to White Plains?
I'm a White Plains resident since 1989. My family and I relocated to White Plains because of my job transfer from Atlanta, Ga. We chose White Plains because of its diversity, its great school system, and its beautiful neighborhoods.
Why would you be a good representative in the coming term?
I have served on the Common Council since 2000. Prior to my election to the Common Council, I served seven years as a member of the White Plains School Board.
I have a keen understanding of the issues facing our city and I am constantly seeking ways to provide services to our residents in the most cost effective manner. Given the numerous challenges and opportunities facing our city, my significant financial experience and governmental service are key leadership skills needed for our future. I have an outstanding record of working hard to enhance the quality of life for all residents in our city.
As chairman of the shared services committee and former chairman of the budget and management advisory committee, I have been leading efforts to reduce spending through cost controls, consolidations and efficiency improvements to keep property taxes low while continuing to maintain and deliver high quality services to residents. My financial leadership has helped reduce costs by over $5 million.
If elected, what are the three biggest goals you'd work to accomplish?
While we have achieved much during my three terms on the council, there is much more work to be done. I want to continue working for our future to: improve our financial condition and keep property taxes low, protect the charm and character of our neighborhoods, support public safety initiatives to protect our residents, create new and preserve existing workforce housing, protect our environment using green technology, alternative fuels and other sustainable practices, make our government more transparent and more responsive and establish a downtown trolley.
Has the local government made any mistakes or had any oversights that you'd try to avoid?
The two previous administrations were slow to embrace technology. The current administration is working to enhance the city's website to make it more user-friendly. Our public safety department has started its website to help protect and inform our residents. Planning board meetings and budget work sessions are now recorded for viewing by the public. Common Council meetings are telecast live and are available on the Internet. Other initiatives are in process to make communications with our residents easier and quicker such as a dedicated phone line and a non-emergency number.
Under my leadership as council president, Citizens to Be Heard has started to provide an opportunity for any resident, business owner or nonresident to address the Common Council on any topic. It is my objective to make our government more transparent and more responsive.
What's the best part of White Plains?
Our city has beautiful neighborhoods with a diverse population. The strength of our city is its diversity. We have a vibrant downtown surrounded by suburban neighborhoods.
Other related experience:
- Common Councilman since 2000- Three Time Common Council President- Chairman of Shared Services Committee for the city and it's schools- Serves on White Plains Outdoors Arts Festival Board of Directors- Former Chairman and Member of Budget and Management Advisory Committee- Former Vice President and Member of White Plains School Board- Former Treasure of Meals-on-Wheels of White Plains- Lois Bronx Child Development Center Member- Union Baptist Church Member
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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