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.
Councilman John Martin , 51, co-owner of the White Plains-based All New York Title Agency, Inc., is running to serve out the remaining two years of the council seat he was unanimously appointed to fill this April. Mayor Thomas Roach left a council seat vacant when former Mayor Adam Bradley resigned and Roach won the mayorship in a special election this February.
Martin, who is endorsed by the Democratic Party, was on the Common Council from 1994 to 1995 as well. In his own words, here's how Martin describes his campaign:
Why did you decide to move to White Plains?
I grew up in Scranton, PA and moved here to go law school at Pace. I just loved the area so much that I stayed.
Why would you be a good representative in the coming term?
Theres a whole bunch of reasons. I have a very extensive background in White Plains, both politically and socially. I was the vice chair of the Urban Renewal Agency. I chaired the Comprehensive Plan Management Group from 1994 to 1997, which resulted in the comprehensive plan we have today. I have been the treasurer of the White Plains Business Improvement District (BID) since its inception, was its chair, and now I vice chair it. I serve on the Board of Assessments. I'm a business owner who has been located downtown for 15 years. Ive managed my company through many down cycles and up cycles. I have a broad background that works well for the Common Council.
If elected, what are the three biggest goals you'd work to accomplish?
In the two years that I would be elected to serve, I have three very specific goals that Id like to tackle. Id like to get an updated comprehensive plan process underway. Our comprehensive plan took us four years to develop in the mid-1990s We did a brief update in 2006 that I chaired. But this would be a complete redo. Last time around we had 400 resident volunteers help us.
The BID expansion is way up there on the agenda. I think we should have BID expand to the train station area and down near Post Road and the hospital.
Another more general goal of mine is to continue to find ways to deliver city services in the most efficient way possible. Weve already started this with a very advanced garbage collection pilot program. I think that can go a long way in reducing costs in the Department of Public Works. So searching for ways to become more efficient will prevent us from having to go to taxpayers for dollars.
Has the local government made any mistakes or had any oversights that you'd try to avoid?
Im still not 100 percent sure we made the right decision with the acquisition of Ridgeway. I was disappointed that the city didnt get it. However, since [Thomas Roach] has been mayor I cant think of anything Id call a mistake.
What's the best part of White Plains?
Its a great little city. We have almost everything you can think of available to us between shopping, transportation, downtown restaurants, pubs, even our performing arts center. You have almost everything you can think of that youd want in a community and everybody gets along. We have relatively lower taxes than other surrounding areas. All that mixed together creates a beautiful little city.
Other related experience:
- Former president of the Fisher Hill Association
- Former vice chair of the Urban Renewal Agency
- Former chair of the Comprehensive Plan Management Group
- Former co-chair of the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee
- Member and past chair of Board of Assessments Review
- Vice Chair, former chair and past treasurer of the White Plains Business Improvement District
- Founder and Chair of White Plains St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee
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