WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A pair of candidates for White Plains Common Council agree on many topics, but differ on two: parking and whether the French American School of New York should be allowed to develop the Ridgeway Country Club site.
Democratic incumbent Nadine Hunt-Robinson and Republican challenger Terence Guerriere squared off Wednesday Oct. 22 during a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of White Plains. More than 100 residents attended at the White Plains Public Library.
Hunt-Robinson, appointed to the Common Council in February after Ben Boykin took a county legislature seat, said she has opinions about FASNY, but will let the process take its course. "It would be inappropriate for me to say'' how she would vote at this point in the review process, she said.
Guerriere, a former city Planning Board and Zoning Board member, said he thinks FASNY should not be allowed to relocate its Mamaroneck school to Ridgeway. Continuing the property's use as a golf course -- or building 40 to 50 homes generating more than $1 million in new annual property taxes -- would conform with existing zoning, he said.
Hunt-Robinson said she still needs to consider FASNY's impact on the community with regard to safety, environment and public health.
Both candidates agreed the Common Council should get involved to protect the open space and historic structures at Good Counsel Academy, 52 North Broadway in anticipation of the property's sale.
And both agreed the city's comprehensive plan for development needs to be updated. Hunt-Robinson said Mamaroneck Avenue needs more residential units to bolster downtown shopping and restaurants and the Post Road corridor needs similar mixed-use development.
Guerriere said downtown stores would be helped by making parking free for city residents so they shop within White Plains. He suggested making parking free after 6 p.m. and all weekend for residents. Hunt-Robinson praised the city's current approaches to parking They include new "green" recharging spaces for hybrid cars and a $75-a-year permit program allowing residents unlimited parking at select garages on weekdays from 6 p.m. until midnight and on weekends from 10 a.m. to midnight. Guerriere said only 30 residents have signed up for those parking permits.
Both candidates expressed concern about staff cuts to the city's police and fire departments.
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