Barry Fertel in Council District 5

With the election just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share a few thoughts about the team that can best lead our city for the next four years.

Barry Fertel lives and breathes New Rochelle. He served for many years on the Board of Education, including two years as its President. With little fanfare, he contributes time and energy to numerous not-for-profits and volunteer organizations that support our schools, libraries, the arts, and more. He practices law out of his offices in our downtown. He even collects New Rochelle memorabilia, amassing an impressive array of historic maps, booklets and postcards, all of which attest to his real passion for our city.

District 5 map. Click for larger image.

When I become mayor six years ago, Barry succeeded me as the representative for Council District 5. And, frankly, he is better than I ever was in his determined advocacy for neighborhood priorities and in his follow-through on the many individual concerns that constitute a big part of any Council Member’s responsibilities.

Just as important — and maybe more so — Barry has been an essential partner on all of the big challenges confronting New Rochelle. We share a common view of the the City’s history and a common faith in its future. We share a value system that respects public action as an instrument for improving lives and communities. We share a — perhaps impolitic — tendency to eschew empty pleasantries and offer candid truths. In short, Barry and I trust and rely on each other, and my ability to govern well is greatly enhanced by his presence on the Council.

If Barry has a flaw, it is that he’s a much better government official than politician. Let’s face it: politics is a field in which many people under-perform their duties and then oversell themselves. Barry does the reverse — he gets the job done, but too often neglects to tell anyone about it. So as someone who has been his friend and admirer for close to twenty years, I am happy to do the selling for him. Barry is a terrific Council Member and deserves to be reelected.

Ivar Hyden in Council District 4

With the election just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share a few thoughts about the team that can best lead our city for the next four years.

Although he is a first-time candidate, Ivar Hyden has been more deeply involved in civic leadership and has contributed more fully to the common good than many long-serving elected officials. What’s more, his experiences and skills are perfectly matched to the Fourth Council District, which encompasses both cohesive neighborhoods and our central business district. Here are just a few of Ivar’s credentials:

Small Business Owner: Ivar owns the Backstreet Gallery on Lawton Street, just across from Library Green. As a small business owner and former downtown resident, Ivar understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities confronting our central business district, and has been at the forefront of offering constructive solutions, often in partnership with our Business Improvement District.

District 4 map. Click for larger image.

Neighborhood Leader: Currently a resident of Glenwood Lake, Ivar has been an active part of his neighborhood association, and he appreciates the essential role of strong and healthy neighborhoods in defining New Rochelle’s quality of life and civic character. He’ll be a great spokesperson for neighborhood priorities and also an outstanding communicator, who can identify common interests that span many neighborhoods.

Artist: Finally, Ivar has been a leader in the arts community, presently serving as the Chairperson of the New Rochelle Municipal Arts Commission. For those who believe that the arts and culture must be a defining part of New Rochelle’s future, it will be wonderful to have a champion of this priority at the Council table.

Jared Rice in Council District 3

With the election just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share a few thoughts about the team that can best lead our city for the next four years.

Jared is the newest member of the City Council, having joined just this year by winning a special election last November to fill the unexpired term of the late Jim Stowe. An attorney who grew up in New Rochelle, Jared is now seeking a full four-year term.

I can’t recall any other incoming Council Member who hit the ground running with as much energy, intelligence and success as Jared. He’s been an outstanding spokesperson for the concerns of his district, a thoughtful contributor to Council deliberations, and a productive legislator, who brings new concepts to the Council table and has successfully cultivated bipartisan support for his initiatives.

District 3 map. Click for larger image.

Exceptionally well-liked, Jared has proven to be an outstanding community organizer, who brings people together and enlists volunteer talent for civic purposes. He’s also respected by our City staff, who appreciate his talent for asking probing questions and obtaining facts before rushing to judgments.

Finally, Jared strikes an instinctive balance between independence and collaboration. He is able to offer competing points of view in ways that are direct and honest, but always constructive. And he knows when to stand firm on principle and when to compromise for the greater good. As a result, Jared’s advice on issues both large and small is invariably good, and I feel very fortunate to have him as a colleague.

Roberto Lopez in Council District 1

With the election just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share a few thoughts about the team that can best lead our city for the next four years.

Roberto Lopez is a successful small business owner and the founder of the Bellas Artes Business Council, an umbrella and advocacy organization. He was elected previously to a single term on the City Council in 2003, becoming then New Rochelle’s first and only Hispanic elected official.

District 1 map. Click for larger image.

While we served together, and in the time before and since, I found Roberto to be a very shrewd judge of character, a determined neighborhood advocate, and a constructive partner on major city-wide goals. Beyond his professional skills is a personal story that truly embodies the American Dream. Roberto arrived in the United States with almost nothing and then achieved great success through hard work and force of will.

Roberto narrowly lost his reelection bid four years ago, and it’s to his credit that he grew from that experience. As much as I admired the Roberto Lopez with whom I served from 2004 to 2007, the Roberto Lopez with whom I am running now is even more impressive, with a broader vision for New Rochelle and a conciliatory nature that seeks to build bridges and break down walls of misunderstanding.

New Rochelle’s Hispanic population has grown dramatically in the last three decades and constitutes a super-majority within Council District 1. Because of his own personal experience, bilingual skills and standing in the community, Roberto is uniquely qualified to articulate and advance the common goals that bind together all of our residents, regardless of their heritage.