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.
Republicans scored a huge victory in yesterday’s nation-wide elections, capturing more than sixty seats in the House — the largest shift in more than sixty years. While the will of the people must always be respected, I can’t conceal my concern. Many of the newly elected representatives and senators have expressed views on the extreme right fringe of American politics — more akin to the John Birch Society than to Ronald Reagan — and they will now exercise unprecedented influence over national policy. I hope that the responsibilities that come with public office and the interplay between the Congress and the President will have a moderating effect, and that the conclusion of this election season will permit a renewed focus on the common good. Time will tell.
Locally, the picture was quite different, with Democrats more than holding their own. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Assemblyman George Latimer were all re-elected by wide margins. Of New Rochelle’s four State legislators, only Suzi Oppenheimer is locked in a tight contest, with the outcome of her race against Republican Bob Cohen still unsettled. Interestingly, it is possible that this election will determine control of the entire New York State Senate.
Finally, I extend sincere congratulations to Susan Kettner and Jared Rice, who prevailed in their local contests for New Rochelle City Judge and for the New Rochelle City Council. Both Susan and Jared campaigned with exceptional energy and determination, and prevailed by substantial margins. I was proud to support both, and have every confidence that Susan will prove an able jurist and Jared an effective partner on the City Council.
On November 2nd, the same day as the general election for governor and other offices, the residents of District Three will have an opportunity to elect a new representative to serve the final year of the current Council term. The winner of this election will commence service on January 1st and continue through 2011. Yet another election will occur next November for a full four-year Council term.
In this election, Democrats have nominated Jared Rice and Republicans have nominated Peter Parente. I strongly support Mr. Rice, a local attorney and community volunteer with extensive roots in New Rochelle and a genuine passion for public service. I believe that Jared would be a strong, independent advocate for District Three and also a constructive partner in advancing broad city-wide priorities. If you would like to support Jared’s candidacy, please consider attending this event.
In the aftermath of the tragic and untimely passing of Council Member Jim Stowe on August 4th, the City Council has unanimously appointed Jim’s widow, Roxie Stowe, to represent District Three for the remainder of this calendar year. Mrs. Stowe, now Councilwoman Stowe, worked closely with her husband and is uniquely qualified to provide advocacy for District Three. I am deeply grateful for Roxie’s willingness to serve, especially in the wake of such a difficult personal loss.