OSSINING, N.Y. Bringing an anchor store to North State Road, enacting a bond cap to limit the amount of borrowing each year and moving the Building Department into the town police station are some of the ideas that town supervisor candidate Peter Tripodi IV has for improving Ossining.
Tripodi, 26, has been a town councilman for two years. He is the youngest elected official in the county and he says his tendency to question things and be vocal brings a "balance" to the town board.
"I do get a lot of nonsense about my age. Some people seem to think young people being involved in politics is bad," Tripodi said. "My answer is, 'What would be a suitable age?'"
Tripodi said he is running for town supervisor because he would like the authority and leeway to resolve a number of issues that have been brought up during his time on town council.
The candidate said he would like to increase financial accountability in the town by auditing agencies that receive taxpayer funds. He would also like to increase government transparency by not holding meetings on service consolidations behind closed doors.
"I voted against the court consolidation," Tripodi said. "The meetings were conducted for two to three years behind closed doors and it increases by six percent the taxes of Town of Ossining residents."
Two of Tripodi's biggest gripes about the town are the way that the police station is being handled, and the cost of part-time consultants.
"The county (police) is using our police station at no cost to them and we pay $320,000 annually for the building. It just doesn't make sense," Tripodi said. "We could rent or sell the building or use it for town operations and save some money on rent we pay."
Moving the Building Department into the police station would save $14,000 in rent and also bring some more traffic to the North State Road commercial strip, Tripodi said.
On the issue of part-time consultants, Tripodi pointed out that a part-time engineering consultant was paid nearly half a million dollars over two years.
"That's unacceptable," the councilman said. "I would suggest a non-formal bidding process for consultants, or consolidate with the village of Ossining."
Tripodi said he thinks the commercial strip on North State Road could be bringing a lot more business and tax money to the town. He suggested offering tax incentives to bring an anchor store to the area.
Aside from serving as councilman, Tripodi is also studying to complete his Masters of Public Administration at Pace University. He grew up in Ossining and he has a Bachelor's in political science and American history from the State University of New York in Albany.
"I attribute my success to a grassroots campaign connecting with people rather than looking down at them and telling them what I think they should do," he said. "I love doing this, interacting with people, solving their problems."
Tripodi is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines against Susanne Donnelly, a current village trustee who is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines.
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