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Tripodi, Donnelly Share Some Political Ideas

OSSINING, N.Y. — Town supervisor candidates Susanne Donnelly and Peter Tripodi IV are 32 years apart in age, and one could say that their life experiences differ more than their political ideas.

While Tripodi, 26, began campaigning for town council straight after graduating from State University of New York in Albany, Donnelly, 58, has worked in the supermarket industry for 36 years and currently owns her own business selling, installing and maintaining point of sale systems for supermarkets.

Both candidates are currently in political office – Donnelly has been an Ossining village trustee for about five years, while Tripodi has been an Ossining town councilman for two years. Both candidates' terms in their current offices will expire at the end of the year, so whichever candidate loses the Supervisor bid will be out of local office for a while at least.

Both candidates are looking for ways to help their municipalities save money, including more shared services and doing something different with the town's police station, which is currently used by county police, who do not pay rent. The Town of Ossining contracted out their police services to county police this year.

"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 during an interview. "We could rent or sell the building or use it for town operations and save some money on rent we pay."

Likewise, Donnelly said she would "expedite the sale or rental" of the town's police station.

Donnelly said she is known for being "extremely fiscally conservative," while Tripodi said he is known for questioning things and bringing a "balance" to the town board.

Aside from getting money for the town police station, Tripodi's ideas for saving money include getting rid of overpaid part-time consultants, one of whom he said was paid about half a million dollars in two years, and offering tax incentives to bring an anchor store to the North State Road, which would in turn bring tax money to the town.

Donnelly's idea for saving money is to have more shared services "where appropriate."

On the issue of justice courts, Donnelly said she would look into negotiating with Briarcliff Manor officials to see if Briarcliff could be included in Ossining's consolidated town and village court system.

Tripodi voted against court consolidation because he felt the meetings on consolidation were conducted behind closed doors, and he didn't like that it increases by six percent the taxes of Town of Ossining residents, including residents of Briarcliff Manor who have their own court.

Donnelly said she decided to run for town supervisor this year because she has the time to devote to the position, and "the experience to do a good job at it."

"My goals are to work on consolidating and getting rid of redundant services where it is appropriate," she said. "My other goal is to make sure the town is financially stable."

Tripodi said he is running for town supervisor because he would like the authority and leeway to resolve some issues that have been brought up during his time on town council.

"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.

Tripodi is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines while Donnelly is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines.

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