DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. — Donna Cassell, an incumbent running unopposed for re-election to her seat on the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees, took the time to answer some questions from The Rivertowns Daily Voice.
Occupation: Entertainment Industry Professional
How long have you lived in Dobbs Ferry: 9 years
Party Affiliation and ballot lines held: Democratic Party
Years in office: 2
Civic organizations: liaison to Traffic Committee, Wildlife Committee and Conservation Advisory Board
What are the three biggest issues facing your district or town?
The development of Rivertown Square, traffic congestion, taxes
How would you address those issues?
As with all issues, it is important to look at all aspects and sides of an issue. In many instances there are also legal restrictions that have to be taken into consideration. It is important to work with other members of the board, the committees and residents to fully explore the problems and solutions. In the end, I make my decisions based on what I believe are in the best interest of the residents of Dobbs Ferry.
If you are an incumbent, what were your biggest achievements?
I introduced two resolutions that were passed unanimously by our board. One was a petition to the state to include mass transit options on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The other was a Complete Streets resolution intended to make our local streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Westchester is among the highest-taxed counties in the nation. What would you do to lower the tax burden?
In Dobbs Ferry, close to 40 percent of our property is owned by non-profit organizations, which are not taxable but require village services. We need to continue working with these entities to find ways in which they can help the village. The ability of village residents and teams to use the track at The Masters School and the field at Mercy College are a couple of examples. We need to work with our municipal unions to find ways to adequately compensate employees and still not overburden our taxpayers. We also need to work with the schools to find ways for mutual cooperation on village projects that benefit students. Additionally, we must seek more outside funds, i.e. state aide and grants. Finally, we should work with developers to create responsible developments that benefit the community.
Why should people vote for you?
Since moving to Dobbs Ferry nine years ago, I have been an active member of the community volunteering for numerous committees and village events. As trustee, I have championed many traffic safety initiatives, helped produce two Wildlife Committee educational forums and actively participated in all aspects of the Rivertown Square SEQRA process. In my commitment to responsible development, I recently completed and received a certificate from Pace University Law School’s Land Use Leadership Program. It should also be noted that this year’s BOT candidates are running uncontested. I believe that this shows how well all members of our board are working together with mutual respect and cooperation.