Editor's Note: With elections for Mamaroneck Village Mayor, Mamaroneck Village Trustee and two seats on the Mamaroneck Town Council a week away, Patch will be running the candidate profiles that were originally posted on the site in early August. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Our series of interviews with Town of Mamaroneck political candidates continues today. We began with Town Supervisor candidate Nancy Seligson (D), followed by Town Council candidate Seth Marcus (R). Today’s interview is with Marcus’ political opponent and ongoing lawsuit respondent, newcomer Abby Katz (D). Katz is battling the sole Republican candidate in the polls and in the courts for the seat being vacated by retiring Councilman, David Fishman.
Patch recently caught up with Katz between her busy community service and family schedule. We now invite you to spend “seven minutes with TOM Town Council candidate Abby Katz.”
Patch-1: What will it mean to the residents of Mamaroneck if Abby Katz is elected to the position of Town Councilmember in November?
Katz: “They’ll have the voice of somebody who’s been active in the community and I think I have a sense of what people in the community want and I can speak for them.”
Patch-2: What will it mean if your opponent, Seth Marcus, is elected?
Katz: “Although Seth is a neighbor of mine, he lives a few doors down, I have no idea what he stands for or what his intentions are in running. I’ve been to Town Board meetings, I know he was recently an alternate to the zoning board, but I have no idea what he wants to do for the community. I haven’t heard him, I haven’t seen him at any public things and so I don’t really know what his stance is on anything. I don’t know why he’s running; I hadn’t heard his name before this whole thing started.”
Patch-3: Specifically, how will my family be impacted as homeowners, depending on who wins in November—you or your opponent?
Katz: “I know people here in Mamaroneck are accustomed to a high level of services and we want to be able to maintain that. [We’ll] have to see what that means operating under the new property tax cap. The town has sent out bids for the town-wide property re-evaluation, and I’m curious to see if that comes in at a price that will allow the town to move forward with that because I think that is something that will benefit the community—to have the current property valuations on the books so we don’t have as many tax challenges which are hurting the town and the school district.”
Patch-4: How do you think your previous community service experience will help you if you are successful in your bid for Town Councilmember?
Katz: “Two areas of my community involvement are unusual in that it brings me in touch with people of all different ages. I’m the [Murray Avenue] PTA Treasurer, so that gets me in [touch] with the soccer moms, but I also work at the [Larchmont-Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force] food pantry and there we get volunteers from high school kids to senior citizens, so it puts me in direct contact with people in the community that are all different ages. The same can be said about the Larchmont Gardens Civic Association; when I joined that after first moving here, I was one of the youngest people, and it was all [older] people who had lived here forever. I think it’s really helpful to have that perspective—to be able to talk to people who have only lived her for a year or two, and people who have lived here for 20-30 years.”
Patch-4a: How might your lack of local government experience be a handicap to you, and what are your plans to overcome it?
Katz: “My plans are really just to seek advice from the people that have been doing it longer. I’ve met with George Latimer to get his advice. I think for most people, this is the first political job they have … you just have to jump in and do it.”
Patch-5: What do you see as the single most critical issue facing the Town of Mamaroneck Board in the coming four years of the term for which you are running?
Katz: “Something I’ve already touched on—being able to provide the level of services people expect, without tax increases. That’s the thing—nobody wants to give up a day of garbage collection, [and] everybody wants the roads plowed. I think that’s going to be the toughest issue, maintaining the level of services without the tax increases.”
Patch-6: What can you tell our readers (in 60 sec or less) about the legal action that was filed against you and the Westchester County Board of Elections recently by one of your opponents, Seth Marcus? [Click PDF to the right of this article.]
Katz: “His stance is that the petitions that were filed were fraudulent because they listed Dave Fishman, who had stated that he wasn’t running. He’s charging me with fraud. I wasn’t even part of creating the petition process, so I certainly was not part of any [fraud] …there was no fraud. This is just part of the standard process until the Democratic Party came up with me as a candidate. I am fairly confident that we are going to win this battle in court. It’s a shame it happened; these races are rarely contested, so it was kind of exciting to have a contested election. There are three people running for two spots and it’s a shame they went this route, but I really have done nothing wrong, and I think the record will show that. I’m a little stunned that I’m the one named in the suit to be honest. I certainly did not commit any fraud as they are alleging, and I don’t believe they have done anything that shows that I have … I hope it is not a long drawn-out process, I don’t think that’s what will benefit the people in the community.”
Patch-7: Is there anything we haven’t discussed that you would like the residents of Mamaroneck to know about the candidate, Abby Katz?
Katz: “I love the Town of Mamaroneck and I’m excited about the chance to serve the community. I love living here, and I think I would be a real asset to the board. I know most of the members of the board, and I think we would work great together as a team.”
Katz is a trained accountant with a B.A. degree in Economics from St. Lawrence University. She has worked in financial management for two decades, a skill set she feels will serve her and the residents of Mamaroneck well if she is elected in November. Stay tuned to Patch.com for the final two candidate interviews—Town Clerk & Town Justice.