On Monday evening, January 29, 2007, over three dozen villagers convened at the Croton Free Library’s Ottinger Room in the local Democratic Committee’s Nomination Caucus to select candidates for the upcoming Village elections. The Mayoral seat and two Trustee seats will be on the ballot on March 20,2007. Trustee Ann Gallelli received the nomination as candidate for Mayor, a seat currently held by Gregory Schmidt (Republican). Trustee Leo Wiegman received the nomination for re-election as Trustee. Former Water Control Commission Chair, Sally Odland of Old Post Road North received the nomination as candidate for Trustee slot currently held by Thomas Brennan (Republican).
Village Justice Sam Watkins swore in Croton Democrat Vice Chair, John Harbeson, as chair of the caucus and District Leader Laura Seitz as secretary of the caucus. This year the caucus process offer added opportunities for a question and answer period after nominations for a slot and before the vote on that nomination. The audience asked a number of policy questions of each of the nominated candidates which yielded frank and lively discussion.
Demetra Tseckares-Restuccia of Truesdale Drive placed Ann Gallelli’s name in nomination for Mayor, “I have been very impressed with Ann’s work and involvement in the past.” Glenn Rickles of Benedict Boulevard seconded Ann Gallelli’s nomination.
Gallelli noted, “We are all here tonight because we basically like our village for its small town feeling, close knit neighborhoods, and vibrant population mix of youth, working population and seniors. We want Croton to stay that way but keeping what we like about Croton doesn’t happen by doing nothing. The dichotomy is that to keep Croton the way we like it, we need to keep moving ahead on many different fronts.”
Seth Davis of Half Moon Bay placed Sally Odland’s name in nomination for Trustee, “In my past work with Sally, she has shown tremendous intelligence, open, and hard work. She’s a pro. I relied on her when she worked with me and we’ll all be fortunate enough to rely on her as a Village Board member.”
Dinah Davidson of Glengary Road seconded Odland’s nomination with the following remarks, “Sally is a woman who does her homework. Croton residents can count on her to thoroughly research and sort through conflicting opinions before coming to a decision. She will bring intelligence and thoughtfulness to the board instead of knee jerk reactions to a noisy minority.”
Fran Allen of Finney Farm also seconded Odland’s nomination with these words, “The team that stopped the Millennium Pipeline from coming through our Village included Ann Gallelli, Charlie Kane, Sally Odland, and Leo Wiegman. As Village Board members this same team will use their individual and collective knowlege and talents to move the Village forward.”
Sally Odland herself noted, “I decided that if I really want to have a say in how the village spends its money and what services it provides, I needed to become active at the level where the budget and policy decisions are made. We need to find ways to stretch our village dollars, without increasing the tax burden. One thing I’d like to do is stop exporting so many local dollars to lawyers in DC through village lawsuits. Instead, let’s find ways to turn our troubles into village revenues and keep more money circulating to local businesses.”
John Ghegan of Young Avenue placed Wiegman’s name in nomination for re-election, “Leo is a good neighbor and an honest man.” Ann Gallelli seconded Wiegman.
Leo Wiegman noted, “The good things we did get done in the past 2 years are the result of us bucking the “Father-knows-best” approach of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. What Greg and Tom and their supporters see as resolute, unwavering positions, I see as “head-in-the-sand” rigidity and stubborness. We all know that when the facts on the ground change, it is time to develop a Plan B. We need to return to reality-based governance in Croton.”
Wiegman concluded the caucus with a few facts about voting patterns in recent elections.
Further information will be posted in coming days at the Croton Dems’ website.
Ann H. Gallelli
20 Briggs Lane Croton on Hudson NY 10520
Ann Gallelli, 64, is a 32 year resident of Croton, registered Democrat and current Village Trustee. Ann has long been involved in our local government including a total of 12 years as Planning Board Chair, 2 prior terms as Village Trustee, and 8 years as Chair of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan Committee. Ann is Vice President of Board of Directors of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation. In 2004, Ann received the New York State Planning Federation’s highest award - the Heissenbuttal Award for Excellence in Planning. Ann also serves on the Board of the Croton-Harmon Education Foundation and on the Advisory Board of the Croton Community Nursery School, where she was previously President for 2 terms, among numerous other PTA, and school related committees. A former employee of IBM, Ann ran her own technical writing business for many years. She is graduate of Stanford University, an avid tennis player and, more recently, a golf fan. Ann enjoys sharing these pursuits with her husband John and two adult children, Carla and John.
Sarah (Sally) K. Odland
79 Old Post Rd. N.
Croton on Hudson NY 10520
Registered as an independent voter, Sally Odland, 52, previously served as a member and chair of Croton’s Water Control Commission and worked as a member of the Waterfront Advisory Committee. In that capacity, she researched and developed the Village’s successful arguments against Millennium Pipeline’s proposed crossing of the Croton’s municipal wellfield. Sally holds advanced degrees in geology and business administration. She has worked as a geologist, a project manager, a small business owner and a university administrator, and has experience in the public and private sectors, as well as government. From 1997 to 2002, Sally ran a home-based exhibit design company with her husband, composer/sound artist Bruce Odland. She currently works as an administrator at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. Sally has lived in Croton since 1992. Her three children, Michael, Xandra and Max, attended Croton schools. For more detail , see: www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~odland/
Leo A. W. Wiegman
100 Benedict Boulevard
Croton on Hudson NY 10520
A registered Democrat, Leo Wiegman, 48, was first elected Village Trustee in 2001. Born in the Netherlands and raised in New Hampshire, Leo is a naturalized US citizen and a graduate of Tufts University (summa cum laude). He has worked in book publishing since 1980. An editor for W. W. Norton & Company, an independent, employee-owned firm, Leo publishes illustrated books in the physical sciences, environmental studies, and photography by experts from all across North America. Leo has lived in Croton since 1994, with his wife, architect Julie Evans, and their son, Adrian, who attends Croton Harmon High School. Leo volunteers for Croton’s AYSO program and promotes public awareness of energy and environment related issues.