HARRISON, N.Y. - Ron Belmont , 58, is running for Harrison's mayor and supervisor on three different lines including Republican, Conservative and Independent. He served as Harrison's superintendent of recreation for 25 years and has an additional 11 years of experience with municipal government. He is running against incumbent mayor and supervisor, Joan Walsh .
In his own words, here's how Belmont described his campaign:
Why would you be a good representative in the coming term?
I've been in town all of my life and I've been in government for 36 years. I believe I know what the people need. I know what the people want and I know what Harrison is looking for. I'm also open-minded, will do anything to make Harrison better and I will listen to all the residents to better the quality of life in Harrison.
If elected, what are the three biggest goals you'd work to accomplish?
- Bring Harrison back to prominence where it was years ago. Harrison is suffering, we've had some bad press and we've got to get back on top. Harrison needs to be an ideal community where people want to move. I want Harrison up there on the list of people wanting to relocate.
- We need to establish respect and cohesiveness between everyone working for the town.
- We have to control spending and our tax bases. I want to raise standards but still keep our taxes in check. There's no reason for taxes to go up the way they have in recent years.
Also, our downtown business district is hurting. It doesn't look very nice and there are a lot of things that can be done to enhance it. Downtown isn't taken care of the way it used to be.
Planters, trees, and sidewalk repair are all things can be done in-house. We can't for the MTA project to be the end-all-cure-all.
Has the local government made any mistakes or had any oversights that you'd try to avoid?
I'm trying to look for accomplishments. The campaign has been pretty harsh with the mudslinging. When you have no accomplishments, you have to resort to mudslinging. I'm trying to run my campaign in a positive way.
They haven't done much of anything. And you can't always blame your predecessor.
There was a master plan that was nearly completed four years ago and almost paid for. Yet it has been off the shelf for the last three and a half years.
We've had flooding issues and nothing has been done. Mayor Walsh was elected because of flooding and they've done absolutely nothing because of flooding in the past four years.
Walsh also showed a complete U-turn on Project Home Run. She was against it at first and now wants to go with the plan. There's simply been an inability to act and lead on various issues.
What specifically makes you different from your opponent?
I'm a person who will build bridges to make Harrison a great community by bringing everyone together. That includes all sections of town and all backgrounds. I don't believe in burning bridges. I believe in building bridges and mending fences. I don't know if this is going on right now with the current administration.
What is the best part of Harrison?
The best part is its ethnic diversity. You got a great look at that on Its Great to Live in Harrison Day. All the cultures come together and make Harrison a great place and its wonderful. Aside from the towns ideal location, it also has a nice class of people, and most importantly, it has ethnic diversity.
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