HARRISON, N.Y.. -- In the final week of campaigning for Harrison mayor/supervisor, both Republican candidates are leveling harsh criticism of one another.
Thursday marks the first primary election for mayor/supervisor in half a century in Harrison. There also is a rare Republican Party primary runoff of four candidates for two part-time Town of Harrison justice seats.
Belmont, 58, and Marraccini, 64, also are seeking primary election votes on the Conservative and Independent ballot lines on Sept. 10. The winner will face Democrat Elizabeth Schaper in the Nov. 3 general election for mayor/supervisor.
Marraccini, who served two years as mayor/supervisor from 1994-97, said, "It really is ridiculous how they've let the town deteriorate."
"It's all lies,'' Mayor Belmont responded on Thursday. "I disagree with just about everything he's said."
Belmont, a non-affiliated voter, is the Harrison Republican Party's endorsed candidate. He served as director of Harrison's Parks and Recreation Department for 35 years ending in 2009. He lost his first race for mayor/supervisor in 2011.
"Harrison is in a state of spiraling decline,'' Marraccini said. "Increasing taxes. Decreasing services. Decreasing property values. There is absolutely no leadership or vision on the Town Board.. . . .Harrison is far behind Rye, Mamaroneck and Port Chester."
Belmont disagrees: "Harrison is ready to bloom. We just have to be moving in a positive direction. . . . The accomplishments go on and on and on."
Harrison barely had a fund balance in its operating budget when he began elective office in January 2014, Belmont said. Today, the town/village has $15 million in so-called "rainy day" reserves.
Marraccini, an attorney, said Harrison should be spending money on infrastructure projects, such as road paving or public parking instead of borrowing for downtown flower boxes, sidewalks and other "window-dressing landscape projects."
Both candidates have wide name recognition in Harrison. Marracini's brother, Anthony, is Harrison's longtime police chief.
Belmont points to Harrison's recent economic revival, with extensive redevelopment along Westchester Avenue and a major housing/retail project planned next to the village's Metro-North railroad station, among others. The village also has been sprucing up its parks and renovated its main public library.
Marraccini said he opposes building new high-density housing projects downtown. The Republican challenger said a new movie theater, more parking and retail development is what's needed near the Harrison train station -- not 143 more housing units.
In Thursday's primary election for two town justice seats, incumbent Justice Nelson Canter, a registered Republican, and incumbent Justice Marc Lust, a registered Democrat, are running against endorsed Republican candidates Joseph Cannella, a town councilman, and Pasquale Gizzo.
Lust, who was arrested for drunken driving in December 2014, also is running for a fifth-term as town justice on the Democratic and Independent party lines in the Nov. 3 general election. He is awaiting trial in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Return to Daily Voice for more coverage of the judicial primary election.
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