By CHRIS EBERHART
After the March 18 Tuckahoe election, the village Board of Trustees remains a 4-1 Republican majority with incumbent Democrat Stephen Quigley winning re-election and Republican Steven Alfasi taking the other open seat vacated by the outgoing Trustee Janette Hayes.
Hayes, a Republican, chose not to seek re-election.
Quigley, 61, beat out Alfasi, 48, by five votes—356 to 351—for top vote getter of the four candidates on the ballot. Coming in third and fourth, respectively, were Republican Melba Caliano, 60, an attorney with the New York State Education Department and Democrat Chris DiGiorgio, 47, an eye doctor and the chairman of the village’s Democratic Party, with 324 votes and 287 votes, respectively.
Quigley and Alfasi will begin their two-year terms on April 1.
Alfasi, a private attorney with an office in Village Hall and a member of Tuckahoe’s Zoning Board of Appeals for the past two years, said after his victory the win hasn’t sunk in yet, but he’s ready to get to work.
“The first thing is voting on the budget, which I’m confident the trustees will keep under the state-mandated tax cap,” Alfasi said.
Although Alfasi has not been part of the budget discussions, he will vote on the final budget, which has to be completed by the end of May.
After the adoption of the budget, Alfasi said, “It’s about taxes, but it’s not all about taxes. Taxes is a pot of money, and it’s about managing that pot of money with efficient spending. It encompasses
Quigley, an intellectual property attorney at a Manhattan-based law firm, will be
returning for his third two-year term as village trustee next month. He said this election “re-energized” him.
“This win was a nice reaffirmation that a majority of the voters think I’m doing a good job,” Quigley said. “It re-energized me to push more initiatives, especially in the environmental area and real estate development in the business district. I want to revisit making Tuckahoe a climate-smart community [which would make the village eligible for grant money].”
Environmental initiatives were a hot topic during the candidates’ March 9 debate.
Essentially, the Democrats—Quigley and DiGiorgio—said the village needs to do more for the environment while the Republicans—Alfasi and Caliano—said Tuckahoe was already environmentally conscious.
During the debate, Caliano took a shot at her Democratic opponents’ environmental push saying, “There should be less concern for small issues like plastic bags,” in reference to Quigley’s proposed plastic bag ban in Tuckahoe retail stores in March 2013. “We’re already environmentally conscious. And I’ve never seen my opponents at a Planning Board meeting asking for a second environmental test. I’ve always asked for that second test.”
Quigley’s bag ban proposal was defeated by a 2013 party line vote.
The Republicans will keep their supermajority on the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees, which means Quigley will have an uphill challenge in trying to convince the board to go along with future environmental initiatives.