Former Town Attorney Mike Grace, who failed to secure the Republican Committee’s nod to run for supervisor, plans to try and wrest it from incumbent Susan Siegel by collecting petitions for a primary bid. He joins Town Board hopefuls Ed Ciffone and Tom DeChiaro in doing so.
Grace issued the following statement today:
After thoughtful consideration Michael J. Grace, a former Town Attorney for the Town of Yorktown and partner in the litigation firm of Grace & Grace located at 360 Underhill Ave., Yorktown Heights has decided to enter the race for Yorktown Town Supervisor and will Petition to primary the Republican endorsed candidate and current Supervisor Susan Siegel.
Michael J. Grace is seeking the Republican Party nomination. Mr. Grace was legal counsel to the Town over a 16 year period in various capacities. For a period of time he was the sole legal counsel to the town and remained its litigation counsel for all 16 years of service to the town. In his capacity as former Town Attorney Mr. Grace is intimately familiar with the town’s regulatory structure as well as the history, purposes and intents of those regulations.
More after the jump…
Mr. Grace in announcing his entry into the race stated that: “The Town of Yorktown has become moribund, primarily because of the unfortunate long term dysfunction of the Town Board and probably more importantly because of the town’s antiquated regulatory infrastructure which has proven to be unresponsive to the town’s present and future needs.” According to Mr. Grace the Town is “reaping the consequences of a town board that for years has been unwilling, incapable or oblivious with respect to the need to keep pace with the challenges faced by the dual interests of promoting local economic prosperity and preserving our quality of life and the unique character of our town; interests which are too often considered mutually exclusive. Which they are not! In fact the proper stewardship of our physical environment and the preservation of what we all have grown to love, that being the character of our town, rests upon promoting a vibrant local economy. It is with the latter that we maintain the former.”
Mr. Grace stated that: “What is required is that the Town review and amend it’s land use regulations including the fee structures. A good example of the town continuing to progress in the wrong direction is the presently proposed pending legislation as to “escrow fees” which is certain to cause a further erosion of the town’s tax base. Besides being of dubious legality, this type of legislation provides no financial benefit to the town and is a small business killer. Likewise, in regard to the pending legislation mandating affordable housing set asides from residential developers. At a time when many are struggling just to keep their homes it is uncanny that the town Board seeks to enact legislation mandating affordable housing set asides that past experience proved to be costly to the town while serving no discernible public benefit. This type of legislation is purely the product of demagoguery and unsupported by the very real problems facing Yorktowners.”
“The current crop of pending legislation proves that the present town leadership is out of touch with what needs to be done to restore the Town vitality.”
“The entrenched anti-business culture of the present town leadership can only be replaced by new leadership. It is for these reasons I seek the Republican Party nomination.”
“The town’s present regulatory structure and culture is simply outdated in regard to the current issues facing the town including but not limited to the erosion of the commercial tax base by vacancy and physical plant deterioration. The town’s commercial tax base could be revitalized upon a redevelopment of existing commercial property without resorting to new development. There is too much regulatory redundancy and a lack of local administrative board appellate review of advisory board determinations. This leads to results which are counterproductive to the legislative intent and purpose of our local laws, while leaving landowners understandably unwilling to deal with the town. Maintaining land regulations which are confiscatory in nature coupled with an already confiscatory level of taxation is a recipe for the rapid demise of all which we hold dear.”
“The evidence of the failure of our regulatory structure is the blight of empty stores and abandoned, vacant lots lining our major commercial thoroughfares and commercial centers. The town must also re-examine its recent practice of purchasing large tracts of land from the private sector and then moth-balling them; land which due to environmental constraints has minimal developmental potential, the acquisition of which comes at great expense to the Yorktown taxpayers, already struggling to keep pace with the local property tax demands. The town must become pro-active in conjunction with our newly elected state officials to bring real property tax relief to our town and seek the funding of the town’s needed infrastructure improvements.”
In short, Mr. Grace stated: “The Town needs new bold and courageous leadership, willing to hazard its political hide for the greater purpose of moving the town back onto the track of prosperity while maintaining its natural beauty.”
Mr. Grace stated that he “Presents his candidacy for Town Supervisor with the singular purpose of bringing to bear what he believes are his unique professional experiences and qualifications to the process of restoring and revitalizing OUR town! Our town, which does not have the luxury of continuing business as usual. We need leadership which can build a consensus to put aside the partisan bickering and take the bold and affirmative steps necessary to do what is best for the long term interests of our town.”
“While difficult to set forth all that is necessary for the revitalization of our town in just a few lines hopefully it is sufficient to say that my motivation to run is prompted by the dismay with the decisions and direction our town has taken over the past few years and rather then seethe with frustration I am seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to hopefully make those changes which will restore and preserve what it is that we all hold dear – The Town of Yorktown.”
Mr. Grace can be contacted at his Law Office located at the Grace Building, 360 Underhill Ave. across from Town Hall. “I invite all to stop in, and I look forward to raising the issues and presenting what I believe the Town needs to do to restore this Town to greatness.”