by Barrett Seaman
“With great humility,” Irvington Mayor Brian C. Smith announced on Facebook that he will be seeking a fourth term as mayor of Irvington in the November election. Smith, who was originally elected as a Republican, says he is running on “the independent (lower case ‘i’) Irvington First party line,” having broken with the state and national GOP over a number of Trump-era positions.
Most notable of these is Trump’s immigration policy, which Smith and the entire Irvington board (the remaining four are Democrats) openly rejected in May when they unanimously adopted a resolution stating that the village would not cooperate with federal immigration efforts to round up undocumented immigrants.
Acknowledging his disassociation with the GOP, Smith referred to an article about small town government by KJ Dell’Antonia in the July 2 issue of the New York Times that reads in part: “Americans are fond of saying that all politics is local, but the thing is, when it’s local, it’s not ‘politics.’”
There are so far no signs of anyone challenging Smith for the mayoralty, an indication of his general popularity. He drew muted criticism last year when he voted against an assisted living facility proposed by the Brightview Corporation, thereby killing a project that could have brought the village $600,000 in tax revenues. Three of the five trustees had indicated support for the proposal.
“I still greatly enjoy working, debating, thinking, celebrating, talking and compromising with residents and fellow board members as we try to find what is best for the Village we all love so much,” Smith wrote in his Facebook announcement. The village is currently engaged in an update of its Comprehensive Plan that includes proposals to move both the Department if Public Works facility on Astor Street and the Fire Department on Main Street, with no obvious candidates for new locations. The plan also contemplates multi-story parking facilities, which were banned in 2003.