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Brown, Zollo Square Off in Tarrytown Mayoral Forum

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October 16, 2023

By Rick Pezzullo

 Tarrytown Mayor Karen Brown and challenger Doug Zollo squared off last week in their only scheduled debate prior to the Nov. 7 election.

The Oct. 12 online forum was led by the League of Women Voters.

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Brown, running on the Democratic line, is seeking a second two-year term as mayor. She served five previous years as a trustee.

Zollo, who served 18 years as a village trustee, is running on the Republican and Village First lines.

Brown defeated Zollo and former Mayor Paul Janos in a three-way race in 2021.

Recently appointed to the Executive Board of the Westchester Municipal Officers Association, Brown, a 28-year village resident, said the rising costs of running a municipality was one of the pressing issues facing Tarrytown.

“Tarrytown is in the center of a growing region,” Brown said. “We have to find a way to smartly expand our tax base. We have to work on smart development.”

Zollo, a 40-year village resident and U.S. Army veteran, owns a manufacturers representation firm that sells paper and plastic products, along with a property management company with his wife that he operates from a building on South Broadway.

He said he decided to seek elected office again after the Board of Trustees voted in February to approve a controversial Zoning Code change allowing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be built in single-family homes.

Brown did not cast a vote on the code change since the majority of the board had already made it official.

“The Board of Trustees was listening, but they weren’t listening to what people were saying,” Zollo said. “I would revisit the ADU law.”

When asked about affordable housing in Tarrytown, Zollo maintained the village had “done more than our share, second only to Tuckahoe.

Brown said the Village Code’s requirement of developers to provide at least 10 percent of affordable housing was “probably not” adequate.

“We need to work towards the missing middle of Tarrytown. We need to find options available for the workforce,” Brown said.

Brown said the village has increased parking and will experiment with E-Bikes to try to reduce the number of vehicles downtown.

“We want to make a village where people don’t always have to use their vehicles,” she said. “Parking will always be an issue on busy, busy days.”

Zollo asserted E-Bikes were not the answer and he would not encourage them.

“There’s very few solutions to the parking problems we have,” Zollo said. “E-Bikes are very dangerous for pedestrians.”

Brown is running with Trustees Rebecca McGovern, David Kim and Effie Phillips-Staley. Zollo is running with Peter Bartolacci, John Callanan and Haydee McCarthy.

Early voting begins on Oct. 28.

 

 

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