By Barrett Seaman —
While the hot races for mayor and three trustee seats head into the final stretch in Tarrytown, unopposed candidates — all Democrats — are virtually assured election on Nov. 2 in Dobbs Ferry and Irvington. (Sleepy Hollow’s cycle calls for elections in March; the last election there was March 16, 2021.) Here’s a look at who those unopposed candidates are:
For Mayor: Vincent Rossillo, 61, is just completing his first term as mayor, having previously served four terms as a village trustee. A labor lawyer by profession, he has lived in Dobbs Ferry for 29 years, raising three daughters, who all attended Dobbs schools. A liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Architectural Review Board, Rossillo has been involved in all the major infrastructure projects over the past decade and was a vocal opponent of the Rivertowns Square development along the Saw Mill River Parkway. He takes credit for implementing a “fiscally responsible budget with no cuts to services.”
For Trustee: Michael Patino, an incumbent, is an architect by training who owns his own NYC-based architectural, planning and design firm. A fourth-generation resident of the village, Patino is a graduate of Dobbs Ferry High School Bard College and The City College of New York. From 2016 to 2020, he chaired the Dobbs Ferry Architecture and Historic Review Board. He and his wife, Rachelle Stephens, have a daughter in Springhurst Elementary School.
For Trustee: Shari Rosen Ascher, a village resident since 1997, Ascher has served as a volunteer vice president of the PTSA, Democratic Party District Leader and member of the Dobbs Ferry Human Rights and Diversity Committee, as well as for various local charitable organizations. Professionally, she is the Director of Policy and Programs for Small Business and the Chambers of Commerce for Westchester County. Prior to that, she spent 25 years in media sales. Her two sons went through the Dobbs Ferry School system.
For Trustee: Matt Rosenberg, a “nearly lifelong Dobbs Ferrian,” is a past member of the Dobbs Ferry School District’s Board of Education and current head of the citizens’ group DF Taxpayers for Fair Cost Sharing, created in opposition to the application by The Landing residential complex to be taxed as condominiums rather than as single family homes, which would reduce their property taxes by some 40 percent, arguably at the expense of other homeowners. He was co-chair of the Safe Routes Committee that succeeded in creating a school speed zone on North Broadway and past co-president of the PTSA. Professionally, he is chairman of First Chair Marketing, which helps technology companies tell their stories. He was also a television comedy writer and advertising copywriter.
For Village Justice: David Koenigsberg, the incumbent village justice, practices law with the White Plains firm of Menz Bonner, Komar and Koenigsberg, which represents whistleblowers in government fraud cases. A resident of the village for 32 years, he is married with three children who all attended district schools. He is a graduate of Williams College and Fordham Law School and is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and clerk for a U.S. District judge.
For Mayor: Brian C. Smith was first elected as a Republican in 2011 and has moved steadily left in the decade since — first abandoning the Trump-led GOP to run on the Irvington First ticket and ultimately joining the Democrats officially this past year. He was an early and out-front supporter of Mondaire Jones for Congress and a vocal advocate for the local Black Lives Matter movement. Under his leadership, the Irvington board has followed a progressive agenda by passing an immigrant protection resolution in 2017 and then opening Matthiessen Park to non-residents last year.
For Village Trustee: Mitchell Bard moved to Irvington with his wife and son in 2013. He holds a law degree in addition to a PhD in journalism and mass communication and leads the journalism concentration as a tenured professor at Iona College in New Rochelle. Bard has served for more than four years on the Irvington Theater Commission and has helped lead the theater’s expansion in programming, along with crucial renovation efforts that will enable the Irvington Theater to become a year-round performing arts resource. Bard has also produced music concerts at the theater (as well as the successful “NYC Comedy in the IRV” series). Bard joined the Irvington Democratic Committee in 2017 after having been active in the Indivisible Dobbs-Irvington volunteer organization. Bard also serves on the board of his co-op apartment in Irvington. His son is a sixth grader at Irvington Middle School.
Village Trustee: Arlene Burgos, an Irvington resident for 10 years, is a partner at a boutique international law firm. As a co-chair of the PTSA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Burgos has worked with the school district to foster a partnership with the NYU Metropolitan Center to implement a program of racial equity and justice in the Irvington schools. She was one of the organizers of the “Black Lives Matter” rallies in Irvington and Dobbs Ferry. Burgos served on Irvington’s Police Reform and Re-imagination Committee and has also been involved in other local initiatives including the “Irvington Is Everyone” campaign and the Committee to Commemorate Enslaved Africans. Burgos was a panelist for “A Table Divided” and is a member of the Irvington Activists. She and her husband have a third grader at Dows Lane and an eighth grader at Irvington Middle School. She has a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.