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Irvington Democrats Endorse Incumbent Mayor Smith And Two Newcomers As Trustee Candidates

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February 10, 2021

By Barrett Seaman—

Irvington Democrats endorsed Brian Smith for a sixth term as mayor along with two relative newcomers, both progressive activists, as trustee nominees. Mitchell Bard is a journalism professor at Iona College, and Arlene Burgos is an attorney.

Bard and Burgos would replace incumbent trustees Connie Kehoe and Janice Silverberg, both of whom are stepping down. Bard and Burgos would join trustees Mark Gilliland and Larry Lonky, who won reelection last November.

There were no other names put forward for either the mayoralty or the trustee positions. To date, no Republican challengers have surfaced.

Brian Smith was first elected as a Republican in 2011 but parted ways with the Trump-led GOP, winning reelection on the Irvington First ticket in 2017 and 2019. He was one of the first public figures in the rivertowns to endorse Mondaire Jones among the eight primary candidates running to succeed Nita Lowey in Congress last year. He will be on the ballot in November for the first time as a Democrat. Fiscally conservative, Smith is a social progressive, a champion of the village’s 2017 adoption of an immigrant protection resolution and an early supporter of Black Lives Matter in the village. Zoning and housing issues have dominated the Board of Trustees agenda during his time in office.

Incumbent Irvington Mayor Brian C. Smith

Mitchell Bard moved to Irvington in 2013 with his wife and son, now a fifth grader at the Main Street School. He heads the journalism and mass communications department at Iona College. He has a B.A. from Brandeis University, a law degree from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been a commissioner of the Irvington Theater Commission for three years and is on the board of his co-op. He worked on the Latimer campaign for County Executive and was invited to join the Irvington Democrats after his involvement with Indivisible Dobbs-Irvington.

Arlene Burgos is an attorney who practices corporate law for a New York City firm, specializing in domestic and international mergers and estate planning. She graduated from Yale College and earned her law degree at Harvard. Locally, she has been co-chair of the PTSA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She was one of the organizers of last summer’s Black Lives Matter rallies in Irvington and Dobbs Ferry. She is currently a member of Irvington’s Police Reform Committee. She has a second-grader at Dows Lane School and a seventh-grader at the Middle School.

Connie Kehoe steps down after more than a decade as a trustee. She has served as Deputy Mayor twice—once under former Mayor Jon Siegel and again under Brian Smith since 2015. She was the driving force behind the village’s successful quest to create an Historic District encompassing its downtown and to win historic preservation status for many of the village’s buildings. After retiring from politics next December, she will continue to concentrate on local history as president of Revolutionary Westchester 250, a multimedia celebration of the county’s critical role in the American Revolution.

Janice Silverberg, previously an attorney for the City of New York, served on the Irvington School Board and the village’s Housing Committee before running for trustee in 2015. As a trustee, she has worked on limiting use of leaf blowers and on affordable housing, which she is intent on securing a place for in the rezoning of the North Broadway corridor before leaving office.

Kehoe and Silverberg have eight more months in office and are expected to play key roles in finalizing the North Broadway rezoning and resolving issues like whether to open Matthiessen Park to non-residents.

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