By Rick Pezzullo—
When Karen Brown was elected mayor in the Village of Tarrytown in November, it created a vacancy on the Board of Trustees that she had the sole responsibility to fill. Brown said she considered multiple potential candidates and settled on political newcomer Thomas Mitchell, who had served on the Comprehensive Plan Management Committee.
“When considering candidates for the trustee who would serve out the remainder of my term, it was important to me that the person have a history of serving the people of Tarrytown with excellence and distinction,” Brown stated. “I was looking for someone who would bring a unique perspective and valuable skill set to compliment the current makeup of trustees. As an African-American, his participation ensures that we have a BOT that is truly reflective of the people of Tarrytown. He offers great enthusiasm and I look forward to working with him.”
Mitchell, who was sworn in on Dec. 6, has lived in Tarrytown for 21 years in the Carrollwood area. He has been chief operating officer of the Lyceum Kennedy International School in Manhattan since 2010. Previously, he was director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester (FSW), which had an office in Tarrytown.
“Being a trustee is a huge honor and I was excited to get a call from then Mayor-elect Brown asking if I had an interest in joining the Tarrytown Board of Trustees,” Mitchell said. “I have an extensive background in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. With my unique experiences I will work with Mayor Brown, the other board members and all of the staff and other volunteers to make Tarrytown the best it can be.”
Some of the issues Mitchell hopes to focus on are increasing mobility for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists; supporting local businesses; tourism; recreational activities for youth; trails; and beautification.
Mitchell said he fully supports his colleagues’ stance in allowing cannabis dispensaries to set up shop in Tarrytown.
“We all must realize cannabis is legal now. Having a dispensary in Tarrytown will be providing a legal transactional service to villagers who use for medicinal and recreational reasons. If we did not allow dispensaries in Tarrytown, people could go next door to Sleepy Hollow, buy it and bring it back to Tarrytown to consume,” he stated.
“I also believe in enforcing the law if anyone violates the law,” he added. “The state must work to establish law and policy to address when someone is under the influence or impaired and driving a car.”
Mitchell said he would decide in about three months whether he will pursue running for a full term on the board next year, once he gets “a handle on the commitment of the role and the work flow.”