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Government & Politics
Sleepy Hollow News

Sleepy Hollow Trustee Race Gets Crowded

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February 21, 2024

By Barrett Seaman—

There are three open seats up for grabs in the March 19th election for the Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees. With the announcement by the Unite Sleepy Hollow party that James (Jim) Husselbee, an executive with an international tax accounting firm, is taking the place of retiring trustee Rene Leon on the party ticket, and confirmation that retired village police officer Charles Zekus is running as an independent, there are now six candidates for those three spots.

Leon announced his decision to step down at the February 13th board meeting. He did not state the reason, but he has indicated to others that he needs to spend more time with his family.

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Husselbee, a resident of the village for more than two decades, previously served for three years on the Tarrytown Union Free School District Board and as president of the Foundation for the Public Schools. He was also a board member of the Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, a Trustee on the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Development Agency, and as AYSO coach/volunteer.  He has also served in the past as co-chair of the Unite Sleepy Hollow party.

New USH Candidate Jim Husselbee

Along with Fox Sports advertising and marketing executive Jim McGovern and attorney Matt Presseau, Husselbee fills out the Unite Sleepy Hollow slate. (see

Also vying for the three vacant seats are two candidates of the new TAG (Transparent Accountable Government) party, formed by first-term Mayor Martin Rutyna: Lauren Connell, an attorney who initially ran with the Unite Sleepy Hollow party but joined Rutyna this year, and Patrick Sheeran, owner of the popular Beekman Alehouse.

Unaffiliated with any party—and thus an “independent” candidate—is Zekus, a fourth-generation native of the village who lives in the same house he grew up in on Depeyster Street. “I have been a member of The Fraternal Order of Eagles for many years. I have sat in with the Environmental Action Committee since its early days” Zekus writes in an appeal to voters. “I believe that my knowledge of the village and many of the concerns of the residents will be objectively addressed and I will work toward solutions mitigating present issues and not creating new ones.”

Independent candidate Charles Zekus

Voters will have a chance to hear directly from these candidates in three upcoming candidate forums: a League of Women Voters of Westchester forum on Zoom scheduled for March 11th, one at Kendal-on-Hudson on March 14th and at one sponsored by the two homeowners associations representing Philipsburg Manor and Sleepy Hollow Manor. The date for that forum is still to be determined.

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