By Rick Pezzullo —
Mark Weinstein is no stranger to the inner workings of government.
Weinstein, who is running for one of three available trustee seats in Tarrytown on Nov. 2 as part of the Preserve Our Village team, served as legal and legislative counsel for the Senate and Assembly in the New York State Legislature. Specifically, he worked for the late Olga A. Méndez in the Senate and Deputy Speaker Peter M. Rivera of the Bronx in the Assembly.
“In my time working for Senator Méndez, we increased the minimum wage for New Yorkers and passed legislation adding protections for women in the workplace,” he said. In the Assembly, Weinstein said he worked with Rivera to establish mental health parity for all New Yorkers and mental health courts in the state court system and to protect consumers from predatory credit scoring policies.
“Working in the district office, I understood what accessibility and constituent services meant,” Weinstein stated. “I had great mentors.”
Weinstein is looking to tap into his state experiences on the local level by providing what he described as “an independent way” to conduct village business.
“I believe that serving as a trustee is a full-time endeavor. I do not believe that showing up for two meetings a month is service,” he stated. “I believe that the current administration has not availed themselves of the resources at their disposal and has squandered significant sums of money that has been earmarked for the village.”
“The current board and administration has essentially sold out to big developers and are jeopardizing the village as we know it,” Weinstein contended. “They are transforming a village into an urban metropolis. Our infrastructure is currently ill-equipped to handle the density. They are not accountable to the electorate. There are no checks and balances.”
Weinstein resides on the waterfront in Tarrytown. He said he is “actively engaged” with merchants and local businesses on Main Street.
“I have a feel for the issues that villagers are concerned about because I listen and am engaged,” he stated.
Some of the issues Weinstein plans to address, if elected, are adequately dealing with increased traffic that will come from Edge-on-Hudson in neighboring Sleepy Hollow, including via the H-Bridge; protecting waterfront views for residents living in Hudson Harbor; lessening village regulations to assist local businesses; and providing adequate services for children and seniors.
Weinstein said the decision of whether Tarrytown should opt-in to the state cannabis law that would allow dispensaries and lounges should be left up to residents via a referendum. (If Tarrytown opts out, the public could reverse the decision via a referendum. Tarrytown needs to declare its intention to opt out by the end of 2021 if it is doing so.)
“I believe in the following: until the law is constructed similar to the licensing of alcohol by the New York State Liquor Authority, with firm guidelines on the number of dispensaries and lounges in a particular area and restricting the consumption of marijuana in public (which we have for alcohol), I am not in favor,” he stated.