By Marianne A. Campolongo
Town Supervisor candidate Victoria Alzapiedi (D, WE) is running on a ticket together with town board candidates Hala Makowska (D, WE) and Jeremy M. Saland (D, IN) as team
“One New Castle.”
Why One New Castle?
“Hala, Jeremy and I are committed to bringing the community together,” said Alzapiedi, who is challenging incumbent Robert J. Greenstein (R, IN, REF) for Supervisor. “Our hope is that we will approach things in a way that hears all voices and perspectives of all residents in hopes of finding common ground –even when we disagree–and find effective solutions in the best interests of our entire community. We don’t want to shut down those who have different perspectives. We want to take an inclusive approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities faced
by our community.”
One New Castle has presented a four-pronged platform: responsible hamlet development, spending and investing wisely to save tax dollars, planning intelligently to preserve the environment and quality of life, and creating ethical, inclusive, responsible, and transparent government.
If elected, according to Alzapiedi, she and her team intend to “finish and implement a true Master Plan.” She said they are “very concerned that the current Master Plan doesn’t include Chappaqua Crossing. That will be a third hamlet.” As such, it “can have a huge impact on the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood.” Her team wants to determine “how they can function in a complementary way that will serve to boost all businesses.”
In order to develop a “robust dynamic downtown,” Alzapiedi noted that the “future needs of retail are different. We need innovative ways to bring people into businesses and create a sense of community. We need spaces for the community to come together.”
One of those spaces she would like to see is “a destination style playground… [which will] provide families both in and outside of New Castle a reason to come to downtown Chappaqua or Millwood. Utilizing soft touch products in conjunction with natural, manmade and recycled materials, a themed playground integrating stand alone and interactive water features, slides, climbing structures, tunnels and swings would not only give families who don’t have access to pools or other easily accessible sources of recreation an opportunity to get together and and grow memories, but bring much needed foot traffic and business to shops and stores that may otherwise be adversely impacted by Chappaqua Crossing,” she said.
Another way to encourage downtown business and community spirit Alzapiedi envisions is “Saturday under the Stars” at the train station plaza with food trucks and dancing. She believes this “could complement the new restaurant going into the train station to enhance that.”
An attorney and management consultant who started and ran a non-profit youth development program for eight years, Alzapiedi said, “We want to create a youth advisory board of middle school and high school kids who can advise the town on issues that affect them. Here we have these great schools but if you go downtown, kids are hanging out at Starbucks and nail salons.” She envisions the board giving the town’s youth a greater voice in recreational programing at the library and elsewhere.
If elected, Alzapiedi and her team plan to continue and expand on the current e-newsletters to “to keep people posted on developments and proactively keep them informed by sharing meeting agendas in advance so they can participate and weigh in,” she said.
Alzapiedi has held several public service positions both in New York and in Washington D.C. Since moving to town in 2008, she has been Co-Chair of the New Castle Conservation Board, Chair of the New Castle Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee, and a member of the League of Women Voters. Makowska, a 16-year town resident, former volunteer firefighter, and Chair, Millwood Board of Fire Commissioners, has also served on the Master Planning Steering Committee, the Millwood West End Advisory Committee, and on the board of WENT (West End Neighborhood Taxpayers). Attorney Jeremy Saland, a town resident for nine years, has served as New Castle Town Prosecutor since 2010. He has also coached T-ball, baseball and soccer in New Castle.
“I’m proud to be running with Hala and Jeremy. They are both smart, thoughtful people with great ideas, a love for our Town, and solid track records of serving the needs of our community,” said Alzapiedi.
You can learn more about One New Castle on their campaign page www.onenewcastle.org and their Facebook page www.facebook.com/onenewcastle
Marianne A. Campolongo is a photojournalist living in Chappaqua. Check out her blog at www.travelstockblog.com.