Closing Arguments — 2017 Nyack Trustee Candidate Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
My name is Elijah Reichlin-Melnick. I was appointed in April by Mayor Jen White to fill a vacant position on the Village Board and now I am running for a full two-year term as one of your Village Trustees.
Village Trustees play a key role in Nyack’s government. Along with the mayor, we are charged with passing local laws and ordinances, managing village property such as Memorial Park, hiring the employees who deliver village services such as the DPW, and approving the annual village budget. My experiences have prepared me well to assume this role and I hope to continue serving you for a full term in village government.
After growing up in Nyack, graduating from Nyack High School in 2002, and Cornell University in 2006, I’ve spent my adult life working to help people and improve communities. I started my career teaching at an inner city elementary school in New Haven, CT for two years before moving back to Nyack. Since then, I’ve held several roles in local government offices. From 2009-2013 I worked for our Congresswoman Nita Lowey and our former Congressman Eliot Engel, helping thousands of Rockland residents solve problems with federal government agencies. From 2014-2016 I served as the Executive Assistant for Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart, where I worked with him to oppose the United Water desal plant, keep Orangetown’s budget under the tax cap 4 years in a row, and pass the popular Do Not Knock Law. In 2015, I received a masters degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers and for the last year and a half, I’ve worked as a senior research planner at Pattern for Progress, a non-profit regional planning and policy organization dedicated to improving communities throughout the Hudson Valley.
Prior to joining the Village Board I served on the Nyack Planning Board from 2015-2017. I’ve been a member of the Nyack NAACP for years, a member of the Historical Society of the Nyacks, and I was a founding member of the Nyack Tree Committee, which has planted dozens of trees on streets in the village.
Now I’m running for office because I’m determined to use my experience and skills to protect and preserve the community I grew up in from threats to our quality of life. If elected, I will ensure that the village vigorously enforces zoning, building, and fire safety codes to avoid overdevelopment and preserve our neighborhoods.
I’ll make improving communication with residents and increasing government transparency. I will lead efforts to overhaul or replace the confusing village website and make it easier for people to find out what is going on in the Village. We have to do a better job making village news and information easily available to residents.
Over the last several years, the Village Board has set Nyack on a path of fiscal sustainability. Deficits have been eliminated, and there has been NO increase in village taxes for the last two years. I want to continue this record of progress and keep Nyack a vibrant, thriving and affordable place to live, and a welcoming place for the small businesses that fill our downtown.
I’m honored and grateful to have been endorsed by a number of current and former elected officials who represent Nyack, including Mayor Jen White and former Mayors Richard Kavesh and John Shields, Town Supervisor Andy Stewart, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, County Legislator Harriet Cornell, Trustees Donna Lightfoot-Cooper, Marie Lorenzini, and Louise Parker, and Nyack’s next Mayor, Don Hammond.
The fact is that politics is filled with people who make promises they can’t deliver. We’ve got one of them sitting in the White House right now. That’s not my style. Of course, I wouldn’t be running for Trustee if I didn’t believe I have some good ideas to improve Nyack and protect our quality of life, but I also know I don’t have all the answers. So the one promise I will make is to always keep an open mind and be ready to listen to ideas from the community. I ask for your support on September 12th so that I can make village government answer to you!
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick’s campaign website is ElijahNyackTrustee.com.
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