Manor Democratic candidates oppose merger of villages, promise ‘new values’ if elected


All three Democrats are also running on the Pelham Manor Forward party line.

All three Pelham Manor Democratic candidates voiced opposition to the idea of merging the Village of Pelham Manor and the Village of Pelham during their first “Meet the Candidates” Zoom session Sunday.

“We don’t believe that, in the short term, it is viable” to merge, said mayoral candidate Ramsey McGrory. “There is an immediate impact. Potentially higher taxes and degraded services…We don’t think that it’s in the interest of Pelham Manor.” McGrory expressed an interest in revisiting the idea of a merger “at some point in the future.”

“Having lived here for a decade and a half, I believe that one of the things Pelham Manor is known for is the high quality of everyone who is in public service,” said trustee candidate Lance Koonce in opposing the merger. “Whether it be the fire department or the police department, the level of service development in our residency has been extraordinary. If, in office we can help to enhance that, we want to make sure that that is something that is always maintained.”

When asked more specifically about a merger of the village fire departments, McGrory said he was in favor of “better coordination,” as opposed to a merger. “We don’t think that is a viable discussion,” he said. “Do we think that there is coordination to be done? Yes, absolutely.”

The forum drew 21 attendees. The candidates are also running on the Pelham Manor Forward line.

You will get from us new ideas, new experiences and new values,” said McGrory.

The Pelham Manor Board of Trustees is currently all Republican.

“We are public servants,” said Ziegelman. “We have a lot of passion behind our campaign, and we are really committed to doing the best that we can do. The fact that we come from different places and have different viewpoints is very helpful,” 

McGrory, who has lived in Pelham Manor for 11 years, served in the military and has experience serving on for-profit and nonprofit boards. Ziegelman has been a village resident for 17 years and Koonce 15 years. They are both attorneys. More on their backgrounds can be found on the Pelham Manor Forward website.

The three Democratic running mates all expressed their desire to create a Pelham Manor where more people are engaged in local government.

The Democrats will be holding “Meet the Candidates” Zooms each Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. until Election Day on March 16.