Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Democratic incumbents Burke, Curtin face GOP’s Anderson in race for two town board seats; DeChiaro seeks to win back town judgeship from Kagan

Remaining Pelham town and village races aren’t: candidates unopposed
From left, Pelham Councilwoman Maura Curtin, Councilwoman Kristen Burke and GOP challenger Clive Anderson are running for town board.

Incumbent Democrats Kristen Burke and Maura Curtin will vie with Republican nominee Clive Anderson for two seats with four-year terms on the Pelham Town Council in the general election on Nov. 7, while Democratic Town Justice Adam Kagan will face former GOP Judge John DeChiaro.

After serving two terms as town justice, DeChiaro was unseated in 2019 by Kagan, who became the first Democratic Pelham judge in living memory. Kagan has served a single term as one of the two town justices.

Burke and Curtin broke another Republican hold with their election in 2019—this on the town board that dated back at least two decades—paving the way for the Democrats to take the majority when Kara McLoughlin was elected councilwoman in 2021. Seats on the five-member town council are at large, with Democrats holding three and Republicans two, including Supervisor Dan McLaughlin, who is again running unopposed this year.

The remaining Town of Pelham and Village of Pelham races in November feature candidates without opponents, as both parties appear to be continuing to take a tactical approach to recruiting office seekers.

For the third consecutive election, the Republicans will offer no candidates for mayor or the board of trustee seats in the Village of Pelham, all offices with two-year terms.

Democratic Mayor Chance Mullen and Trustees Michael Carpenter and Don Otondi are running for reelection, while former Trustee Theresa Mohan is stepping up as Lisa Hill-Ries leaves the village board. As presumptive winners, Mullen and Carpenter will gain third terms and Otondi his second. Mohan lost in a bid for a school board seat in May 2022. The village board of trustees has seven Democratic members.

In March 2019, the last year the GOP had a slate of Village of Pelham candidates, the Democrats running overwhelmed the Republicans by 22% to 32% margins, depending on the candidate. That was also the last year the village election was held in March, following voter approval of a ballot initiative that moved voting in the general election to November.

(The Village of Pelham Manor still goes to the polls in mid-March. A petition for a ballot initiative to similarly move voting to November was rejected by now retired Village Manager John Pierpont in September 2018 because he said the pages weren’t numbered and 162 of the 532 signatures were invalid.)

Also for the third consecutive election, the Democrats will not offer candidates for Pelham town supervisor or town clerk, leaving McLaughlin and Town Clerk Antoinette Clemente the expected winners. They each will be starting their third two-year term.

The Village of Pelham has a budget that is almost four times larger than the town’s ($16.5 million verses $4.66 million) and has more governmental authority within its borders, including land use and zoning, police, fire, garbage collection, and road and sewer maintenance. The town council controls the library, town court and the constables, recreation, senior citizen programs, teen programs and ambulance service, the latter of which has been of great concern to some residents in the past year. There are some areas of overlap. For example, the village’s council on the arts has recently pushed into concert programming similar to that offered by the town recreation department.

For District 11 Westchester County legislator, Democratic incumbent Terry Clements is running against GOP challenger John Hynes, a Pelham resident and retired Village of Pelham detective.

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About the Contributors
Gabby Ahitow, Executive Editor
Gabby Ahitow is a senior at Pelham Memorial High School. She has been with the paper since it first started in 2018. Gabby has written for the Colonial Times, News of Pelham, PMS Post, and The Pel Mel. Besides writing, she plays the violin, soccer, and lacrosse for the high school, and participates in various clubs. She sails competitively outside of school. The Pelham Examiner has taught her so much and she looks forward to growing with the paper.
Kiran Schwaderer, Assistant Managing Editor
Kiran Schwaderer is a sophomore at Pelham Memorial High School. She has been part of the Pelham Examiner since fifth grade. She enjoys playing the flute in the PMHS band and jazz band, playing the harp, and participating in softball. She is very excited to continue to contribute to the Pelham Examiner.

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    Carrie LiaskosSep 14, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    It’s interesting the Examiner has focused it’s story entirely on “party lines” and history. Yet does not mention the Neighborhood Party which Clive will also appear on. Clive is a registered Democrat, being endorsed by the Republicans because of his strong local business experience and advocacy, and his track record of bringing people together. That’s a big part of the story you missed.