Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Democratic town council candidate Kristen Burke’s statement: ‘I have worked collaboratively with all of the town board members to improve the services provided’

Editor’s note: This candidate statement was provided by the Pelham Town Democratic Committee. The Pelham Examiner publishes statements in the form received as a service to the community.

As Winston Churchill famously said, “Let us go forward together.” I am running for re-election for Pelham Town Council because I believe that my hard work with, and on behalf of, the members of our community will continue to bring great things to Pelham.

I have lived in Pelham for over 13 years and am the mother of two middle schoolers, Henry (8th grade) and Hannah (6th grade). I am married to Sid Burke, who is also a lawyer and was recently elected to the School Board. I have been the General Counsel at Mercy (now University!) for almost 9 years. You may see me running across town, dancing at a community event, grabbing a bite at Cantina, or at Franklin Field coaching the Pelham Travel Soccer Girls U12 Wolfpack. I have also contributed to the Pelham schools as former President of the Colonial PTA and a co-leader of the COVID-19 Task Force with Superintendent Champ that helped return Pelham schools to full-time in-person instruction.  In short, I love this amazing community, and ask for your support in my re-election so that I can continue the progress made by the Town Board over the last four years, and to ensure that the Town is in good hands as we navigate significant projects on the horizon.

I am proud to say that over the last four years, I have worked collaboratively with all of the Town Board members to improve the services provided by the Town.

Accomplishments While in Office

When I ran four years ago, I believed it was important to address three key areas: transparency, innovation and inclusiveness.  I believe the Town Board has succeeded in all of these areas during my first term.

With respect to transparency and innovation, in addition to the improvements to the policies and procedures noted below:

  • We invested in a new Town website, and have sought to have residents opt-in to our notices and communications.
  • I draft regular Town Board Updates so people know what is happening in the town, which are posted on our webpage and Facebook.
  • Even before COVID, the Town began livestreaming its meetings, and it is a practice we continue.
  • I have championed bringing a pilot program for Circuit EV rideshare services to Pelham (described more fully below).

In the last four years, the Board has also focused on providing improved services for youth and seniors. The Recreation Department has expanded its offering of activities and services to youth, adults and seniors, with events and activities running all year long, serving more community members than ever before. The recently upgraded senior van has been put to tremendous use by bringing senior citizens to doctors and other important appointments.

And in the area of inclusiveness, I advocated for the Pride Flag to be flown in Gazebo Park during June and we passed a resolution declaring June Pride Month. I advocated for the Menorah and Kwanzaa displays during those holidays.

A lot of what I have done, though, has been behind the scenes, working with the court and the Town government to address legal and personnel issues. I serve as the liaison for legal affairs, the courts and the constables. In this role, I helped the Town navigate the COVID pandemic by helping develop policies and protocols to address unprecedented challenges. I also assisted in implementing sexual harassment training and a Code of Conduct for employees, reviewing and editing the Employee Handbook, revising the Constable Handbook, and regularly advising on legal and personnel-related matters.

In addition, some other actions I’ve taken include drafting the resolution by the Board recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is observed the first Friday in June

Sustainability. And during my time on the Board, I’ve made strides in the area of sustainability.  I have worked with the Clean Energy Communities Program (NYSERDA), as well as Sustainable Westchester, to bring sustainable initiatives to the Town. The Town recently approved a resolution and benchmarked our buildings’ energy usage for the past two years (with the assistance of a Village Sustainability Board member), which report and resolution are available on the Town Webpage.

I participated in the Junior League of Pelham’s Roundtable on Sustainability, and as a result of my participation in the subsequent workshop on sustainable transportation, I have initiated, researched, negotiated, proposed, and championed a pilot program to bring the Circuit EV rideshare service to Pelham. Circuit is an on-demand EV shuttle service, which would provide a green, affordable transportation option that would also help alleviate parking and congestion issues.

New Initiatives and Looking Forward

Ambulance. Undoubtedly the biggest initiative undertaken by the Town Board in the past four years is the partnership with Eastchester for a new full-time Pelham ambulance service. After issues with the current contractor (Empress) were exacerbated by COVID, and significant concerns raised by community members, the Town Board negotiated a deal with Eastchester to staff an ambulance and EMS (non-transporting) car effective January 1, 2024. This new service is potentially life-saving for our residents. We also obtained over $400,000 in grants to purchase our own ambulance, which will alleviate some of the cost to our residents.

Capital Projects. Over the coming years, the Town Board will have important decisions to make regarding use of the Daronco Townhouse and Town Hall when the Village of Pelham Police move into the new Municipal Center, vacating the space they currently occupy in Town Hall. With the help of grants, the Town Board hopes to make upgrades and improvements to those buildings, and is also exploring improvements to the Library. I will actively seek community input as we reimagine how these spaces can best be used to serve Town residents.

In light of all of the progress in the Town in the last four years, and all of the important work ahead of us, I hope that you will vote for me on November 7th.


Town Councilwoman Kristen Burke

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Pelham Examiner intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Commenters must provide their FIRST NAME and their LAST NAME. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Pelham Examiner does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. We will check to see if it works and may also request a street address if an email looks to be spam.
All Pelham Examiner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *