Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Democratic town candidates discuss EMS service, inclusivity and modernization during press conference

Pelham Democratic Town Councilwoman Kristen Burke hosted a press conference on her front porch Thursday to kick off the campaign for herself and her fellow Democratic candidates, Councilwoman Maura Curtin and Town Justice Adam Kagan. Burke, Curtin and Kagan are all seeking reelection to their current positions in the Nov. 7  general election.

Burke and Curtin are running against Republican candidate Clive Anderson for two seats with four-year terms on the Pelham Town Council. Kagan will face former GOP Judge John DeChiaro.

The afternoon press conference showcased the work of the three candidates, while also emphasising the efforts of the Pelham Democratic Party. Allison Frost, Town of Pelham Democratic committee chairwoman, introduced the goals of the candidates. Quality ambulance service, expansion of library and recreation programs, inclusive representation, sustainability efforts and modernization of government were mentioned during her and the candidates’ remarks.

“We are here not just to endorse names on a ballot, but to champion individuals who have proven their dedication to public service and the betterment of our shared future,” said Frost.

Burke and Curtin have participated in the effort on the town board to improve ambulance service in Pelham. Through the county, the board has temporarily arranged an ambulance to be stationed near Pelham in Wilson Woods Park. Negotiations to pay Eastchester EMS to provide service to the town are in still ongoing.

In the 2019 election, Kagan, Burke and Curtin turned over Republican seats on the town bench and the town council. In 2021, the Democrats took the majority of the town board with the election of Kara McLoughlin.

“When we ran four years ago, it felt like it was a mountain we had to climb,” said Burke. “There hadn’t been any Democrats on the town council in twenty years. I’m glad we did the climb.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Terry Clements were also in attendance and gave speeches on behalf of the Pelham candidates.

“Election day is not in 406 days, it’s in 20 days,” said Latimer. “Because the election we have in front of us, we have all over the county. This is the election where you send people back to the town hall, where you send someone to represent you in the county board of legislatures.”

Town Supervisor Dan McLaughlin and Town Clerk Antoinette Clemente, both Republicans, are running unopposed for their third two-year terms.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates for the Village of Pelham Board of Trustees will face no GOP challengers. Mayor Chance Mullen is the presumptive winner of his contest, as are Trustees Michael Carpenter and Don Otondi and former Trustee Theresa Mohan for three seats on the village board.

The Democrats aren’t running candidates for supervisor or town clerk for the third time because “I think in the coming term there are lots of challenges that are going to arise for the town council,” said Frost. “So everyone wanted to put their time and energy in those positions at this time.”

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About the Contributor
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.

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  • S

    Steven ShekaneOct 5, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    The efforts to improve ambulance service in Pelham were led by Republican Town Supervisor and Deputy Town Supervisor Rae Szymanski, who is the chairperson of the committee overseeing the flycar. There have been many recent issues with Pelham’s EMS services, but now that a solution has been found, the Democratic candidates are attempting to take credit for the work led by McLaughlin and Szymanski.

    • M

      Mark CardwellOct 7, 2023 at 10:11 am

      I think EMS transcends politics, but I think a quick viewing of town meetings — particularly on 5/1/2023 and 4/10/2023 will make clear that the supervisor and deputy supervisor were comfortable with the status quo. The supervisor said an ambulance “wasn’t worth it” and because of the added cost “we can’t” do it. To their credit, after a community outcry, they shifted positions and have moved to contract for an ambulance.
      I’ll give thanks to anybody — Republican or Democrat who has worked to resolve this crisis.

      • S

        Steven ShekaneOct 8, 2023 at 11:03 pm

        I stated there have been issues with the Town’s EMS services. That is not debateable. However, the two Democratic candidates for aTon Council have taken credit in their candidiate statements for helping to resolve the issue, when in reality all they did was vote ‘yes’ when the current solution was proposed. As I’ve stated, the leadership on the RFP and the proposed solution with Eastchester was driven by Dan and Rae. If you choose to take credit for a solution, then you should also take blame for the historical problems, and the Democratic members of the Council have chosen to make themselves look good ahead of an election without admitting they had any part in the issues you raise.

      • S

        Steven ShekaneOct 8, 2023 at 11:10 pm

        And, with all due reapect, the Town Councol consists of five people. So just because two people are ‘comfortable’ as you srated, they could have been overridden by the other three members correct? And yet that never happened right? So either lay blame on all five members or don’t. Give credit to all five members fir the solution or dont’t. I take issue with the two Democratic candidiates taking credit for the solution when, as you intimated, they were equally part of the problem.