Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Democratic Manor trustee candidate Mark Cardwell’s statement: ‘More listening, collaboration and fiscal transparency’

Mark Cardwell (Photo: Todd Cross)

Editor’s note: This campaign statement was provided by Mark Cardwell, Democratic candidate for Village of Pelham Manor trustee. He will also be on the Manor Together Party line. The Pelham Examiner publishes statements in the form received as a service to the community.

I am honored to be a candidate for the Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees with Kate Pringle.

I love our village, and I’m running because my background and experience qualify me to help keep our community safe.

I have lived in the Manor with my wife Margaret and sons Jack and Sam for over 13 years. I have dived into roles in our community where I make a difference, volunteering as a firefighter in Pelham Manor and as an EMT with Mamaroneck EMS, serving on the frontlines throughout the height of the pandemic. I have also served as a Scout leader in Pelham Troop 1 and as a food rescue volunteer with County Harvest.

I am running for the Board to continue my work to improve public safety in our community, ensuring that everyone in the Manor is safe in their homes. I’ve been proud to play a part in bringing an ambulance to Pelham, helping educate neighbors and elected officials about our dangerously inadequate emergency services. Many in the Manor did not know that long waits for an ambulance were common—sometimes with tragic results. But much more needs to be done to improve the safety of our families—through faster emergency services, improved pedestrian crossings, and better allocation of resources to ensure the best public safety services. And my EMS, fire and law enforcement experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure we have a genuinely safe village. When you call 911, you should get the help you need.

I will also focus on the increasing threat to our safety in our homes and streets as we confront the growing storms and flooding in our community.  The Manor fire department was forced to rescue drivers from their cars this past September, and I never want to see this happen to my neighbors again. This threat looms large as we are sandwiched between the coast and a river notorious for overflowing, an aging infrastructure, and limited ability to manage our watershed. We must take real action—now—to meet this threat, protect our families, maintain property values, control taxes, and help our village flourish.

And finally, I’ll work to stop the growth in local spending, ensuring that we get the best possible value for our tax dollars. Our village budget has ballooned to more than $18 million annually, an increase of $4 million in just the past eight years.

Meeting this defining moment will require a different approach to leadership—more listening, collaboration, and fiscal transparency:

  • Listening – to understand and leverage our community

As an experienced leader in government and nonprofits, I will bring my professional training to public engagement. Listening, and hearing, is a skill. Our neighbors have a wealth of knowledge and need to be more utilized for identifying problems and solutions. I’m committed to respectfully listening to everyone more and talking less.

  • Collaboration – to reduce taxes and meet our challenges

I’ll collaborate closely with Manor colleagues and staff, our sister village, our Town, our neighbors, and our county and elected officials to ensure our voices are heard. Collaboration with public safety partners to ensure we get the right help—fast—in emergencies is critical. We also must work with various government partners to address the flooding problem—water doesn’t stop at the village line. Our village faces lawsuits and flooding remediation work that will cost many millions—this issue requires skilled governance and collaboration. Our community has several layers of government; it can be confusing. I’ll collaborate closely with Manor colleagues and staff, with our Town, our sister village, the school board, and other neighboring municipalities, and with county and state elected officials, who can be a source of significant assistance not always fully utilized by our current Trustees. I’ll also increase communication with residents about how each layer works to lessen confusion so people can approach the right organization for their needs. During my professional career, I have navigated complex situations working for New York City and the federal government and understand how to get governments and partners to work together—and I know I can do this in the Manor.

  • Transparency – for financial accountability

I will also leverage my professional experience to ensure our village is more transparent and stop the growth of the $8 million sitting idle in village coffers. I’ll work for participatory budgeting so that our community knows—and approves—how the village budget is spent. I’ve led work to improve financial transparency and accountability at the UN—getting the organization to publish a detailed accounting of how tax dollars are spent and changing operations to ensure accountability—and am committed to ensuring we get the best possible value for our property taxes in the Manor. This is particularly important as we tackle our multi-million-dollar flooding problem.

Our village is wonderful, and I want to keep it that way. To keep our families safe, homes dry, and taxes manageable, we must work together to find affordable, practical solutions to our challenges while maintaining the unique character of the Manor.

With our clear record of commitment to the village, Kate and I are uniquely positioned to lead the Manor through these times.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

Mark Cardwell

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  • S

    Suzanne SnyderMar 2, 2024 at 9:29 pm

    I hope everyone in Pelham Manor gets to know Mark. He is a selfless public servant who is smart, strategic, and collaborative. He’s not terribly active on social media so you may not hear him advertising his service to the community and commenting for attention but oftentimes actions speak louder than words. While I don’t live in the Manor, I have gotten to know Mark as a friend and his dedication to his community deserves your attention.