Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Four Pelham Manor trustee candidates debate flooding, housing, taxes and emergency services at forum


Voters crammed into a packed village hall Wednesday for a forum featuring the four candidates seeking two seats on the Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees.

Incumbent Republicans Breda Bennett and Maurice Owen-Michaane faced off against Democratic challengers Kate Pringle and Mark Cardwell, answering questions submitted by residents that covered issues including flooding, housing, taxes and emergency services. The forum was moderated by the League of Women Voters of New Rochelle.

The election will be held Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the village firehouse, 4 Penfield Place. The Republicans are also running on the Neighborhood Party line, while the Democrats are also on the Manor Together Party line.


Flooding was the subject of a great deal of discussion during the forum. The candidates included notes from the village’s engineering report on repairing the storm-sewer system in their responses. At one point, an image was displayed of the intersection of sewer lines under Glover Field which is the cause of flooding in the Wolfs Lane area.

Cardwell joked that he would go out and dig up the pipe if he is elected since the process has taken too long. Using personal examples from his neighbors, Cardwell described the difficulties the flooding causes.

“People’s homes were filled with water this Sunday,” he said of storms that hit New York on March 9.

“I don’t think we have (flooding) under control, and the reason I don’t think we have it under control is because we haven’t even scoped out the problem,” said Pringle. “We paid half a million dollars for an engineering report, and that engineering report prescribed almost $8 million in fixes.”

However, both Republican candidates highlighted steps the village board has taken to address the problem. Bennett and Owen-Michaane listed cleaning catch basins and other intermittent solutions enacted along with work to secure grants to help fund the minimum $7.9 million in projects the report outlined. (Several major projects were not given cost estimates in the study.)

“Stormwater mitigation is an international, national and regional issue,” said Owen-Michaane. “We have had a recent conversation with our county legislator, Terry Clements, and our village manager, she was advised it’s a systematic and regional approach.”

“We know what is going on in our pipes, and we have it under control,” he said.

Housing and Taxes 

Some questions covered affordable housing and village taxes.

“Probably many people don’t realize it, but we do have affordable housing here in Pelham Manor,” said Bennett. “We don’t advertise it, we don’t blast it, but there is affordable housing here in Pelham Manor. Pelham Manor is a built-out community. There is really no space. Our infrastructure is at its max.”

Cardwell criticized the village board for not joining the Westchester county association in conversations about local zoning and how affordable housing is being handled in different municipalities.

“The only village that did not sign on was the Manor,” said Cardwell. “Because the Manor doesn’t work with people.”

Replied Bennett, “We collaborate with everybody. We have tremendous inter-municipal agreements and we work with everyone and I really have to disagree with that statement.”

On taxes, the Republicans emphasized that they have kept tax increases under the state cap since New York State enacted the limit as well as the work they have done to keep taxes low.

“But that is nothing to brag about,” said Pringle. “That’s just the law. That’s what the law says we’re capped at.”

Emergency Services 

The candidates discussed the ambulance the Town of Pelham put into service Jan. 1 with staffing from the Eastchester Volunteer Ambulance Corps., particularly the basing of the vehicle.

“This is a long-term problem that needs a long-term fix,” said Pringle, who said the ambulance needs to be housed in Pelham, not Eastchester.

Cardwell said “the Manor does not let ambulance crews stay in Pelham. The closest one is in Eastchester, which is 15 minutes away.”

But Bennett said since the new ambulance started operating, “the response time according to the Pelham website for ambulances is under five minutes, and we have a great relationship with the Town of Pelham.”

(According to a letter to the editor sent after the forum by Deputy Town Supervisor Rae Szymanski, the ambulance is being parked in the town lot for 12 hours during the day and in Eastchester for 12 hours at night while the town board studies options for housing it.)

“There are 11 bays here in Pelham Manor, and why not have ambulances stay in one of the bays to keep the response time quicker?” said Cardwell during the debate.

Owen-Michaane said the old structure used by the fire and police departments could not house an ambulance.

Traffic Safety 

Owen-Michaane and Bennett highlighted the safety steps for pedestrians and drivers that have been put in place during their time on the board, including increasing crosswalk time and adding crossing guards to Four Corners, along with installing a red-light camera at that intersection.

Bennett said the board is looking into reducing speed limits in heavily trafficked areas after Pringle spoke about legislation allowing the board to reduce speed limits from 30 to 25.

Cardwell said he would like to see collaboration with New Rochelle to create a system similar to the city’s circuit van to help residents get places.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Phoebe Schwarz, Senior Editor
Phoebe Schwarz is a senior at the Harvey School. She loves to write and edit and has been involved in the yearbook production at school, where she has earned the role of co-editor-in-chief of the Harvey Yearbook. She is a member of the school's volleyball and lacrosse teams. She has enjoyed being a part of the Examiner since 2020, and can not wait to see what happens in her final year on the Examiner as Deputy Managing Editor!
Gabby Ahitow, Senior 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.

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 *