Journal News Endorses Doug and Jen

Doug and Jen are honored to get the endorsement from the Journal News.

CLICK HERE to read the endorsement, or read on.

Journal News — Oct. 29, 2009

It’s a rarity to have three candidates running for two seats on Nyack’s village board. Even more interesting is that none is an incumbent; the two candidates whose terms were up, Marie Lorenzini and Denise Hogan, sought the mayor’s seat. Jennifer Laird White and Doug Foster are the Democratic candidates. Maureen Dougher, a Republican candidate – another rarity for Nyack – is also running on the Independence and Citizens Committee lines.

We endorse Laird White, who has already helped the village invest $100,000 in its priceless waterfront through her work with the nonprofit Nyack Park Conservancy. We also endorse Foster, an urban planner by trade, who said many of Nyack’s bigger problems can be addressed with a series of small-scale solutions.

While the trustee candidates called Riverspace Arts’ ambitious $100 million revitalization plan for downtown a “wonderful” and “lovely” concept, they all fixed their gazes on the bottom line. Foster questioned the grand scale for a small village. Dougher pointed out the 10 or so empty storefronts now downtown, wondering who would fill all the added retail space. Laird White said the plan would replace the “hideous gaping wound in the middle of Nyack,” but it remains unclear whether the village could handle the influx of traffic a successful project would bring.

Rowdiness from the late-night bar crowd often fuels tension in Nyack. “I think the Orangetown police are doing the job they are being asked to do,” Laird White said. She wants a more local presence from Orangetown. While going back to a Nyack Police Department is counterintuitive, the village board can accomplish more of a local presence through negotiations with Orangetown. Foster said security isn’t just about policing: better lighting downtown and a well-designed streetscape can improve nighttime safety. That same downtown is too quiet during the daytime for local merchants. Laird White said the village board needs to show more interest in economic development.

All three candidates had issues with the major parking changes the village has undertaken, but their solutions differed. Dougher wants to revisit the issue and ease up on “aggressive enforcement.” Foster wants a more “civil discussion” about the best solutions. Laird White wants a closer examination of the revenue it generates, but for now, “people need to calm down about parking.”

All three saw a need for the village board meetings to be more organized, and more productive. Laird White pointed to a “logjam of studies,” and Foster characterized meetings with trustees spending “a lot of time talking about very small things and little time on really big things.” Let’s see if Foster and Laird White can get the discussions focused and turn talk into action.