I'm excited to announce that I'm embarking on a new adventure right here in town and wanted you to be among the first to hear. I will be taking on the role of Chairman for the Bedford GOP. I'm thrilled for this opportunity, and it would be even more meaningful if I can do this with you all! We've got a lot of work to do, so I'll open with some words of inspiration for why this work is so important.
Simply put - I love Bedford, and have for a very long time. I have lived here for the last five years but have ties dating back more than two decades. I was a a counselor at the Bedford Hills Day Camp where I would entertain my campers at the very same Community House that is now right outside my bedroom window. And my most precious memory, which was meeting the love of my life on Adams Street where we both worked at a sports marketing firm after college.
Needless to say, the Town of Bedford is very special to me. I know it is to all of you as well. In fact, one year ago today an incident happened that made me see how special this town is. A concerned resident posted on Facebook about dangerous sidewalk conditions around Bedford Hills Elementary. Because our local government was not addressing the problem, he asked for others to join him in clearing it to make it safe for children walking to/from school. When I showed up with shovel in hand, I was delighted to see someone had already joined him (a local Mom who came with hot chocolate no less!). And when another neighbor saw us breaking our backs with the shovels we had - they were quick to offer their snow blower. Despite the frigid temperature that night, it warmed my heart knowing I was part of a special community that is capable of rallying together. Sadly however, the subsequent comments on that post made it clear that this neglect of government responsibility wasn't an isolated incident.
This is when I decided to take a more active role in local town government. And much to my dismay, what I learned over the last year has been quite concerning if not alarming:
Dialing into my first Town Board meeting, I learned that the newly appointed Councilperson and Supervisor were decided entirely behind closed doors. No announcement of the vacancy, no solicitation of public feedback, no invitation of interested parties to contact the Board with their resumes and letters of interest. This felt very much like a political clique made up of partisans rather than a diverse town board with opposing views and reflective of a community.
To this day, I am still unclear as to the rationale for the 4.5% tax increase enacted by this board in 2021 (a hike that far exceeded increases in neighboring towns, during a pandemic nonetheless). Property taxes in Bedford are now over 17% higher than they were in 2017.
I have often been appalled at how much time and attention are given to things like the canceling of Columbus Day, what tools in your shed should be deemed illegal, and the endorsing of 'Meatless Mondays' when there are much more pertinent and pressing issues locally like the conditions of roads/sidewalks, cell towers, the small business community (or lack thereof as evidenced by the copious empty storefronts), and rising crime.
Our town needs to see improvements in public services and management. Something has to change - and I want us to play a role in these improvements!
Much like the existing town board - five members with a combined total of five years of public service experience - I wasn't bred for a career in government. But I consider myself a caring neighbor and a concerned citizen who has the passion and drive to make a positive impact:
I truly love this community and will do everything in my power to ensure that we will be proud to call it home for a lifetime.
Professionally, I am a performance marketer with more than 12 years of experience working across nearly every vertical. I am particularly passionate about behavioral health - a crisis that I believe affects an overwhelming number of people. I have spent over five years in two different roles that promote affordability and accessibility to mental healthcare.
Personally, I am a husband to my best friend and wife Nell who is a Surgical PA at Norwalk Hospital. I am a brother of two heroes - Police Officers in Yorktown and Dobbs Ferry respectively.
Locally, I am very proud of my community involvement including volunteer service with the Bedford Hills Fire Department, Emergency Management Planning Task Force, Bedford Hills Lions Club, Destination 39.3, Bedford Hills Neighborhood Association, and the Veterans Advisory Committee. Additionally, I am an active member of the Bedford Riding Lane Association, annual supporter of the Bedford Police Department and the Bedford Hills Fire Department, and organizer and coordinator of the South Street Block Party.
Patriotically, I am a United States military veteran who proudly served in the U.S. Air Force where I worked on the C-5A Galaxy as an Avionics Guidance and Control Systems NCO.
Most importantly I want to work with you - my friends and neighbors - to help the town we call home! I want to hear your concerns, ideas, and frustrations. I want the Bedford GOP Committee to be a platform to help amplify our voices and thoughts. And I want to challenge the existing powers that be, with a much needed and different perspective.
To do this, I need your help! The Town of Bedford needs you!