In the Town of Lewisboro’s only contested racethis year, three candidates are vying for two seats on the Town Board. Democrat incumbent Daniel Welsh, Democrat John Pappalardo and Republican Greg La Sorsa, are seeking four-year terms. 

We asked each of the candidates to talk briefly about themselves, their positions and goals. 

Gregory La Sorsa

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Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience.
My wife and I are 27- year residents of Goldens Bridge, where we have raised four adult children two girls and two boys, and we have a one year old granddaughter. I am an experienced trial lawyer and practice with a firm I helped start in White Plains. While I am running for office for the first time, I have significant volunteer leadership experience in town, including having served seven years as president of the Lewisboro Baseball Association (LBA)  and on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Council. Most recently, for the past seven years I’ve been a member of the Planning Board.

Why do you want to be on the Town Council?
I am running because I feel that the past several years of one-party rule in Lewisboro has allowed the attention of the board to drift away from the nuts and bolts work that it takes to run a town. Currently four Democrats and one member of the Green party comprise the board. It is not my party affiliation as the lone Republican, but my track record on the Planning Board and elsewhere that leads me to believe that my voice will add a sense of urgency to the many important issues that are currently being overlooked, and help instil a more deliberative and open debate that brings in the concerns of local neighbors into process. My opponents will have served a combined 22 years in three terms each, yet throughout this election are treating most issues as if they are seeing them for the first time.
 

What is a top priority for the Town Council going forward?
Getting control over the town finances. In many ways this is the most difficult and important duty that a board member has. Many recent bad decisions and poor outcomes can be tied to our continuing financial problems. Abandoning an update of the Master Plan and instead passing a series of ad hoc zoning changes that actually undermined the plan while paving the way for the Wilder Balter development along Route 22 and more recently a proposed re-zoning of Old Goldens Bridge to four-family density in order to rush through sale of the Goldens Bridge Community House, a longtime town asset, to a private developer to ensure the proceeds could be booked by the end of the year. Finances have also been a major factor in the deterioration of our recreational facilities and caused us to fall behind in following the Cornell Study, making our deteriorating roads a ticking financial time bomb. In addition to being more disciplined in spending, I hope to use some of the expertise and energy demonstrated during  from my time at the LBA where, for example,  we completed a major improvement of the Little League field with a combination of money we had set aside, volunteer help, local contractor donations and cooperation with the town. 

John Pappalardo

Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience.
I have lived in Lewisboro for 28 years and have raised my three sons in our wonderful community. I was President of the Lewisboro Lions Club, where I started a youth based community service group known as the “Leos” and grew it to 100 children. I was very active in youth sports and supportive of scouting. I am a practicing attorney in White Plains for 33 years. I am an incumbent on the Town Board, where I have been elected for two terms and have been sitting for nine years. 

Why do you want to be on the Town Council?
I have genuinely enjoyed my nine years on the Town Board and am very proud of my achievements. During my tenure the town’s credit rating was upgraded, allowing us to borrow money at a competitive interest rate. We put this money directly into our infrastructure by rehabilitating our roads and the Town Pool. We have erected a Cell Tower enhancing safety and emergency response time. Through the use of volunteers and private donors, we have manicured and rehabilitated our nature preserves, and we are in the process of securing the use of the Lewisboro Elementary School Gym to enhance our recreational programs. Currently, we are working with NYSEG to reduce power outrages while passing legislation to require the use of re-usable bags and establishing composting at recycling centers. We have been business friendly by helping to establish small businesses such as Apex Fitness, Greenway Supermarket, County Children’s Center, and a local winery. We have built pickle ball courts and supported the establishment of the New Dawn Family Resource Center for domestic violence victims. This was all done in a fiscally responsible manner while towing the line on taxes.

What is a top priority for the Town Council going forward?
To complete the projects we have started, principally in the areas of green initiatives and the road repaving and rehabilitation program. 

Daniel Welsh
Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience.

I’ve been a Lewisboro resident for over 50 years, and a member of the Town Council since 2008.  I worked as China in-country representative and later as Director of Commercial Administration for an international engineering firm, database/web developer for a magazine publisher and data system manager for a school district prior to coming to Sustainable Westchester where today I run the first Community Choice Aggregation electric power program in NY, with 27 municipal participants and over 115,000 customers. I have served previously as volunteer Chairman of the Sustainable Westchester Transportation & Land Use Committee. In that role I organized and provided support to municipal committees and NGOs around Westchester who were desirous of advancing best practices for “Complete Streets,” designing for safer and more vibrant streets and neighborhoods. In that work, I leaned on my experience in Lewisboro, driving the development of the  first such policy in Westchester, and extensive community engagement, workshops etc in our hamlets. I put much of the ideas that came from that engagement into Lewisboro’s Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan Addendum. 

Why do you want to be on the Town Council?
I feel an enthusiasm around some of the areas of my passion that was not so pronounced in my earlier years in office, and I want very much to see us through to some of the goals around Sustainability, livability and good planning that have come into view. I am very excited about the quality and make of our current board and would love to have the opportunity to continue to work with them.

What is a top priority for the Town Council going forward?
Top priority is 1. getting some initial street infrastructure projects started, and 2. launching the master plan work.