YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Four people are running for two seats on the Yorktown Town Board. Incumbents Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, both Republicans, are being challenged in their re-election bids by Democratic candidates Sheralyn Goodman and Patricia Sullivan-Rothberg. Similar interviews with town clerk candidates and town supervisor candidates will appear in upcoming issues. The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Tom Diana (R)

Why are you running for town council?

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First of all, thank you for this interview. It seems that I have been involved in this community from a young age. Being a third generation Shrub Oak’er with grandparents, parents and relatives having had businesses, farms and homes in the area since the early 1900s spurred my love of community.

My first public service in town was as a volunteer firefighter in the Mohegan Fire Department. I then went on to serve the Yorktown community as a police officer/K-9 handler and continued on in another neighborhood to be patrol commander of the patrol division. I retired after a quarter-century of service. After retirement, along with my wife, we started our fuel oil business and have been running it since based right here in Shrub Oak. That all being said is what led me to continue in public service and throw my hat in the ring to run for public office and continue my public service for the community I love.

What do you enjoy about Yorktown and how do you plan to make it better?

Being a lifelong resident, I’ve seen a lot of good in this town. I have also seen some things happen that I don’t necessarily agree with. How I plan to make this town better is to continue to search for businesses that will take the large percentage of tax base off of the residence of this town. I am business-friendly. I would attempt to streamline the process for building new businesses. That does not mean that I would cut corners; I just want the job done. And that’s what I’m all about. Our taxpayers pay about 85 percent of the tax base for the town of Yorktown. To offset this would be an accomplishment I would like to achieve to help the taxpayers in the town of Yorktown.

Some of the other things I would like to see accomplished is the improvement of our aging infrastructure, a list of which our department heads have been chipping away at as budget permits. I want to continue to give all Yorktowners the level of services and quality of life that they have come to enjoy and deserve.

Ed Lachterman (R)

Why are you running for town council?

I am running for council again this year as I feel that there is a lot of work to finish from my first three years in office. Over the past three years, my focus has been on Yorktown and not on partisan politics. I repeatedly ask the hard questions and do not accept anything as status quo. I have sometimes been criticized for this by some, but I stand by the belief that I have been elected to make the best INFORMED decisions that I can.

My focus for the end of this term and the next four years, if the electorate of our town gives me the honor of serving, will be on getting the town moving again with new businesses coming in and raising the corporate tax ratio in our town. I would like to see some of our older, vacant structures repurposed and some of our underutilized areas revitalized and reinvented. The best example of this would be Front Street.

What do you enjoy about Yorktown and how do you plan to make it better?

Yorktown is truly a blessed community in regards to community participation opportunities. There are probably too many great organizations, making it almost impossible to choose just one to support. I feel that it is important to participate in the community and have done so long before I started in office and will continue for as long as I am able. We should all try to give back in whatever way possible to help make Yorktown a better place to live.

I currently am a member of the Yorktown Lions, the Sons of the American Legion, United for the Troops, Yorktown Against Heroin, the Lincoln Depot Museum, community advisory circle for the Alliance for Safe Kids, and the Town Board liaison to the Senior Advisory Committee. I am also an active supporter and advocate for the Yorktown Teen Center, My Brother Vinny and the Harrison Apar Foundation. I also hold a weekly social for senior veterans that are living at the Country House.

Sheralyn Goodman (D)

Why are you running for town council?

I see town government as vital to the quality of life of everyone in town. The laws passed and policies and priorities of town government have a direct and often long-lasting impact on every resident of the town. Yorktown has been a wonderful place to live and raise our kids and I want to serve the town that has been so good to us.

As an attorney and litigator, I believe that I have skills to bring to town government, chief among them, the ability to identify the issues, find facts, listen to and consider opposing views, engage in analysis and effectively articulate my position and its basis to a diverse audience. And, having worked to organize a union in a former workplace, I spoke truth to power and did so proudly. These are skills and experiences that, I believe, will help create a stronger Yorktown.

What do you enjoy about Yorktown and how do you plan to make it better?

My husband, Ben, and I moved to town almost 25 years ago because we wanted to live in a community that was focused on kids and families and what we found was that and so much more—-a place where everyone has a place, where senior citizens can live independently, kids can pursue a wide range of activities, where there is natural beauty and stores and restaurants close at hand.

I am focused on smart business growth and streamlining the approval process to broaden our tax base and keep property taxes flat, developing a strategy to promote Yorktown as an “outdoors town” by highlighting our many local assets, where folks can hike, go apple picking, leaf watching, biking on the North County Trailway, learn about the environment and visit a working farm. That plan also includes making our downtown core more walker and bicyclist friendly.

And, if fortunate enough to be selected by the voters, I want to build an even stronger partnership between government and our wonderful local organizations doing the important work of de-stigmatizing mental illness and chemical dependence through awareness and support. Much of my career has been dedicated to working with individuals and families living with mental illness and chemical dependence. I know that there is much reason to be optimistic and I also know that local government plays an important role in addressing this pressing issue.

Patricia Sullivan-Rothberg (D)

Why are you running for town council?

Since moving to Yorktown 15 years ago, I have immersed myself in town activities through the PTA, Boy Scouts and as an advocate for arts in education—it’s the natural next step for me to be of service to the town and run for Town Board. Building community is what I do, it’s what I love, and it’s in my DNA.

What do you enjoy about Yorktown and how do you plan to make it better?

Yorktown has so many assets, historic sites, beautiful parks and trails, excellent schools and a wealth of talent right here within the community. I want to utilize that talent, and those assets to help Supervisor Ilan Gilbert implement his new economic plan, while also improving our infrastructure. I know I can help him achieve these objectives. As an active resident and young parent, I see adding my insights will only broaden the knowledge and outlook of the board.