YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Mohegan Lake resident Melvyn R. Tanzman announced Friday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for town supervisor.
Tanzman, who has lived in Mohegan Lake for 26 years, will look to unseat three-term incumbent Michael Grace, who is seeking reelection. Tanzman is scheduled to interview with the Yorktown Democratic Committee next week, said Co-Chair Ron Stokes.
A political newcomer, Tanzman has never held public office. He has worked for 36 years in the not-for-profit sector, the last 18 as executive director of Westchester on the Move Inc. The Yonkers-based organization recently filed a lawsuit against the town of Yorktown, claiming its town hall is difficult to access for people with disabilities.
Prior to joining Westchester Disabled on the Move, he was executive director of the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association for 13 years.
“I want to bring ethics, transparency and accountability back to Yorktown governance," Tanzman said in a press release. "I won’t agree with everybody, but I will endeavor to listen and learn as well as to speak and teach."
Tanzman said many members of the current town board govern with a "my way or the highway" approach. Four of the board's five members, including Grace, are Republicans.
"As a participant at town meetings, I am appalled by the lack of civility, disregard and disrespect shown to the public by the council majority," he said in the release.
Tanzman said he would address taxpayer burdens, affordable housing, and environmental and development concerns by following the town’s Comprehensive Plan finalized in 2010.
"The town spent a lot of time and money developing this plan and sometimes I wonder how much attention is paid to it by the board when making critical decisions,” he said.
A trained social worker, Tanzman said he is is skilled in team building, budget development and management, public and governmental relations, and organizational planning.
Tanzman said he would also fight to make sure the interests and concerns of the northern hamlets of Yorktown are not overlooked.
Yorktown GOP Chair Matt Slater said, "Yorktown has been moving forward under Supervisor Michael Grace starting with the fact that he's held the line on taxes each and every year. The Yorktown GOP looks forward to formally endorsing him next month and is confident the voters will give him another term regardless of his opponent."