Vedat Gashi and Michael Grace are vying for a two-year term as the District 4 legislator, which includes New Castle, part of Yorktown and Somers

We asked each of the candidates to talk briefly about themselves, their positions and goals. You can find their answers below:

Vedat Gashi

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Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience. 
When I was 4 years old, my parents immigrated to New York from the former Yugoslavia. I earned a B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from Seton Hall University Law School.  I started my legal career by interning with Judge Sonia Sotomayor at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals before she was appointed to the Supreme Court. Thereafter I joined the UN led effort helping to establish the newly formed state of Kosovo as they prepared for independence. Afterwards, I returned to Yorktown where I was raised, currently own a small business and where my wife and I are raising our children.  

Why do you want to be a county legislator?
Now more than ever we need a strong independent voice. We need results for Westchester County. I want to be that voice for the community that I love, and continue the great work that retiring current county legislator Mike Kaplowitz has done. We are facing real challenges in Northern Westchester- we need an innovative, honest and active approach to local government, not pointless name calling and senseless partisanship.  We have had enough with corrupt and self-interested politicians - we cannot afford to let this seat fall be represented poorly. 

What is a top priority for the county over the next five to 10 years?
With the taxes Westchester residents pay, there is no excuse for substandard services and infrastructure. That’s why it will be my priority to ensure Northern Westchester communities receive the resources they deserve and that our tax dollars will come back to our neighborhoods.  We must facilitate economic development and improve conditions for working families in our district. We need to increase funding for our aging water and sewer systems and invest in technology to prevent sewage from entering our water system. Our roads, bridges and other infrastructure need proper investment and our public buildings and parks have deteriorated over the past decade.

Michael Grace

Who are you? Provide a brief overview of your background and experience. 
I have been a practicing attorney for almost 35 years, am a graduate of Fordham Law School (1984) and admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey,  the Federal Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of NY, Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  I am a member the Multi-Multi Million Dollar Advocacy Forum for having achieved multiple multi-million dollar recoveries for my clients.  I was Town Attorney for Yorktown for 13 plus years and was Town Supervisor from 2012 to 2017.  As Town Supervisor I held the line on taxes, significantly reduced the town’s long term debt and increased the town’s unrestricted fund balance multi-fold.  As town supervisor we made significant, infrastructure,  improvements  and began construction on  the Granite Knolls ball fields.  We also brought new community events to town such as the Feast of San Gennaro, the Holiday Lights parade and the New Year’s Eve ball drop.  I am very proud of the significant accomplishments of my administration including bringing in new, exciting development while preserving the Town’s historical character. 

Why do you want to be a county legislator?
I can bring the same pragmatic approach to County government that we employed on a town level. The challenges at the County level although larger in scope parallel the issues I faced as Town Supervisor.  

What is a top priority for the county over the next five to 10 years?
Of importance on the county level is regional infrastructure maintenance and improvements and finding creative means to finance these improvements. Partnerships with the private business sector is and will continue to become critically important; the encouragement of private investment in the county is vital to the County’s future affordability. As town Supervisor for the Town of Yorktown we handled these issues with great success. And did so in a time when most municipalities were experiencing financial distress. I believe that I can bring to bear years of valuable experience to the resolution of the myriad of issues facing the County. Westchester is truly a remarkable place to live and work but it will take creativity to maintain its long term livability and I believe I can contribute greatly toward that goal.