BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Democrat Bruce Yablon and Republican Don Scott are vying for a Town Board seat that is up for a special vote Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The pair, both Katonah residents, are seeking to fill the remainder of the seat's term. The election was triggered because Chris Burdick became supervisor and resigned from his seat.
Recently, they weighed in on prominent local issues
The pair took different positions on the Town Board's September approval of a Teamsters' blue-collar union contract.
While Scott said he is happy they got a contract, he disagreed with the health insurance contribution piece, calling it “out of step” with what other communities are doing. Scott said that he would like to have stayed at the bargaining table longer to work on the health care portion.
Yablon voiced support for the deal, citing years in which there were no salary increases. He also criticized Councilmen Francis Corcoran and Peter Chryssos for voting against it, calling their reasoning “almost illogical.”
Both addressed the controversial Katonah group home proposal, each sympathizing with residents' concerns about the layout of the site's vicinity.
Yablon would have supported finding another access way for the area, although noted that it could not be made a requirement.
Yablon supports the Town Board's decision to approve a list of assurances from the group home's provider, which the town's attorney likened to a binding contract. He warned about not having the assurances, saying that the letter “would go out the window if we voted no.”
Scott explained he would have sought more time with the provider and asked them to consider another site. He also mentioned a place near his house that would have been a better alternative.
The pair discussed the future of the Bedford Playhouse site. Both are receptive John Farr's proposal, which would convert the theater space into something like the Jacob Burns facility in Pleasantville. However, they took different tracks on a separate project that is for a vacant portion of the property. The proposal is from Kenneth Horn, an owner of the site. It is preliminary and it calls for retail, residential and parking usage.
Regarding the latter proposal, Scott deferred to the Planning Board's review in terms of that project's merits, while Yablon sharply criticized the concept.
“It totally eclipses everything and anything, anywhere near there, and I think it's way too grand and way too big, and I personally would not want to see what they've proposed happen there," Yablon said.
However, Yablon is open to a scaled-down version.
The two took similar positions on other issues. Both support having alternative septic usage in the hamlets, and they are open to Bedford considering more shared services with neighboring towns. Additionally, each supports more collaboration with the town's two main school districts, Bedford Central and Katonah-Lewisboro.
Yablon is an emergency medical technician and driver with the Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and he owns a construction businesses. He also used to work for PepsiCo when it owned Taco Bell and managed 12 locations across the region.
Scott, who does marketing for law firms, is a former Katonah-Lewisboro school board trustee. His current roles include being a Katonah fire commissioner and a local wetlands commissioner. Last year he ran unsuccessfully for supervisor, losing to Burdick.
Regardless of who wins, the seat is up for a regular election next November.
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