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Legislators Address Environmental Concerns

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Candidates running for the Westchester County Board of Legislators came to the Greenburgh Nature Center to discuss their positions on various environmental issues Wednesday night.  Candidates spoke to the small crowd about past accomplishments and plans for the future in a platform for election and reelection.

MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) was first to address the crowd in her pitch for reelection in District 12.

“The first public policy I ever really got interested in was the environment,” said Shimsky, whose district includes Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington and Greenburgh.

Shimsky addressed environmental issues, such as Indian Point, as areas where she would concentrate her efforts.

“It shows that there is one terrible, terrible risk we take using one of the most poisonous substances just to run our dishwashers,” she said.

One of the biggest issues addressed by the candidates was the recurring problem of flooding across Westchester.  Shimsky pointed to the importance of improved zoning regulations and site plans to help retain enough “vegetation and permeable surface to combat excessive flooding.”

Something that John Nonna (D-Pleasantville), who represents District 3, and Shimsky both mentioned was the need for local municipalities and the county government to work together to fight flooding.

“No municipality can solve the flooding problem on its own,” said Nonna, whose district includes Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, North Castle and parts of Sleepy Hollow, Greenburgh and Briarcliff.

Composting, fighting unnecessary emissions and global warming, among other things, were all topics addressed by the candidates.  They all agreed that regardless of who was elected, planning needs to be efficient and needs to start now.

“The only way we’re going to solve anything is by taking a long term view and starting now,” Nonna said.

Challengers for positions, such as Iris Pagan, a Republican from White Plains, stated the need for education as part of the process of cleaning up the environment locally.

“For me what the environment meant was peace and it was some sort of center for our children,” said. Pagan, who is challenging incumbent William Ryan for the seat that represents White Plains, Scarsdale and parts of Harrison.  “We need to learn ways to teach our children and make them aware that everything we do affects our environment.”

What issues concern you the most in the upcoming election?  Join the conversation and leave a comment below.  Remember to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for more updates on your community.

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