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Smith Touches on Issues Facing Westchester

ARMONK, N.Y.- District Three legislative candidate Michael Smith on Friday announced his primary bid to gain the Independence Party endorsement in front of North Castle Town Hall.

The aim of his campaign is to unseat Democratic incumbent John Nonna, former Pleasantville mayor. Nonna is the current legislator for District Three, which covers the towns of Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow and part of Greenburgh.

Smith, who is coming off six years as President of Valhalla School District’s Board of Education, said he’s tired of the way things have gone in Westchester in recent years.

“I’ve been on the outside looking in and I’m not happy with what I’m seeing," he said. "We need changes. The gentleman I’m running against John Nonna, is a nice man and people like him but there’s a very clear choice this year for Westchester voters in District Three.”

One of Smith’s main concerns is the topic of affordable housing, which has relevance in many towns across Westchester County.

“John Nonna and Andy Spano promoted the initial settlement for affordable housing a couple years ago that the county signed,” Smith said. “It was supposed to be capped at $52 million and it’s now going to cost Westchester tax payers $95 million.”

Smith said the federal government is deciding where the housing is going to be and who is going to live there.

“The federal government’s stated purpose in writing to the county executive, saying they’re looking for the integration of Westchester, they’re looking for the integration of the school districts, and they’re looking for the integration of communities,” Smith said.

Smith said the federal government thinks current zoning in Westchester is discriminatory and that there’s segregation.

“Westchester County is being made a test case for the Federal government and I really don’t think it’s appropriate,” Smith said.

Replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge is another key focus for Smith and he said New York State is spending $150 million per year to maintain it.

“There will be a point in time where that bridge does break and the economic consequences in Westchester County would be extraordinary,” Smith said. “If you tried to go over the George Washington Bridge on a good day it’s bad. Imagine going over it if Tappan Zee is inoperable.”

Multiple phone calls were made to John Nonna’s office but he was unavailable for comment Friday.

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