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Class Now In Session: Village Hall 101

by Marianne Olive

Since late last year when I decided to run for Mayor of the Village of Nyack I spent a lot of time researching the job itself. I am taking this position very seriously. It has been like an independent study course that I plan to excel in.

The entire process of running for Mayor was far more complicated than I could ever have imagined. From the beginning, after I publicly announced my intention to run for Mayor of the Village of Nyack, I was contacted by Jordon Turner, who was appointed  head of the Democratic Committee. He informed me that the committee will have a meeting inviting all candidates who would have the opportunity to speak and they would hold a question and answer period.  At that time, I never knew this was considered a caucus. I prepared a speech, dressed in a professional suit, and prepared myself for this meeting. At that meeting, their was a silent ballot, where all members of the committee voted for their candidate by writing their choice on a piece of paper. Their were only about 13 voters and another 5 that declined to vote at all. This was all foreign to me and I was unfamiliar with this process so I went the next day to the board of elections in New City and spoke at length to Ann Marie Kelly who was so kind and informative and clearly laid out the rules and  proper procedures from beginning to end for running for public office. I am eternally grateful to Ann Marie for her kindness and  help.  I met with Drew Fixel, the Mayor of Tarrytown on several occasions, about the responsibilities that the position entails. He was and is a world of knowledge and information. He is now in his third term as Mayor of Tarrytown.

I met with Michael Blau, the Village Administrator of Tarrytown. We spoke for several hours and he provided me with information on the responsibilities of being a Village Administrator. His secretary, Nancy who worked for 30 years  for the Mayor, and ultimately, for Michael Blau, said she did not know how Tarrytown ever survived without a Village Administrator. Tarrytown recently received 3 grants totaling nearly 4 million dollars for the developement of  the Hudson River Walk  Park at Tarrytown. He gave me a copy of his plans which are now presently being implemented.

On June 9th was the first day  for signing my petitions. I decided to take this very seriously and register as many people as possible to vote and I did manage to resister about 85 people in total. Many switched parties and became Democrats. Many were new to the Village and were registered as new residence. Some were never registered in their life and I managed to register them too. It has been such an exciting journey. I am so proud to have taken part in these peoples lives and in their commitment to the Democratic party. I made people aware of the importance of voting and the responsibility they have to this village and to our country to have their vote count.

I visited homes and apartments throughout the village. Many people invited me in and we talked at length. I love Nyack and the wonderful people that make this village so special. I’ve met people that will hold a place in my heart for life. I’ve listened to so many stories, so many struggles and than again so many happy thankful people, grateful that I am running for Mayor, seriously dedicating my time to the betterment of this Village.

Every day I went out door to door getting people registered, collecting signitures, and passing out my palm cards, which gives a brief bio of my life and bullet points of my goals I plan to achieve as Mayor. I quickly found out the need of  these palm cards to spread the word of who I am and my qualifications to ensure the people of Nyack that I am in fact, most capable of steering Nyack , from the helm of this Village, into a prosperous,beautiful and successful future.

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I don’t ever work part time. I will devote every bit of my life to learning everything their is to learn about becoming the best Mayor Nyack could ever ask for. I am a team player. I have been a leader all of my life. I was raised one of 11 children in a community of 13 families and 107 children. We learned the value of working together as a community for all of our benefit. Nyack has been my community since the 1970s when I first arrived. I will lead by example. I will be fair, just and impartial. I will be honest, ethical, hard working, focused and dedicated to the day to day problems, decisions, events and long term future plans of Nyack that will affect all of our futures.

After getting all of my signatures for my petition, I turned them into the Board of Elections in New City on July 16th.

I opened up a bank account in the name of Friends of Marianne Olive, as required by the State Board of Elections, after having received $825 dollars all together in donations for my campaign. I thank each and everyone for their contributions. It certainly helped in this process that is so expensive.

I had lawn signs made and distributed them throughout the village on lawns of friends  with their permission, and sadly, most were stolen. I again put them on the same lawns and again most were stolen. I am a fair player. I can’t stand ugly politics. We candidates are all running for the chance to serve Nyack. People who steal signs are small minded. Ultimately, it’s not the signs that win the election. It’s the dedication and perseverence of the candidate. I have worked tirelessly every day, either writing speeches, meeting with people, officials, professionals, merchants and  residents, making cookies for the seniors, reviewing budgets, The Comprehensive Master Plan, The Riverspace Superblock, the minutes of the past 2 years of meetings, and each departments responsibilities.

Each candidate had the right to run on an additional party and I chose to be a full Democrat, not a part time one. If the voting Democrats in Nyack want me, I will serve Nyack full time, with 100% effort every day I am in office. If I am your choice in the general election, you will never regret choosing me. You can count of me any day, any night.  I am here, right on Main Street most times. I will serve you well.  I will take my responsibilities seriously and consider this a full time job as Nyack needs full time help. My daughter Meaghan manages my restaurant, Olive’s, and I work part time by appointment at my hair salon, Hairs Marianne. I have a wonderful business manager, Lisa who handles much of my bookkeeping, filing and day to day property management. Now is the time to devote to bringing Nyack back to the prosperous village it once was and ensuring that choices the board makes won’t hinder the quality of anyones life, nor prevent the growth Nyack needs to move into a viable future.

I met with Chief Nulty, the Orangetown Police chief. He was very helpful and informative about the policing in Nyack, the budget, the responsibilities of Orangetown Police in Nyack. I’ve worked closely with Sargent Stratner who manages the policing in Nyack. He is dedicated and has been a visible presence in the night life of Nyack.

I met with the Deputy Mayor of Piermont, Fred De Van, who was such a great help and a world of information. I admire the work that has been accomplished in Pierment. He did a study on the benefits of Nyack having their own police force. Heis a numbers man and had accurate records of the budget of all outsourced services in Nyack including fire, ambulance, police assessor, accounting etc.

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I met with the South Nyack Police Chief Von Curan,  who was so kind to give me a few  hours of his time explaining to me every detail of his job and the responsibilities of the South Nyack police and the benefits of local control and the possible savings. They share police services with Grandview as well. We talked about the TZ Bridge plans and the impact it may have on Nyack and South Nyack. He gave me a copy of his budget, salaries, and codes, etc. The more public officials I meet with, the more I know just what it entails to become a successful Mayor.

I met with John Cincotta, our Nyack  Treasurer who was so helpful to me. He took his time and I took up his lunchtime. I thank John for giving me all of the budgets of every Nyack department and explaining each and every persons jobs and responsibilities, problems, and possible solutions. He has a world of knowledge about the inner functions of the Village. I feel very comfortable about being able to call on him for any and all information needed in pursuant to the good of Nyack.

I met with Wally Sevastian, our Village Attorney, who is also Piermont’s Village Attorney. I think Wally is doing a fabulous job in Nyack and I know everyone on the board in Piermont praises him to me. He is the man you can’t live without in this Village. He is a thorough, accurate, decisive, reliable and intelligent Attorney whom Nyack should be eternally grateful for.

I met with Renee Halperin who is our Nyack Court Clerk. We spoke at length about her responsibilities, her budget and expenses and I did get a copy of all of it. I am so sorry to hear that Renee will be retiring next year. Nyack has been blessed with Renee. She will be a tough act to follow.

I met with our Mayor, John Shields, who was so kind to give me his time on a few separate occasions. He answered all questions I had and helped me to know further , the tremendous job I am preparing to take. John is a great man who has dedicated so many years to Nyack. He will be missed.  He is now ready to retire and I wish him well.

I spoke to Chief  O’Shea, who runs a tight ship in Piermont. They have their own Police force. Years ago in the 1960s they decided to outsource the police department to Orangetown and it lasted only a year before the people of Piermont demanded to have their police force back. Piermont is a different village than Nyack in that they don’t have the busy business district,nor the nightlife that makes Nyack such a lively biable village. They  enforce their speeding codes and laws and people respect them.

I met with Arty Kenan, who was a Nyack police investigator until he was shot in the Brinks robbery in 1981. He survived that terrible incident, but not without permanent hearing loss and  bullet wounds.

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I will be meeting with the head of the water department, the head of the DPW, the Village Clerk, the Building Inspector and each and every department head in  Nyack. I am also meeting with the Mayor of Ridgewood, Old Tappan, NJ, Mystic, Conn.,Cape May, NJ and any other successful villages I explore.

What an education I have been getting. I want to stimulate the enthusiasnm of this Village and to get people involved in it’s rebirth. Together, we can all make Nyack the greatest village this side of the Hudson.

Now I must prepare for the Candidates forum. I hope all concerned citizens of Nyack will attend on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 7:30 at the Nyack Center on N Broadway.

After all of the information I’ve gathered, I am more able to formulate educated decisions here in Nyack.

Thank you all for this opportunity to serve you.

Marianne Olive is a candidate for the Mayor of Nyack, NY.

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