James Freiband

WOODBURY. Challenger James Freiband is running for Woodbury village board on the Democratic and Working Families lines.

| 08 Oct 2023 | 10:18

Why are you running for village board?

Woodbury village government needs public servants, not politicians. Village tax increases over the past two years, since I last ran for office, have wreaked havoc on residents: 34 percent.

I’m not ready for another two years of this, nor are any of my neighbors. We have lurking crises of water supply, sewage treatment, and unremitting traffic along Route 32. I am running to make village governance open and rational.

What are the top three issues facing the village today and how do you plan to address them?

The most immediate need, other than to stop outsized tax increases, is to strengthen and protect the water supply system. It’s important to both village residents (to afford to live here) and the business community. Adding 400 new motel rooms is a good idea only for developers, leaving the water supply system and sewage treatment shortfalls to the community to solve.

Making the village government responsible requires a complete change of the people juggling with the budget. The principle of responsible budget preparation is not just adding to last year’s totals, but true capital and operational zero-based budgeting. To do that the village needs leaders who know how that is done: not posers who start by setting a local law municipal override each year of the New York State budget caps.

My other priority is to make village government friendly to residents. For example: put a sign at village hall and have regular office hours. Leaving messages does not constitute an official presence.

These and many other projects deserve discussion, but the key is experience and training to preserve essential Woodbury.

What sets you apart from your challengers?

I am your best bet to succeed in that progress. I am no stranger to public service: Vietnam vet with 22 years in the Navy, graduate municipal planner, former planning board member, and businessman. Your vote for the village’s Democratic team will get it done for real.