My name is Maria May and I am running for the Tuxedo Town Council. I believe we deserve leadership that is inclusive, professional, transparent and accountable. I also believe that my life experience and broad knowledge and character have prepared me to be that kind of leader and public servant.
As an educator with a Ph.D. from Fordham University, I have been a teacher, Director of Admissions and Development, Literacy Specialist and Staff Developer in both public and private school settings. I’m also a board member for the Central Hudson Regional PTA, a volunteer member of the advocacy committee for the Suffern Central School Board and a parent. These roles have enabled me to develop a varied skill set that includes the ability to plan, listen and work well with people; to gather and synthesize ideas, and to work across professional and political ideologies.
As a ten year resident in the Southfields section of Northern Tuxedo, my first involvement with local governance began during the fight against the Pilgrim pipeline. This led me to become a regular attendee at Tuxedo Town Board meetings. I came to know Ken English and Michele Lindsay and decided to join them in this Town Council slate campaign because we share common goals and concerns for Tuxedo. We love our town, its historical significance, natural beauty, and caring neighbors. We want these essential qualities of our town, not only to be preserved but built upon, with more open governance, sustainable development and greater resident involvement.
While there is much to love about Tuxedo, there are also important issues that need to be addressed. Business development has eluded our town. Orange County is experiencing a boom in tourism that will grow with the expansion of Woodbury Commons and the 2020 opening of Legoland. Tuxedo offers a natural environment for families with its 70,000 acres of forest positioned between other Hudson Valley tourist attractions like Bear Mountain, West Point, Storm King and the many wineries and historical sites. Getting these tourists to stay here in Tuxedo and enjoy our natural beauty poses great potential. We offer a unique vacation alternative to the theme parks and casinos.
Our town needs to attract new families that can add enrollment to our schools and bring a resident base needed to attract the amenities residents want. While out canvassing I’ve repeatedly heard neighbors pleading for a local market and other essential services. Tuxedo has seen the potential with Steve’s new restaurant, the amazing development Mr. Bruno has brought to Sloatsburg and the growing Dottie Audry’s anchor establishment at the Duck Cedar Plaza.
How can the Town Board help these things happen?
The formal vision for any town is the Comprehensive Plan. The regulations that guide its implementation is the Town Zoning code. Both of these have been left unfinished for far too long and need to be completed. Working with Ken and Michele and the complete Town Board we will get this done!
Town leadership needs to communicate updates regarding Tuxedo Farms with transparency. We also need to resolve the environmental and financial liabilities caused by the dump site at the Highway Department yard, and by the aging sewer plant in the hamlet area.
As a first-time candidate, I go into this new endeavor with excitement, a lifetime of experience and knowledge and with the ability to work successfully with people across fields and ideologies. I believe that these skills and talents enable me to be a good leader and public servant who will work collaboratively and with integrity to develop solutions that make Tuxedo an even better place for all of us to live.
On Tuesday, November 5th, vote for Ken English, Supervisor, re-elect Michele Lindsay as Councilperson, and select me, Maria May for Councilperson.