RYE, N.Y. - Councilwoman Christina Collins path into local government is an interesting story, and its only just beginning. Collins, 31, won a seat on the Rye Town Council in emphatic fashion by capturing an overwhelming percentage of the votes in the November 8 elections.
Collins, a lifelong Westchester girl, had her first encounter with local government five years ago when she and her husband bought their first home in Port Chester.
We had been renting in Rye and we just really loved the area, Collins said glowingly. Port Chester has these great little neighborhoods that nobody knows about, and we were lucky enough to find one.
Although the cost of the home was comfortably within their price range, the assessment ended up being double the trouble, literally. According to Collins, the price of the assessment was twice as much as the cost of the house.
Collins, whos not the type of person to roll over, was determined to fight the town tooth and nail. When Collins contacted the Village of Port Chester she found herself curiously redirected to the Town of Rye, and ultimately without any answers.
Collins described the government she dealt with as unprofessional and extremely resistant; it wasnt until many months, a lawyer, and one grievance later, that the situation was eventually resolved.
Fresh of her victory in 2007, Collins met current Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, and immediately threw in her support.
My involvement started slow, Collins explained, I attended town council meetings and volunteered, but it wasnt until I helped with the website that things got more serious.
Collins, operations manager and co-owner of Counterspace Technologies, volunteered consultation to Carvin and the GOP in their search to build a website.
It wasnt long after that before Collins took up the platform for town councilwoman.
Collins stated her main goal is to improve communications between the government and citizens, and hopes to make government more user friendly by utilizing modern media and opening public forums.
I want to act as a liaison between public officials and citizens, Collins reiterated. With the current system flawed, we have a chance to be a part of something truly cutting edge.
Collins also wants to better educate citizens on the various layers of government, which she hopes will ultimately lead to a more beneficial relationship for everybody involved.
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