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Candidates Square Off In Port Chester Mayoral Debate

Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla (left) and challenger Neil Pagano discussed issues Friday.
Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla (left) and challenger Neil Pagano discussed issues Friday. Photo Credit: Justin Stock

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Taxes, development, sharing of services and building code enforcement were the main issues discussed Friday by Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla  and challenger Neil Pagano during the Rye-Rye Brook-Port Chester League of Women Voters mayoral candidates forum.

Pilla, running on the Citizens for Better Government line, and Pagano, the Republican, Conservative and Independent party candidate, are competing for a two-year term.

Pagano wants to stop what he said is "madness" in village government and said more work is needed to be done to create more development and expand the tax base.

"This is the time and we have the opportunity," he said.

Pilla asked for village residents to stay with him and see what he can do to improve the village based on its master plan, which includes development proposals such as an 820-unit project on the former United Hospital site. Pilla said he would bring that proposal back to the table to see if 820 units is really the best option.

"Give me two more years and I promise you I can get it done," he said of his plans to improve the village overall.

Pilla said the board has worked hard on enforcing codes in buildings and reducing the number of residents living in unusual spaces.

Pagano said the city needs to do a better job at enforcing building codes, and communities should come to village officials to ask about sharing municipal services rather than go out themselves to try to find willing participants.

Candidates for the six available trustee positions square off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 229 of Port Chester High School, 1 Tamarack Road.

Candidates running for the six three-year seats on the Village Board are  incumbents Daniel Brakewood (D, CBG), Joseph Kenner (R), Saverio Terenzi (R, C, I), Luis Marino (D, CBG) and Bart Didden (C, I).

Challengers are Gregory Adams (D, CBG), Gene Ceccarelli (Pride of Port Chester), John Reavis (Coalition Party), Ricardo Dos Anjos (C) and Frank Ferrara (R), who serves on the Industrial Development Agency.

John Branca is not seeking re-election to the Village Board.

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