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New Rochelle Election: Bramson Re-elected, New District 4 Goes Democratic

Democrats on the City Council will have a 5-2 majority come January 2012.

Democrats on the New Rochelle City Council picked up a fifth vote as a result of the election Tuesday.

Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson handily won a second full term, coming out on top of Councilman Richard St. Paul, R-District 4.

According to unofficial tallies, at midnight, with 63 districts out of 81 reporting, Bramson lead St. Paul with 79 percent of the vote.

"I am honored and humbled to represent ... the people of New Rochelle," Bramson said, "in the north, east, west—and south."

He characterized the vote as the largest landslide in the history of New Rochelle.

With the election behind everyone, Bramson said it was time to get back to work on issues that matter to the city.

"When the celebration is over, we have an obligation to come together," he said.

Bramson completed the unexpired term of Tim Idoni, who was elected county clerk, and was elected to his first full term four years ago.

St. Paul said Democrats have ruled New Rochelle for the last 20 years.

"We are small, but tough. … We must keep the fight up," he said.

The mayor serves a four-year term and currently receives a salary of $89,000.

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In District 1, incumbent Councilman Louis Trangucci, a Republican, bested business owner Roberto Lopez, who previously served on the City Council. Trangucci held onto 52 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results with seven of nine districts reporting.

Trangucci said he would continue to fight for taxpayers.

"I want to pull down city costs and try to bring in new forms of revenue through retail and commercial," he said.

Incumbent Republican Councilman Albert Tarantino was in an uncontested race for District 2.

Tarantino said he wants to take a hard look at development and maintain services such as fire, police and sanitation.

"The idea is to create businesses that will bring sales tax revenue and bring people with disposable money into the city," he said.

Vying for his first full term, Councilman Jared Rice, a Democrat and an attorney, easily won over Republican challenger John Earvin, a state certified private investigator, to represent District 3.

With all districts reporting, unofficial results showed Rice with 89 percent of the vote.

Rice thanked family and friends for helping him through the campaign, adding that he and his wife were expecting a baby in May.

He was elected in 2010 to fill the final year of the term of Councilman James Stowe, who died in office.

"Four years is a better term than one year," Rice said. "Let's get a lot of work done."

In District 4, owner Ivar Hyden, a Democrat, won with an impressive lead over Republican Kevin Barrett. With eight districts out of 11 reporting, Hyden took 80 percent of the vote.

Hyden thanked all the people who worked on his campaign.

"I'm looking forward to getting started," he said.

For District 5, incumbent Councilman Barry Fertel, a Democrat, won against clinical psychologist Ilyse Spertus, a Republican. Fertel took 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results with 11 out of 16 districts reporting.

Fertal said he was proud to represent District 5 and New Rochelle for the next four years.

"(The race) was really a wild ride," he said. "We do have a lot of work to do now."

In District 6, attorney Shari Rackman, a Democrat, defeated Republican Stephen Mayo, founder of a linoleum manufacturing company. With 10 out of 15 districts reporting, Rackman had 59 percent of the vote.

Rackman thanked, among others, outgoing Councilwoman Marianne Sussman, D-District 6.

"I am up for the challenge," she said, "but when I have questions, I know I can call her."

Rackman said she would be ready to get to work in January, "with my sleeves rolled up."

Councilmembers are elected to four-year terms and currently receive a salary of $33,000.

After voting at New Rochelle United Methodist Church, Dr. Abraham Walfish didn't volunteer the names of the candidates for whom he voted.

But he did have criteria on which he based his voting decisions.

"Experience counts," Walfish said, "and so does past performance."

 

Race Candidate Votes (unofficial) Mayor Noam Bramson, D-WF (I) 5,267

Richard St. Paul, R-C-IN 1,362



District 1 Roberto Lopez, D-WF-IN 324

Louis Trangucci, R-C (I) 346



District 2 Albert Tarantino, R-WF-IN (I) 721



District 3 Jared Rice, D-WF-IN (I) 952

John Earvin, R 118



District 4 Ivar Hyden, D-WF 597

Kevin Barrett, R-C-IN 151



District 5 Barry Fertel, D-WF (I) 757

Ilyse Spertus, R-C-IN 615



District 6 Shari Rackman, D-WF 994

Stephen Mayo, R-C-IN 685

D = Democratic
R = Republican
WF = Working Families
IN = Independence
C = Conservative
(I) = Incumbent

Unofficial returns as of 12:06 a.m. Thursday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been modified from its original version to include comments from Richard St. Paul, Albert Tarantino and Louis Trangucci.

Aunt Sandy November 16, 2011 at 04:01 PM
I specifically remember voting on other school bond items, e.g. cafeteria upgrades, HVAC upgrades, etc. They were timed with the school budget votes.
Brian Sussman November 16, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Most of New Rochelle's property taxes go to the NR public school system. Despite our school system's defects, it's the high quality of public education that keeps the property values high. The city government of New Rochelle, is legislated by the City Council and run by the appointed City Manager, but the city government has no direct relationship to school taxes, administration, nor funding for construction. That said, the city government of NR is at fault for its policy of increasing NR's population by foolishly allowing massive residential construction of the Avalons an Trump, let alone granting massive tax abatements. It's unclear to me whether those tax abatements include school taxes, but if so, those school tax abatements should be challenged in court, unless the NR School Board also agreed to those tax abatements. The school system's budget is created by the NR Board of Education, and approved by a vote of the people of New Rochelle. So the ones to blame for increasing property taxes, are the people of New Rochelle for approving their own tax increases. Whatever one's complaint about the high property school taxes, those taxes represent democracy in action. Democracy is sloppy, expensive and not completely effective, but it's still better than all the than other forms of government.
newrochellesouth November 17, 2011 at 01:35 AM
The Avalon tax abatements absolutely included school tax abatements. That is why the burden of these buildings is so great on New Rochelle. There are over 80 students in the New Rochelle schools from the Avalons, at the average cost of $20,000 a student that amounts to 1.6 million dollars. If you are a homeowner in New Rochelle you are subsidizing the owners of the Avalon, you are subsidizing the campaign contributions they make, and you are subsidizing the residents who pay a lower rent. I am not sure about Trump Building, but it is ironic that there is a huge photo of Isaac Young on the outside touting "Great Schools". They sure are great when you don't have to pay for them. I wonder how many Avalon students qualify for free lunch.... By the way they didn't send any of these students to the North End, these huge residential units are the burden of the south end of New Rochelle. All of these students are sent to Trinity Elementary School (the dumping ground of the New Rochelle Schools). I would guess that the North End votes more enthusiastically for the school budget than the South end because they get MUCH better services in the North end. (just check out the fields at Trinity compared to the fields at Davis.
Brian Sussman November 17, 2011 at 02:56 AM
It would seem that the City of NR has no legal power to offer tax abatements, other than regarding the taxes that municipal corporation is legally authorized to subject an entity to. As the City of NR cannot authorize school system taxes or school system expenditures, it follows that the City of NR cannot authorized property tax abatements affecting the school system or county taxes. This should be obvious. A group of taxpayers could possibly file a NY Supreme Court Art 78 action in the nature of a certiorai or mandamus, to exclude NR school system taxes from the tax abatements of Trump, New Roc City and the Avalons, Succeeding at that would help to balance the school system's budget. Of course, that is only true if the Board of Education did not also offer the tax abatements. Even then, those Board of Ed sponsored abatements might not be legally effective, unless they were also put to a vote of the people in a referendum, similar to school system bonding referendums. Perhaps, the NR City Charter needs to be amended to guarantee a referendum on any massive tax abatements of the City of New Rochelle, as well as of its Board of Education.
Billy November 28, 2011 at 06:15 PM
And yet tax abatements are doled out all the time! Trump is abated too, how else could a $700k condo have taxes of only $3k-$4k? In any other part of the city, the taxes would be around $16k-$17k.

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