With the new year a new pair of City Council members assumed official duties in New Rochelle. Democrats Shari Rackman of District 6 and Ivar Hyden of District 4 were sworn in before a crowd of friends, family and supporters Sunday afternoon in the City Council Chambers.
The two freshman Democrats where joined in the ceremony by re-elected Democratic councilmembers Jared Rice and Barry Fertel of Districts 3 and 5, respectively.
“New Rochelle like any other city faces very significant challenges that we must face head on with candor and determination, but at the same time we have to be mindful of the extraordinary opportunity we have for the city and for our future,” said a newly sworn in Mayor Noam Bramson, who handily defeated Councilman Richard St. Paul, R-District 4.
Bramson also noted that government should have a balance between realism and optimism which is necessary for government to succeed. He also stressed that the determination to work together across the lines of different perspectives and parties is what is needed in government today.
Rackman made that point clear in her address, stressing that her new ideas and different outlooks will help reduce cost.
“We have to look at what other cities are doing and how they have reduced costs and see if programs like those can be implemented here in New Rochelle,” she said.
The 47-year-old Rackman thanked, among others, outgoing Councilwoman Marianne Sussman, who was on hand to welcome dignitaries to the ceremony.
Hyden will serve not only his first term as City Council member but also as Deputy Mayor.
“That’s kind of cool seeing that up there,” Hyden told Patch as he pointed at the Deputy Mayor under his name. But he quickly downplayed his new title, saying “That’s just random. That just happens by virtue of how the district turns over.”
The 67-year-old Hyden’s comments were as succinct as his hair was coiffed.
“I want to bring new revenue sources to the City of New Rochelle. Since we can’t cut any more than we already have, we have to focus on new revenue and we need to be creative about doing that,” he said.
Hyden expressed that two the Republicans on the council want to do just that and they are working toward those goals.
“I’ve always been able to work with everybody. I understand that many times compromise is the answer. Other times you have to hold the line and stick to your guns. But I am looking forward to working with the new council to work for the City of New Rochelle,” District 2 Councilmember Albert Tarantino told Patch at the separate Republican ceremony held prior to the Democratic one.
Tarantino wants to create new retail stores to bring in new sales tax revenue and lighten the burden on the taxpayer—a feeling that fellow Republican Louis Trangucci of District 1 also wants to accomplish.
Those are sentiments that new Councilwoman Rackman shares.
“With all of us working together we can make this city whatever we want it to be,” she said.