Liz Feld is stepping down from the Larchmont Village Board at the end of her term on March 31, after serving four years as mayor and another four as trustee.
Running for her position in the March 16 elections will be Josh Mandell, 42, the Democrat she appointed last June to fill the trustee seat vacated by Jim Millstein when he took a job with the Obama administration. Democrat Marlene Kolbert will run for a fifth term as trustee. And Jaine Elkind Eney, an attorney, will leave her spot as co-chair of the Larchmont Democratic Party to seek the remaining trustee seat. (See nominating and acceptance speeches below.)
Currently, Ms. Feld is the only Republican on the board. The four trustees are all Democrats.
The Larchmont GOP caucused on Tuesday, January 26 in the court room at Larchmont’s Village Hall, but there were no candidates nominated by the eight party members present.
On the same evening, Larchmont’s Democrats filled the firefighters’ training room and nominated their three candidates.
It is still possible for a challenger to get on the ballot by gathering signatures on a nominating petition, but the more likely scenario is that the Democrats will be elected without opposition.
Ms. Feld Believes In Term Limits
“I believe in term limits, and the office of mayor should be no exception,” Ms. Feld told the GOP caucus in explaining why she would not run again. (Read: Liz Feld’s Speech to the Republican Caucus)
“It was a personal decision,” she elaborated later. “I went away for the weekend and reflected on it.”
She said this was different from her decision announced on January 15 to not run for the U.S. Senate. In that case, family considerations led her to forego an attempt to become the Republican challenger to Democrat Kristen Gillibrand. She has a young son and her husband is working in Boston. (See: Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld Not Running for US Senate.)
Don Derrico, head of the Town of Mamaroneck Republican Party and chair of the caucus, said, “I’m upset by this – she’s been a great mayor. She’s been instrumental in bringing the Republicans and Democrats together for the benefit of the Village of Larchmont.”
Ms. Feld was elected mayor in 2004 on a coalition slate with two Democrats.
What’s Next – for Larchmont, for Ms. Feld
Mayor Feld’s term doesn’t end until March 31, and she will be busy between now and then preparing the budget for 2010-2011. Despite the difficult economy, she said the board had its first budget meeting this week and “we are in good shape.”
“I feel very confident with the people on the board,” she added. In specific, “Josh will be a terrific mayor. He’s new blood, he has the time, he’s up to speed – and he’s smart as heck.”
In accepting his party’s nomination, Mr. Mandell appeared ready to continue with the current administration’s agenda – although he signaled there may be some new approaches.
“l take seriously our responsibility to preserve this unique village,” he said. Among the tasks needing to be accomplished this year, he listed the Palmer Avenue streetscape, contract negotiations with the unions, and the continued improvement of fields and facilities. However, with budgets “tight everywhere … in order to maintain the level of services that we are accustomed to, we will have to take a fresh look at old problems,” he stressed.
As for Ms. Feld’s future? She said she would remain “in the public arena” and “always, always, always put people before politics.” In particular, she will continue in her role as board member and spokesperson for New Yorkers for Growth, a political action committee that supports fiscally conservative policies and candidates.