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One New Castle Resident Challenges the Status Quo

Manny Areces, a 16-year resident of Chappaqua, created a petition to increase the size of the New Castle Town Board to four to six members. Areces believes all New Castle residents should be represented, not just in the town center of Chappaqua.

Areces noticed after talking to countless people from being involved in New Castle for many years, people from the other neighborhoods of Kisco Park, Millwood, Random Farms and Rolling Fields weren’t feeling represented in government.

“They don’t seem to have enough hands on deck to be able to manage the geography or the issues that come up for them,” Areces said. “It seems like a lot of their concerns and problems have not been addressed year after year and year…I don’t know if it’s on purpose or not. It just shows a, you know, we’ll deal with it when we have a chance.”

After “feeling out” town residents,  Areces discovered a New York State law (Town Law, Chapter 6, Section 85) which allows for six council persons if the town is considered first-class, meaning its population is greater than 15,000 people and has a large geography. If accepted, New Castle would then increase its’ Town Board from four to six members and create a ward system. The ward system would enable all of New Castle’s neighborhoods to be represented.

“After giving it some thought and trying to encourage some of the past and present board members to consider it, I knew there wasn’t going to be any action so what’s a good citizen to do when they love where they live but to put the action in place,” Areces said.

Areces is now distributing his petition in an effort to make a change in the stagnant government of New Castle, which has run unopposed for as long as Areces can remember.

“This is a time where it’s very important for ideas to come up and people to be heard,” Areces said. “How do we stimulate listening in our leadership? That’s how this whole idea came through and you do that by raising the volume high enough that they have to pay attention.”

Areces’ petition is to let everyone’s voices be heard, creating a more democratic process of voting and representation in town elections.

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