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Seven Running For Two Chappaqua Library Board Seats

Chappaqua Library Board candidates at a recent forum.
Chappaqua Library Board candidates at a recent forum. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- A crowded field of seven candidates are running for a pair of seats on the Chappaqua Library Board.

One seat is up for a full 5-year term while another is available for the remaining year of Gerry Golub's term; Golub died last fall.

The candidates are Pamela Wright, Leslie Wertheim, Paige Nesis, Richard Ma, Nishat Hydari, Audrey Brooks and Jennifer Lem.

Six of the candidates spoke last week at a forum held by the League of Women Voters of New Castle. Lem was unable to attend, a league representative said, due to being out of town.

Wright, who has lived in the community for nearly two decades and has raised for children, noted her frequent presence at the library and how her kids would come for events over the years.

“I'm here all the time, about weekly."

Nesis, who has lived in the community for nine years and is a working mom, noted that her son encouraged her to run. Despite having a day job, Nesis evaluated her skills and what it would take to be on the board.

“It's the appropriate place. We enjoy it so much,”

Hydari, who has lived in Chappaqua for a year and a half, is a mother of three children. When she was in college, Hydrari called working at her school's library, which she cited as experience for the board. Her other background has included serving on a PTO in her previous community, which is in Ohio.

Ma, a father of two toddlers, cited his background in the tech industry, along with involvement in organizations such as Teatown and the Food Bank of Westchester.

“It's an exciting time for the library."

Brooks, who has lived in Chappaqua for more than two decades,

Wertheim, who has worked in the corporate world and whose wife has helped out at the library for 14 years, wants to bring his professional experience to the board.

“It's a core resource for us all.”

All of the participating candidates voiced support for an upcoming bond vote affecting the library, which will involve renovations and additions to add new spaces to children and teens, new quiet spaces and bathrooms, and a cafe. The estimated cost is about $1.7 million and the project is part of a larger bond package for the school district, which total $42.5 million. The library is an autonomous arm of the Chappaqua school district.

Video of the full forum is available here , while biographical details on all seven of the candidates can be accessed in a post on the league's Facebook page.

Voters will also decide on the proposed 2016-17 library budget. Total spending is proposed to be $3,065,135, an increase of 1.47 percent from the current year. The tax levy, which is the total amount of property tax revenue, would increase by about 0.72 percent.

The tax rates, which measure what taxpayers would owe per $1,000 of assessed property value, would go up by 0.86 in New Castle and by 2.66 percent in Mount Pleasant. The discrepancy between the towns' tax burdens is due to use of the equalization rate, which is a state-mandated formula used to apportion of the burden. The formula is used because New Castle and Mount Pleasant do not assess their properties at the same percentages of their market values.

Further budget details are available here.

Voting is scheduled to run on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Horace Greeley High School. Voters will also vote on the proposed Chappaqua school budget and on a pair of school board seats up for election.

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