Challenge Forcing Run-Off Election in the East

Francine Ryan is running against incumbent trustee Dennis Donnelly in a run-off election in the East Jan. 29.

Francine Ryan is running against incumbent trustee Dennis Donnelly in a run-off election in the East Jan. 29.
Francine Ryan is running against incumbent trustee Dennis Donnelly in a run-off election in the East Jan. 29.
Francine Ryan, a 27-year resident of Garden City's East end, is challenging her property owners' association's nomination for village trustee, forcing a run-off election on that side of town Jan. 29 at Stewart School against incumbent trustee Dennis Donnelly.

Ryan, who says the village needs "fresh thinking and new revenue solutions that do not rely on raising taxes," has never run for public office before but said she is passionate about finding solutions.

"I am giving back to the town that has given me so much," said Ryan, a partner of The Ryan Group, an advertising and marketing agency she runs with her husband right here in Garden City.

Her priorities are three-fold: reduce village taxes, improve communication from village government and ensure representation for every resident and business.

"Whether day-to-day operations or emergencies, I will be a visible trustee who will demand information, answers and decisions and I will keep you informed and involved," Ryan said. "As your trustee I will listen, understand your concerns, work for your interests and be proactive in strategic planning, problem solving and decision making for the village."

In 2010, Ryan founded Eastern Property Owners for Saving St. Paul's, an advocacy group to support an alternative to demolition. "It's no secret I'm a supporter of St. Paul's," she said. "I do feel there is a solution."

Ryan says she is not a one-issue candidate. "There are so many issues in this town that need to be addressed that St Paul's is just the tip of the iceberg," she said. Ryan said she vows to work toward the creation of new revenue resources and reduce spending so that the tax burdens are shifted from our residents without cutting essential services.

She recently spoke out against the vote to eliminate staffing at satellite fire stations, applauding Mayor Don Brudie for being the sole member of the board to vote against the move.

"The closing of the firehouses was done without any risk assessment. It
was done without any communication to the village," she told Patch. "More than half of the fires happen at night. We all know what happened on Kenwood Road. For every extra minute of response time fire doubles in size. That's a big deal."

Ryan estimates 97 percent of folks she's spoken to on the campaign trail have no idea the fire stations will be unmanned. "You can send out a flier about flushing fire hydrants but you can't about closing firehouses?" she asked. "It's all about communication. My opponent is on the Public Information Committee. Imagine that."

The working mom of three said she has more than 30 years of experience in private sector budget management, revenue enhancement and strategic planning. "My experience will enable me to represent your interests and those of our local business community," she said, adding, "There's a way to handle things with common sense. I'd really like to learn as much as I can about every aspect of every committee. Listen to people and figure out what their concerns are. It's really important to understand what people really think."

A run-off election will be held Jan. 29 at Stewart School; times to be announced.
Jack O'Niel January 04, 2013 at 04:12 PM
This is of course a one-issue candidate and the second attempt in recent years to load the deck with pro-St. Paul's people. The no-matter-what-it-takes attitude and self-righteousness behavior of the St. Paul's supporters is frightening. It's just a building and if you want to save it so badly buy it from the Village and use your own money. I bet they could buy it for a buck.
Jack O'Niel January 04, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Oh and the Kenwood comment is ridiculous because the Fire Dept didn't cause the hurricane and they certainly aren't in charge of moving trees out of the road. Nice one though, you scared me into voting for you and spending millions of dollars to fix that piece of crap building located on Stewart Avenue.
john January 04, 2013 at 05:21 PM
if anyone remebers St Pauls was purchased by the village for the fields and to" Preserve" a piece of Garden City History and to develop it commercially to pay for both the fields and preservation., 17 years of incompedent stewardship of the whole thing. Are you not tired of seeing the same names year after year runnjng this village? they take a year or 2 off go back to their POAs and then back again. give someone else a chance??? This Gentlemens Agreement looks like something out of Downton Abbey
Bill Sweeney January 05, 2013 at 12:05 AM
While I do love Downton Abbey...I think it's time to shake things up. Too many of the same issues go unaddressed while issues like the firehouse staffing is done in near secrecy. Don't say it wasn't b/c there was a slick little mention in a corner somewhere in the news. St. Paul's, downtown development, cost cutting, quality of life improvements, settling the Social Services and Ring Rd. property issues, reducing lanes of traffic and increasing stop signs and lights...too many issues to list here.
Bill Sweeney January 05, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Oh yeah...do I get a rebate check for all the oodles of cash we're saving wit the firehouse staffing changes?
Christine Wood January 05, 2013 at 12:54 AM
This is TOTALLY a one-issue candidate. She, along with the entire CSSP committee, would rather see St. Paul's sit idle as it is now -- a useless dusty old vase sitting on the fireplace mantle of this village for 20+ years. If you're truly interested in revenue generation, it's time you and your committee realize St. Paul's could've been used for revenue generation years ago but instead is sucking all of us residents dry of our time and money. Time to get your heads out of your fantasy world thinking anyone is ever going to foot the bill for St. Paul's. We need a useful, practical and profit-generating strategy for its use to benefit current and future generations. Christine
John Newcomb January 05, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Wonderful to see a challenge. Francine has a wealth of ideas and fresh thinking that goes beyond St. Pauls. Thank you Francine for having the courage to step to the plate. Ignore the booing and hit the home run.
Geraldine Moratti January 05, 2013 at 02:23 PM
I've been around for a long time. I've served and volunteered for many things in Garden City Village. I've never heard of Francine Ryan. I've seen what Dennis Donnelly has done to help Garden City. I can't believe there are people who haven't read and seen the discussions about the staffing of the firehouses. But I have seen enough about St. Paul's to understand there are people who want what they want without any thought to others. Go away Ms. Ryan!!!
FrancineLyan January 05, 2013 at 06:04 PM
If you really wanted to learn about every aspect of every committee and get involved, what have you been doing the last 30 years you have lived here. Oh yeah, I forgot, you started The Eastern Properties Owners to Save St Paul's. That has been such a helpful group to our community, It has really changed things. Please stop telling your lies and own up to the truth.


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