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