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Rene Atayan and Betsy Harding, Chairs of Bronxville Political Parties, Get Ready for Contested Village Election on March 21 PDF Print Email


By Carol P. Bartold

Feb. 15, 2017: For the first time since 2006, the annual Bronxville Village election will be a contested one. Three candidates have been nominated to compete for two seats on the Bronxville Board of Trustees.

The village election will be held on Tuesday, March 21, at Bronxville Village Hall. Polls will open at 6:00 am and close at 9:00 pm.

Incumbents Robert Underhill and Randolph Mayer, both nominated at the January 30 Republican Party caucus, face a challenge from attorney and first-time candidate Elizabeth Calderon, nominated by the Democratic Party at its January 28 caucus.

Underhill seeks his seventh term as trustee, while Mayer will run for his second. Mayor Mary Marvin will run unopposed for her seventh term. The mayor and trustees elected will serve for two years.

Betsy Harding, chair of the Bronxville Democratic Party, noted a "very charged political atmosphere right now" in which many people are interested in and paying attention to political matters."

"Calderon came to the caucus and said she would like to run," Harding said. "She's qualified and has the experience to serve. We talked about it and we nominated her." Harding added that Calderon comes to her candidacy with experience in local government, having served as a commissioner in the Town of Surfside, Florida.

Rene Atayan, chair of the Bronxville Republican Party, pointed out that Bronxville, due in large part to its incumbent leadership, has successfully dealt with a number of severe economic pressures in recent years. "Our mayor and trustees, all of whom have long-term experience in the village, have successfully maintained low taxes and high-quality public services," she said. She listed a low crime rate and continuous improvements to the village's aging infrastructure as prime examples of their accomplishments.

While Harding noted that Democratic candidates have historically not fared particularly well in village elections, she stated, "There is a real groundswell of support for Democratic positions. Perhaps it will translate to the local level and people will want a fresh face."

Atayan said that the Republican Party feels that the current officeholders have a strong track record that speaks for itself. "Their efforts go beyond quality of life," she noted, "and set the foundation for our community's long-term sustainability and high property values."

Both Atayan and Harding see a contested election as an opportunity for voters to give serious consideration to their choices on Election Day. Voters are urged to research the candidates and their records.

Atayan pointed out that a village the size of Bronxville faces extraordinary fiscal pressure. "Our governing bodies must be exceedingly thoughtful and judicious about every decision they make. One wrong decision can literally bankrupt a community such as ours," she said.

Pictured here:  Betsy Harding, chair of the Bronxville Democratic Party (top), and Rene Atayan, chair of the Bronxville Republican Party.

Photos by N. Bower and A. Warner



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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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