Sunday, July 15, 2007

Our "Putting Peekskill First" Campaign Is Rapidly Gathering Steam

Dear Peekskill Friends and Neighbors:

Thanks for taking the time to visit our website. A lot has happened in the brief period since May 31 when I accepted the Republican nomination for Mayor of Peekskill along with my City Council running mates, Selma Dias-Stewart and City Council members Milagros Martinez and Mel Bolden. In particular, we've developed the key issues of our platform and sought input from a variety of citizens in putting it together. After meeting with many of you, we felt the need to unite Peekskill behind a message that every citizen can support, regardless of party or belief – and that message is:

It's time to "Put Peekskill First."

Citizens from all walks of life and every political affiliation -- Republicans, Independents and Democrats – both long-time residents and newcomers -- have reached out to tell me they are fed up with the mindless partisanship that threatens to bring all progress in our city to a grinding halt.

What does our "Putting Peekskill First" campaign specifically mean?
  • It 's about making out- of-town property owners and absentee landlords who have in the past illegally subdivided and destroyed private homes, start obeying our building, safety and health codes , or be prepared to suffer stiff fines and swift enforcement if they don't.
  • It also means sending a clear message to the many other wealthy Westchester communities who arrogantly and illegally refuse to shoulder their fair share of "affordable", low income housing and other social services for the less fortunate of our county. To these wealthy communities we say, "Don't expect Peekskill to shoulder all your burdens any longer. Now it' s your turn now to do the right thing, as the citizens of Peekskill have done all these years.
  • Every bit as important, we must recognize that our downtown can't properly grow commercially and our tax base can't expand unless we balance out our huge inventory of government-assisted housing with market-rate homes that bring new residents with sufficient disposable income. This step will support and grow our retail businesses throughout the city and provide amenities and prosperity for all Peekskill citizens.
  • Last, our message of "Putting Peekskill First" means that any new residential development, in addition to being market rate and of quality construction, must respect our zoning and building codes and harmonize with its surrounding neighborhood.

These ideas and policies are what a broad-based, common sense, good government platform should be all about – ideas and policies to benefit homeowners and renters, long time residents and newcomers, citizens of all stripes, everyone from our most fortunate to our most needy.

If you have an issue that you would like to discuss, or would like to get involved in our "Putting Peekskill First" campaign, I want to hear from you. Please contact me at, and give me your input. My running mates and I would also be eager to meet with you on any
matter that is important to Peekskill's future.

Look for more updates on this site soon dealing with the critical issues we face as a city. Together we will make a difference to end pointless partisanship and build a community for all by "Putting Peekskill First".


Bill Schmidt