With the November 3rd elections just around the corner, it’s time for MyRye.com to introduce you to the candidates looking for your vote. This is your city and your election, so tell us what you think of the candidates and of our coverage. Leave your comments below.
Today we introduce you to city council candidate Suzanna S.Keith.
Your Name: Suzanna S.Keith
Position You’d Like To Have: Rye City Council Member
Your Day Job:Owner, SKconcepts Rye, NY. With 21 years of marketing experience, Suzanna has built her own consulting business focusing on new product launches and development of consumer brands ranging in size from $5 million to $500 million. Her expertise is researching consumer insights and building on these insights to drive long-term strategic direction in all aspects of brand management, from analyzing the financials to initiating manufacturing production to developing the consumer and trade advertising. Running a small business, has given Suzanna flexibility to work on making Rye a better place while nurturing and caring for her family.
If MyRye.com asked your co-workers for one word to describe you, what one word would they use?
Candidate closing statement at The Osborn Debate (October 19, 2009):
Your Political Affiliation:
Why are you running for elected office?
After careful analysis, I have decided to seek the office of Rye City Council Member because I am committed to making life in Rye sustainable for all our citizens. Many of our neighbors currently struggle to afford to live in Rye. It is imperative that we keep life here affordable for everyone, from young families to empty-nesters, to seniors, by lowering the tax burden on our citizens while at the same time maintaining a good quality of life.
City elections are coming up this fall. What should we know about the elections this fall? Who else on the ticket are you supporting?
I am running on the Change For Rye Ticket with Doug French for Mayor, Peter Jovanovich, Richard Fillipi and myself for City Council.
What are the three most important issues facing Rye over the next five years?
1. Control Spending/Freeze Taxes Growing frustration exists that the cost to live in Rye is far outpacing the basic services people expect in return.
2. Restore Management Discipline The constant turnover in City Managers and other key City staff has damaged our government’s ability to efficiently plan and act.
3. Prioritize Infrastructure Improvements Our streets are decaying and many sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are unsafe. Much of Rye remains in constant danger of flooding. We need long term plans.
Rye sustained $80 million in damage in the April 15, 2007 flood. Is Rye prepared for the next “100 Year” flood? What are the most important things we need to do to prepare, how much will they cost and how should Rye pay for them?
Rye needs to be better prepared for the next 100 year flood.
1. Need a big picture plan including further analysis of other upstream ponds, protection of wetlands and responses of neighboring communities
2. Install a Sluicegate at Bowman Dam: cost listed in CIP on city website and to be funded by the county
3. Resizing of other ponds of Bowman Dam: Cost listed in CIP, a combination of state, county and city funds and other funding sources to be analyzed
Teachers in Rye public schools have been operating without a contract for over two years due to a stalemate between Rye’s Board of Education and the Rye Teacher’s Association. What specifically should be done to resolve this stalemate, if anything?
This issue is the business of the Board of Education.
Grade Rye’s handling of the following issues over the last two years on an A, B, C, D or F scale
Flooding and flood mitigation (Bowman Avenue dam, Elm Place Wall, Central Avenue Bridge, etc.) – B
Need a long term plan and need to repair the Central Ave Bridge ASAP
Fiscal responsibility including taxes, budgeting and labor relations (Overall budget, taxes, litigation) – C
Cut spending and freeze taxes
Public works including condition of sidewalks and roads and snow, leaf, garbage and recycling removal – B
Improve and prioritize
Safety including policing, fire and traffic – B
Need a long term plan on improving pedestrian safety
Schools including quality and labor relations NA
Board of Education handles
Public recreation including parks and recreational programs – A
Doug French as Head of the Rye Rec Commission has done an outstanding job
What are your three greatest contributions to Rye?
1. Leading the Twig Organization out of bankruptcy to become a new entity The Twig Inc., which has now purchased Rye, Rye Brook, PortChester EMS two new ambulances
2. Handling tough budget issues and introducing the Wellness Committee, Earth Week, Wellness Week, No Idling Week, Walk to School Week, Traffic Safety Pledge and Traffic School, and 5-Year Strategic Plan as Co-President of Midland PTO
3. Serving on the Rye Playland Commission and volunteering with the Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye
What are the three best reasons to live in Rye?
1. The quality of Life
2. The caring neighbors
3. The great schools
Where can we find you on a Saturday morning?
At the children’s sports games
1. Piazza Pizza, love all the pizza
2. Sunrise Pizza, love the chicken pizza, Alex and his team are super nice and drive to get take out
3 Longfords ice cream is a must for the children
What is your favorite restaurant in Rye for a family meal?
We love everything at Water Moon
Where do you live in Rye?
4 Cope Circle
How else are you involved in the community?
• Co-President, Midland PTO, 2007-2009 – Introduced the Wellness Committee, Earth Week, Wellness Week, No Idling Week, Walk to School Week, Traffic Safety Pledge and Traffic School, and 5-Year Strategic Plan
• Playland Commission, 2002-2006
• Rye Republican Party, past District leader and Volunteer, 1999-current
• Lobbied NY State Legislature on “domestic violence issues” for New York Junior League, 1997
• Intern, Congressman James Quillen (R-TN), Washington DC, 1986
• Intern, James Sasser (D-TN), Washington, DC, 1986
Not for Profit
• Founding Member of The Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye, 2007-2009
o Event Chair, Downtown Recycling Awareness Event, October 2009
• Chairwoman, The Twig Organization of New York United Hospital, 2004-2005
o Led organization in forming The Twig Inc., and served as President, 2005-2006
• Ex-Officio Trustee of United Hospital, as 1st Vice Chair of the Twig Organization, 2002-2004
• Co-President, 37th Twig, 2000-2002
• Co-President, Rye Newcomers, 2000-2001 and Board member, 1998-2001
• Fundraising Manager, Board of Mangers of the New York Junior League, 1997-1999
• Outstanding Volunteer, the New York Junior League, 2000
• Resurrection Church Volunteer and member, 1997-current
• Supporter and friend of The Rye Arts Center, The Rye Free Reading Room, The Rye Nature Center, Rye Recreation, The Rye Historical Society, Rye Youth Council, Open Door, SUNY Purchase Arts Center, Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester EMS, and The Carver Center
Tell us your contact information:
Your web site: http://www.changeforrye.com
Your phone: 914-915-753
Your email address: email@example.com
Your Twitter account: on our changeforrye.com
Your Facebook account: Change for Rye