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Sunday, August 14, 2022
Home Government Hurd's MyRye.com Candidate Q&A

Hurd’s MyRye.com Candidate Q&A

Tune in all week long for Rye City Council candidate question & answer interviews.

Your Name: Emily Hurd

What Rye office are you running for: Rye City Council

Hurd head shot DSC_0730 (1)

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

HURD: I listen to NPR when I can, and read the NY Times, the Huffington Post and Skimm’d every morning. 

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

HURD: I don’t read to keep up with friends. I make plans to see them.

SEARS: What political leaders of today do you admire and why?

HURD: Having spent the better part of three years in Tunisia, North Africa, working with human rights groups, I admire the leaders of two trade unions there – UGTT and UTICA – both part of the “Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.” This Quartet received the Nobel Prize in 2015 for the groups' decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the country’s 2011 Revolution. The Quartet, formed in 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing and the country was on the brink of civil war, was instrumental in enabling Tunisia to create a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief.

SEARS: Why are you running for office?

HURD: Rye deserves a City Council that addresses and anticipates the community's needs. This Council is slow to respond to issues such as overdevelopment, flooding, streets and sidewalks as well as the character and vibrancy of our downtown. This creates a frustrated public and a City that fails to maintain high-quality infrastructure and a strong sense of community. I will work to control taxes, maintain services, address quality of life issues and respond to residents efficiently and effectively.

SEARS: Why are you running for office now

HURD: Rye stands at a crossroad. In one direction is the status quo: a City Council that is slow to respond to residents' concerns. Slow to take advantage to opportunities to ease residents' tax burden. Slow to protect Rye's quality of life, its historic houses and its downtown business district's vibrancy. In the other direction is a City Council that listens to residents and works to ensure that well-maintained infrastructure, pedestrian-friendly streets, lovely public spaces and first-rate municipal services are provided economically. On Election Day this November 3, Rye voters will get to choose between keeping the City government as it is now, or infusing it with new responsiveness and energy. My running mates, Danielle and Jeff, and I are running to bring you that responsive, energetic and effective City Council. We intend to address Rye's challenges when they emerge, not when it is too late. It's time to make our voices heard.

SEARS: What are the three most important issues in Rye City heading into 2016?


  1. Public Safety. We need to address a fire department that is “staffed for failure” by hiring additional professional fire fighters. We also need to make the safety of our children a top priority and create truly safe routes to school.
  2. Infrastructure. What would have been routine maintenance projects now require total upgrades because of the City Council’s failure to fix problems when they emerge.  My running mates and I will be aggressive about applying for state and federal funding for necessary infrastructure improvements such as sewer upgrades, fixing the potholes on City streets, improving and adding sidewalks and continuing to address flood mitigation to defray the expense of these necessary costs.
  3. Creating a new Master Plan that reflects a community-wide effort to find a balance between rational, sustainable development and damaging overdevelopment.

SEARS: What are the three of the most important capital projects that need to be funded in 2016 and how much does each one cost?

HURD: See my answer above regarding infrastructure. Cost estimates will have to be vetted through the City's capital budget process when actual projects are scoped-out and properly estimated. Speculating outside this analysis is not appropriate. However, while I can’t speak to cost estimates, I can provide for some thoughts for funding the projects.

  1. We may need to pay for additional fire professionals but increases in efficiency through technology upgrades at City Hall may help us cut costs and create room for these needed additions to our public safety infrastructure. Plus, the City’s 2015 budget included the addition of 4 paid firefighters to be hired by October 1, 2015. As for pedestrian safety, luckily much of the planning work has been done by the Rye Shared Roadways Committee in 2011. Working from that highly researched and thoughtful plan, we can take immediate steps to implement important safety measures if elected. Anonymous donors have offered to pay for a significant part of a Forest Avenue sidewalk. I think if we send out a flyer offering sidewalk squares with a family’s name on it, we could privately fund the installation or improvement of sidewalks where necessary in all of Rye. In addition, we can utilize the bond money that residents overwhelmingly approved for such projects in 2012.
  2. As for infrastructure, we should be looking at state and federal grants such as the NY State Infrastructure Improvement Program. Rye could apply for some of the $200M that will be allocated over the next three years for municipal infrastructure improvement programs. Certainly, an award from this program would not pay for an upgraded sewer system but it will help defray the cost. And preventing the continued drainage of sewer water into the Long Island Sound is an urgent and important goal for the City of Rye. 
  3. Since we are now a Climate Smart Community, we are eligible for the NYSERDA program Cleaner Greener Communities' competitive grant process with up to $90M to provide towards regional projects that support regional sustainability goals. If our City would commit to including market-transforming sustainability initiatives that accelerate the adoption of sustainable planning and development practices, we could use such an award towards the creation of an updated Master Plan.

SEARS: Please answer the following questions yes or no.



Yes or No

Optional: one sentence explanation.

Rye Playland is a pawn in county politics



Rye Playland is does not need to be re-invented by anyone, leave it alone


Playland needs capital support, probably from an outside manager but current operations have improved in the last two years.

Rye Playland will be in good hands with Standard Amusements


Yet to be seen.

Rye Town Park should be controlled (or owned) by Rye City


More control by the City of Rye would be better for residents of Rye but the park is jointly owned with the Town and any major changes require cooperation and agreement of both entities.

Rye City is prepared for the next “100 year” flood



Rye City should have additional restrictions on residential development


Well thought out adjustments that balance the needs of the community need to be discussed and analyzed.

Rye City property taxes are too high



Rye City needs to reduce its deer population by active management including sharp shooters or bow hunting


Rye needs to reduce its deer population.

Rye City needs additional professional fire fighters



The Starwood project on the Port Chester boarder is generally a good idea


A project much smaller in scope than the one currently contemplated may be a good idea.

Rye Golf Club is better but still a mess and needs aggressive oversight


Rye Golf Club has had bad luck in the last year.

Rye City parking downtown is a serious mess and has a negative impact on local business and residents enjoying downtown


We have heard this loud and clear from Rye residents during our campaign.

Rye City paid meter parking downtown has a negative impact on local business and on residents enjoying downtown


We should review the costs and benefits of the current system.

Rye City has a serious issue with residents texting while driving and remediation steps need to be taken


This is a problem everywhere. Residents of Rye should put down their phones while driving.

Rye City should be more pedestrian and bike friendly



Tell us more about you:

SEARS: What do you do for your day job and how is it relevant to serving Rye City?

HURD: I am a stay at home mom and actively involved in a variety of community organizations. As a result, my finger is on the pulse of what families with young kids would like to see happen in their community.

SEARS: Tell us about your family, why you moved to Rye and how many years you have lived in Rye.

HURD: My husband and I are raising three young boys, the oldest, Jack, is 5, Charlie is 3 and my youngest, George, will be two in December. We chose Rye over neighboring towns because of its strong sense of community, exceptional schools and charming downtown. From the moment we pulled up to our new home on Green Ave and all the moments since, I knew we had come to the right place

SEARS: What are your three favorite Rye traditions?


  1. Rye Fire Department’s Annual Memorial Day service at the Fire Monument
  2. Reading of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July
  3. Cheering on the athletes at Green Ave and Forest Ave as they near the finish of the Westchester Tri.

SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go? [1-3 sentences]

HURD: I would take my mom to Cuba. She has always wanted to go.

SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?

HURD: Cancer research. My husband is a survivor and it affects too many of us.

SEARS: What are your three favorite Rye restaurants?

HURD:  On the Way Cafe for their chicken wrap, Aurora for Tuesday Wine Night and their Chicken Scarpariello and Piazza for a pepperoni pie. For a dinner at home I'd need a beef tenderloin from Crisfields, twice baked potatoes from Country Store, and the Balsamic Vinaigrette from June & Ho to top off greens from the Rye Farmer's Market.

Thanks Emily!


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