Your Name: Sara Goddard
I’m running for: City Council
I am: A challenger
What is your political affiliation? Democratic. I’m also honored to have received endorsements from the Independence, Working Families and Women’s Equality Parties.
MyRye.com: Why are you running?
Goddard: I love Rye and would be honored to serve this city. I’ve been immersed in every aspect of this community for the twenty years that my family and I have called this exceptional place our home.
It’s time for a change at city hall – one that reflects the true character of our community and is more responsive and reflective of community sentiment. I’m running for city council to restore civility, transparency and productivity to our city government and transform it into one that puts residents first. It’s disheartening to witness discord and see residents with valid concerns who are summarily dismissed.
Not a single day goes by that I don’t work tirelessly for my community, organizations and with my fellow citizens. I’m blessed to have that ability. I would approach the city council position, full time, with the same level of attention. It deserves that and I’m prepared to deliver.
I’ve spent nearly five months walking through every neighborhood in this community, talking to residents, learning from them. I’ve listened. People want change. They want a proactive, representative city government that anticipates and responds to sensitive issues and doesn’t act unilaterally or for specific groups.
(PHOTO:Moving Rye Forward team of team of Sara Goddard, Ben Stacks, Josh Cohn and Julie Souza.)
MyRye.com: Why are you running now?
Goddard: I’ve been dismayed by the heightened rancor in our city government. It doesn’t reflect who we are. We’re better than that. More importantly, it stifles constructive decision-making and productivity. In my municipal work, I’ve worked to achieve success by seeking common ground and financially sustainable solutions. It’s hard and often frustrating work, but it’s worth the effort. Our committee of volunteers has been prolific and productive, all with no city funding. I believe that this formula for success can be translated to the city council platform and I’m committed to making that happen.
MyRye.com: What are the three most important issues facing the City of Rye?
- Fiscal responsibility and stewardship. The city council has voted for a steep 6.73% increase in property taxes that’s particularly hard on seniors and others with fixed income trying to stay in the community, which is why we can’t understand why one capital improvement project – estimated by the city’s consultants to range from $20 to $40 million – is still being considered, 4 months later, as if any of the proposed versions will ever be affordable. For context, our city budget is $37 million and our highest debt issue in the last 30 years has been $4 million. We need improved fiscal managers on the city council.
- A responsive and transparent government that represents all Rye citizens, not specific or special interest groups.
- Representative government that reflects Rye values. As Rye Sustainability chair, I’ve worked well for seven years with all city council members, including my incumbent opponents. Establishing a city council environment that encourages healthy, respectful debate and dialogue isn’t just good manners. It’s productive and it’s what we need to help solve some of our intractable public policy issues.
MyRye.com: Describe your government and civic experience.
Goddard: Public service is very important to me and I’ve been involved in a variety of different ways over the past 20 years. My main focus for seven years has been the Rye Sustainability Committee, which produced the Rye Sustainability Plan. I’ve established a legislative track record by drafting and spearheading legislation that was passed unanimously by city council (including, then council member, Sack). Rye Sustainability has been recognized locally and nationally and our presence has extended beyond Rye’s borders, establishing a network of groups, organizations, and legislators.
My other civic work includes:
- Sustainable Westchester, Founding Board Member, Treasurer, Exec. Committee
- Rye Conservation Commission Advisory Council, Appointee
- NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, Appointee
- Federated Conservationists (FCWC), Vice President
- Rye Garden Club, Board, Conservation Chair
- Carver Center, Annual Benefit Committee
- Rye Nature Center, Auxiliary Board
- Twig Organization, Exec. Committee
- School-related activities: co-chair for book fairs and silent auctions; strategic planning participant and annual fundraising member
MyRye.com: What’s one nice thing you can say about your opponents?
Goddard: We all share a love of our city and I thank them for their desire to serve their community. It involves an enormous amount of work, and I commend them for their commitment to public service.
MyRye.com: What’s your favorite local pizzeria?
Goddard: This is a tough one, because we have so many that are great. I like Sunrise for in-town pizza, but enjoy Piazza (for delivery) and Al Dente (great salads).
MyRye.com: What’s your favorite local restaurant for a casual meal with family?
Goddard: Another difficult question to answer! There are so many excellent restaurants in Rye and we’re fortunate to have so many to choose from. We have a special spot in our hearts for Town Dock for dinner. Rosemary and Vine’s new breakfast menu is outstanding and Ruby’s has incredible service (and burgers). A new go-to place for us is Village Social and I can’t wait for Wine at Five’s new bar to open!
MyRye.com: What’s your favorite local restaurant that delivers?
Goddard: Water Moon is a favorite, but my husband, Taegan, has become our delivery guy!
MyRye.com: How long have you lived in Rye?
Goddard: 20 years
MyRye.com: Why did you choose to live in Rye?
Goddard: I’ve loved Rye from the first time Taegan and I discovered Playland boardwalk and the beach on a tour of Rye with our realtor 20 years ago. The natural beauty of the town, it’s vibrant shopping district and proximity to Long Island Sound were all influencing factors in our decision to live here. It was an added benefit to discover how welcoming the community was and we’ve enjoyed deep friendships with so many Rye residents over the years. We never plan to leave!
Your LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sara-goddard-6402794b/
Your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MovingRyeForward/
Your campaign web site: http://movingryeforward.com/