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Friday, December 9, 2022
Home Government Rye Candidates: The Josh Cohn Ten-Minute Interview

Rye Candidates: The Josh Cohn Ten-Minute Interview

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Your Name: Josh Cohn

I’m running for: I am running for mayor. 

I am: I am a challenger

What is your political affiliation?  I have no political party affiliation. I am running on the Democratic, Independence, Working Family and Women’s Equality Party lines.

MyRye.com: Why are you running?

Cohn: I am running to provide Rye with better, truly non-partisan government — open and responsive to citizens, fiscally-focused and eager to make real progress with Rye’s real issues. So many people have told me they have been disappointed when they have turned to City government for help – from those concerned about flooding or rock-chipping to those facing Starwood at the United Hospital site. Many are also deeply concerned that our present Mayor and Council- majority seem detached from the 7% tax increase they just levied, without having any apparent plan to avoid more of same in the future. And all the while, Mayor and City Council-majority remain willing to consider outlandishly expensive projects, like moving DPW. At the same time, we are not catching up with things Rye residents know they need — like suitable central business district parking, road repairs, you name it. . . .

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(PHOTO:Moving Rye Forward team of  team of Sara Goddard, Ben Stacks, Josh Cohn and Julie Souza.)      

MyRye.com: Why are you running now?

Cohn: My own experience of Rye’s government over the past year and a half of close interaction has been disappointing. The City’s response to citizens concerned about Crown Castle has been unwelcoming and on occasion simply nasty. I have attended many City Council meetings and know this is not how local government should be, not with respect to the mini-cell towers or the other matters I have followed in Council meetings and in conversation with involved residents. I have lived in Rye for 26 years and care for the City. I am mostly retired from the active practice of law. I have the time, the energy and the determination. I am volunteering to make things better.

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MyRye.com: What are the three most important issues facing the City of Rye?

Cohn:

  • Improved Fiscal Management – We have vastly exceeded the tax cap with this year’s 7% tax increase. It appears that the City will need to do the same this coming year. The City has not shown that it can manage ever-increasing employee costs. Nor has the City shown interest in improving our sources of non-property tax City revenue. The City has been neglecting opportunities for grants and aid. We can expect substantial capital project needs in coming years, those now on our capital improvements list and those still to be thought out, like repair of aged sewer lines. We need to do some serious fiscal thinking.

  • Open and Responsive Government – The people of Rye deserve a government that respects them and their concerns, and that better involve Rye’s terrifically skilled residents in its processes. This means more than just a change in demeanor in the Council chamber. This means prompt responses to issues and a willingness to work with citizens, through existing committees and commissions, and through issue-specific groups as appropriate.

  • Infrastructure Improvements – This is a broad issue – ranging from road repairs, to pedestrian safety, to sewers, to recreational facilities. The recently completed Smith-Purchase Street intersection project was already a neatly planned package when Joe Sack took office. Yet it took the Sack administration four years to execute. We need to move faster on a range of fronts.

MyRye.com: Describe your government and civic experience.

Cohn:  In my 36-year legal practice, I worked on complex financial transactions and related regulatory problems. I participated in drafting statutes and regulations. I frequently interacted with federal agencies and congressional staff. Over the past year and a half, I have been a leader of the citizens’ group opposing the invasion of mini-cell towers and a co-founder of Protect Residential Rye. Accordingly, I have regularly attended and participated in City Council meetings, learning how things work and how they don’t. I am ready to be mayor. Our city manager/city council form of government is intended to invite change in citizen leadership. It is now time for a change.

MyRye.com: What’s one nice thing you can say about your opponents?

Cohn:  Anyone who runs for City Council or serves on a commission or committee for the City deserves to be commended for their willingness to serve.

MyRye.com: What’s your favorite local pizzeria? 

Cohn:  There is a galaxy of great pizzas within Rye – with differences to be cherished and enjoyed as the moment dictates.

MyRye.com: What’s your favorite local restaurant for a casual meal with family? 

Cohn:  Favorite local restaurant for a casual meal with family – Over the past 26 years, the restaurant offerings in Rye have grown tremendously, while old favorites have remained. We enjoy all the casual restaurants in town and would not dare to say we prefer one over the other.

MyRye.com: Why did you choose to live in Rye?

Cohn: Friends living in Rye recommended it. We chose it for its physical beauty and quiet, its schools and its easy commute to midtown Manhattan. Of course, my job moved down to the World Trade Center after only a year in Rye – but Rye was a keeper, nonetheless.

Your Practicing Law Institute profile: Josh Cohn

Your Facebook page: MovingRyeForward

Your campaign web site: MovingRyeForward.com

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