YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- After a bruising election campaign, Yorktown Supervisor-elect Ilan Gilbert is looking forward to taking office on Jan. 1.
"I'm energized," said Gilbert, a Democrat, who defeated Supervisor Michael Grace in November, 51 percent to 49 percent. "I'm excited."
Gilbert said he wanted to run because he felt town government was not being responsive to the needs of individuals.
"I wanted to change the tone of government," Gilbert said. "I believe I can do it."
The transition process between Grace and Gilbert has been rocky. At Grace's final town board meeting on Dec 19, he was admitted there were still some hard feelings and that Gilbert had not contacted him yet aobut a transition.
Gilbert said he sat down with Grace to discuss a transition process but said it was non-productive.
"I wish there was more cooperation with the outgoing administration," Gilbert said. ' I wish we could move forward and do what’s best for town. I've been getting great cooperation from community leaders. I think we'll be able to move the town forward."
When it comes to election victory, Gilbert credits voters who wanted change and said it might have been people reacting to President Donald Trump's election in 2016.
"A record number of people came out to vote," Gilbert said.
As supervisor, one of Gilbert's first initiatives will be to bring back public comment at the beginning of the meeting.
"I promised an open, transparent government that will be responsive to the electorate," Gilbert said. "Residents should be able to voice their concerns without having to stay up late."
Gilbert would also like to tackle the opioid crisis by setting up a commission and work with landlords to fill vacant storefronts.
"People are tired of seeing dysfunctional government on a national level," Gilbert said. "They are tired of seeing government work in a partisan matter and not working for the community.
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