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Abinanti Submits Petition to Challenge Shimsky in Democratic Primary

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Former assemblyman Tom Abinanti made it official last week, submitting a petition to the Westchester County Board of Elections that forces a Democratic primary against incumbent MaryJane Shimsky (D-Dobbs Ferry) in the 92nd Assembly District.

Abinanti, who served six terms in the Assembly until Shimsky defeated him in the June 2022 primary, announced last Tuesday that he had filed his petition with 2,052 signatures, just over four times the minimum number needed to get on the ballot. The primary is scheduled for June 25.

He didn’t answer questions when contacted last week, but last month Abinanti said he was encouraged to run by people in Greenburgh, including Supervisor Paul Feiner, because Shimsky failed to fight against state legislation that would make it easier for Edgemont to incorporate as a village. He said he would make an official announcement in the near future.

Shimsky said that since she won the primary nearly two years ago, she had been told that Abinanti was looking for an issue to justify making a run to recapture his old seat, but the other issues did not take hold.

“When he makes up his mind, no one can talk to him,” Shimsky said of Abinanti. “When you think about it, that’s not a good thing in a legislator.”

If Edgemont were to incorporate as a village, there have been fears by opponents of the move, including Feiner, that it would cause property taxes to skyrocket. There have been at least two formal petitions in the past 20 years to launch the process.

Shimsky was the co-sponsor of two Assembly bills last year to modernize and strengthen the process for village incorporation in New York State. The measures created the requirement of a fiscal and operational study for the prospective village and surrounding town, and established a new commission to assess the viability of incorporation.

The bills also raised the minimum population requirement for a community to incorporate as a village, and eliminated an outdated provision regarding a landowner basis for petitioning, among other steps.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bills before the end of the year, but proposed chapter amendments exempting Edgemont and Greenburgh through 2040. Shimsky said that’s when she opposed the governor, objecting to the 16-year exemption, and voted against the chapter amendments when they returned to the Assembly in January.

Last month, a study by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) was unveiled at a public meeting at Greenburg Town Hall that revealed a nominal tax increase for Edgemont residents and a 0.6 percent tax increase for the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh, far below some of the direst predictions. However, that would assume that Edgemont would not contract all of its major services from the town.

“I have spoken with many in the 92nd Assembly District about the issue and have found overwhelming consensus from them that this is a bad idea for our community,” Shimsky said in a Mar. 25 statement. “While I look forward to seeing CGR’s complete assessment, the study itself was done on a very compressed time frame and with a number of costly items left unexplored. Even so, none of the data they provided has changed my underlying concerns about what this would mean for Greenburgh overall.”

In an e-mailed response to voters on Mar. 28, Abinanti accused Shimsky of “lying” about her vote and her intentions.

“This is blatantly false,” Abinanti charged in his mailer. “Public NYS Assembly documents show that Ms. Shimsky voted for and sponsored Assembly bill A.7761, which effectively excludes the village-incorporation efforts of Edgemont residents from tough new state requirements for the creation of a village.”

Shimksy responded that Abinanti was in office during the two previous Edgemont incorporation attempts, and he did nothing to help Greenburgh protect itself from future problems.

“This whole thing with Edgemont incorporation has been going on for 20 years at least, marking the whole time that Tom was in the Assembly, and you probably noticed he didn’t get any laws put into effect on it during that 12-year period (he was in the Assembly), she said.

The 92nd Assembly District including Mount Pleasant, most of Greenburgh and the northwest corner of Yonkers.









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