Election 2023

Cindrich Looks for Return Against Abzun in Mt. Kisco Mayor Race

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In the past 15 years a contested mayor’s race in Mount Kisco has been rare, but 2023 has been an unusual year politically for the village.

A split within the Democratic Committee resulted in a majority of party leaders endorsing Tom Luzio for mayor over the sitting Deputy Mayor Lisa Abzun. Abzun then outlasted Luzio in the primary.

In 2017, current outgoing Mayor Gina Picinich ran as an independent and ousted 14-year Democratic incumbent Michael Cindrich. Now it’s Cindrich who is looking to make a comeback on an independent line, the Village Inclusive Party, against Abzun, who was appointed two years ago to fill a vacancy, then won an uncontested race last year.

Abzun said her lifelong Mount Kisco roots, involvement in the community and most recently as a trustee and deputy mayor under Picinich has given her the tools to seamlessly step into the role and lead the village into the future.

“I’m not the person who wants to bring us back 10 years, I’m not the person who wants to bring us back 20 years and I also see what happened and what didn’t happen during those times,” when Cindrich was mayor, said Abzun, the owner of a landscape company.

Since 9/11, there was no emergency management plan, despite Cindrich being a career law enforcement professional, and there was inadequate investment in infrastructure to help keep taxes low, she said.

Cindrich is attempting to have another go at the mayor’s seat six years after his defeat. The proposed cell tower relocation may have been the most compelling issue, but he also urged the board to incrementally phase in its leaf blower regulations and spoke out against retail marijuana shops and lounges.

“After the 2017 election, I stood back and gave the board the opportunity and time to feel their own way,” said Cindrich. “I disagreed with a few things that were going on but I didn’t want to take the first line.”

Following the cell tower issue, Cindrich felt it was time to get out on the front lines again. The decision for a 2018 zoning text change to allow solar arrays and ultimately a cell tower into the Conservation District, including the 25 acres at 180 S. Bedford Rd., paved the way for the cell tower fight, Cindrich said.

While the village does have service challenges in certain areas, Cindrich said he disputed those who have argued that it’s also to help emergency services communication. He’s concerned about the lack of clarity facing the village with 5G service.

Abzun said the large number of residents, businesses and medical facilities use great amounts of capacity in addition to the coverage gaps, an issue that was highlighted in the telecommunications’ consultant report.

She has repeatedly argued that her support to examine Leonard Park was due diligence on the board’s part. Officials gave the possibility a year, then abandoned any further consideration.

“What keeps getting lost is that there are five people on the board and we’re all with an equal vote and we all voted, with the exception of Anne (Bianchi) not to go ahead, but four of us decided to see whether or not it would work,” Abzun said.

Since coming onto the board, Abzun said she has worked to help make Mount Kisco safer for pedestrians. As the village waits for long-term suggestions through the AKRF study, there will be two locations that will get crosswalks next spring, the entrance to Shoppers Park and Barker Street and North Bedford Road.

She has also been a proponent of ADU legislation to create more units that are reasonably affordable to a single person or couple and giving homeowners a chance for extra income. There are various issues regarding setbacks and safety that still have to be resolved before any public hearing.

“This is something that we really want to make sure we get right, and if it’s something that the community feels that they want, we will find that out,” Abzun said.

Cindrich said he is against ADUs in the village because of lack of space, overcrowding and to protect the single-family zones.

“We’re adamantly opposed to it,” he said. “We’re a community with some overarching issues now and we have one-family zones that people are very proud of.”

One of those issues is dealing with the homeless that migrate between downtown, the trails and Leonard Park. Cindrich is a proponent of hiring a ranger to see if that could alleviate the situation.

The former mayor also pointed to his work in bringing Home Goods to the village and helping to move Party City to a portion of the former Borders site.

Abzun supports using DPW personnel on the trails because trash and obstructions are an issue, not just the homeless population. A ranger would be under control of the county.

She dismissed a narrative some in the village are presenting that Mount Kisco is threatened with a public safety issue. But new businesses continue to open, which runs counter to that argument, Abzun said.

“Not only do we have large chains but we have people, small businesses that are putting their money into our community,” said Abzun.

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