The Northern Westchester Examiner

GOP Supporters Endorse Diana for Yorktown Board Seat

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2014 NWE 1007 Tom Diana Press ConferenceLocal Republican leaders endorsed Tom Diana Friday afternoon in the upcoming election for one of the vacant seats on the Yorktown Town Board.

Diana, who ran unsuccessfully last year as a Democrat for highway superintendent against Dave Paganelli, is seeking to fill the last 14 months or so of Paganelli’s unexpired four-year term. He is being challenged by former Supervisor Susan Siegel, who has Democratic, Conservative and Independence party backing.

A third generation Yorktown resident, Diana, a former local police officer and current owner of a home heating oil business, said he decided to join the Republican Party since his beliefs are more in line with the GOP platform but hoped to receive bipartisan support.

“They have accepted me with open arms,” Diana said of the Yorktown Republicans. “I love this town. I want to continue to move this town forward. We’ve had a lot of loggerhead on the Town Board and I want to break that. I want to make Yorktown a destination, not a place you travel through, but a place you travel to.”

Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said Diana would be “an integral part” of helping keep the town “business-friendly” by moving forward such projects as Costco on Route 202 and Depot Square in downtown Yorktown.

“We want to continue these things going. Last year, we had a split board and everything slowed,” Grace said. “I feel this particular election is critical for the Town of Yorktown.”

Grace then proceeded to rip Siegel, who he unseated in a three-way race in 2011.

“His opponent has a track record. Her track record was abysmal. The only thing that increased was lawsuits, personal fights and vendettas,” Grace remarked. “Morale at Town Hall was at an all-time low. That has all changed. Since Susan Siegel has left, Yorktown has moved forward. We don’t want to go back to what Yorktown was under Susan Siegel.”

Siegel responded to Grace’s criticism by questioning Diana’s ability to be an independent voice on the board.

“A vote for Tom Diana is, in reality, a vote for Michael Grace and a continuation of Grace’s flawed agenda for Yorktown: alienating our parkland, building more empty storefronts for his developer friends, pushing through phony budgets and making decisions behind closed doors,” Siegel asserted. “Throughout the campaign, Tom has been unable to come up with one new idea of his own.  Opposing Common Core isn’t exactly a Yorktown Town Board issue.”

Others who spoke on Diana’s behalf outside Town Hall were Councilman Terrence Murphy, who is running for state Senate this year, Westchester County Legislator John Testa, who lives in Peekskill, and George Oros, a resident of Cortlandt and chief of staff to County Executive Rob Astorino.

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