A downtown business owner in Peekskill has been chosen to lead the “Stand-up for Peekskill” slate endorsed by the Republican and Conservative committees.
Emiliano Perez, owner and operator of the bakery/restaurant Perla de Oriente Panaderia for the last 14 years, will run for mayor in November. Perez immigrated to the United States from Guatemala in 1996 and began his quest to achieve the American Dream working 12 hours a day washing dishes in a Mount Kisco eatery.
“As a businessman who loves this city, my vision for Peekskill is for it to be fiscally responsible and not waste taxpayer dollars on policies and projects that will not enhance the quality of life, safety and future for every one of our residents,” Perez said. “We must all be caretakers of our city not just for today but moreover for the generations to come.”
Joining Perez on what is being billed as a “non-partisan” ticket for three available seats on the Common Council are Leesther Brown, Ken Gilleo and Bill Moran.
Brown, a 33-year Peekskill resident, is well known for challenging Democrat and Republican administrations over the years at council meetings.
“I believe every citizen should be treated with honesty and respect by those who are elected to the City Council and I don’t care what political party they may be a part of,” Brown said. “I’m registered as an Independent for a reason and that’s because I think local government is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. It’s about being one for all and all for one. Peekskill and its success as a community should be the only thing that matters.”
Gilleo has lived in Peekskill for 28 years. He is Captain of EMS and First Lieutenant with the Montrose Fire Department and is an EMT with the Westchester County Parks Department.
“I believe the most fundamental job of local government is public safety and that will be my highest priority when elected to the Peekskill City Council,” he said.
Moran, a 51-year city resident, was employed by the Peekskill City School District for more than 24 years and retired as a school security guard at Peekskill High School. He also has coached and mentored youth in Peekskill for years.
“During my time with the school district and being a part of many programs run by the city, I saw firsthand how treating everyone equally and fairly is important if you were going to have success with whatever it was you were teaching,” Moran said. “In today’s world, society seems to have forgotten that and I believe this is the primary reason for the problems that we have. Peekskill was a place where everyone felt safe and wanted to walk around and enjoy our beautiful parks and surroundings. I’ll work hard to bring that feeling back to all of our citizens.”
Meanwhile, former City Councilman Joe Torres has thrown his hat back in the ring, this time in a bid to join the Westchester County Board of Legislators as he looks to unseat one-term incumbent Democratic Legislator Colin Smith in District 1.