Michael J. Grace, former town attorney for the town of Yorktown and partner in the litigation firm of Grace & Grace has announced his run for office.
He will enter the race for Yorktown Town Supervisor and will petition to primary incumbent Supervisor Susan Siegel, who is the Republican endorsed candidate.
Grace, the legal counsel to the town for 16 years, said he is familiar with the town’s regulatory structure as well as the history, purposes and intents of those regulations.
"The town of Yorktown has become moribund, primarily because of the unfortunate long term dysfunction of the Town Board," Grace said in his statement. " And probably more importantly because of the town’s antiquated regulatory infrastructure which has proven to be unresponsive to the town’s present and future needs."
The problem, he said, is that the town is suffering the consequences of a town board that "has been unwilling, incapable or oblivious with respect to the need to keep pace with the challenges faced by the dual interests of promoting local economic prosperity and preserving our quality of life and the unique character of our town."
He also spoke about the pending legislation mandating affordable housing in Yorktown, which he said will put a burden on the taxpayers.
"At a time when many are struggling just to keep their homes it is uncanny that the town board seeks to enact legislation mandating affordable housing set asides that past experience proved to be costly to the town while serving no discernible public benefit," he said.
Grace said he is "annoyed" with the way the town operates, and even if he does not win, at least he would have raised those issues. He is opposed to the town acquiring properties, and gave an example with the Shallow Creek golf course. He also spoke about the empty store fronts and the need to change that.
“The evidence of the failure of our regulatory structure is the blight of empty stores and abandoned, vacant lots lining our major commercial thoroughfares and commercial centers," he said adding that the town should re-examine its recent practice of purchasing land, which due to environmental constraints has minimal developmental potential.
"The acquisition of which comes atgreat expense to the Yorktown taxpayers, already struggling to keep pace with the local property tax demands," Grace said.
The reason why he's running, he said, is to make a difference and that he was prompted by the dismay with the decisions and direction the town has taken over the past few years.
Grace and his wife Lisa live in Yorktown. The couple has seven children and one grandson.