PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill Daily Voice will publish candidate profiles for those running in local elections on Tuesday Nov. 5.
Republican Chris Hanzlik is running for Peekskill Common Council. He is a former city council member and a licensed professional civil engineer.
Why are you running for office?
Because changes need to be made to the fiscal and economic development policies of the current administration. Their policies have negatively affected the taxpayers of Peekskill and have put the City on very unstable ground.
For the last six years, the Foster administration has run fiscal operating deficits totaling $16 million - $14.7 Million based on the 2008-2012 audits, plus $1.3 Million for 2013 as reported by the City Manager letter presenting the 2014 Budget. As a result, they have completely depleted the $8 Million in undesignated reserves funds left in 2008, including $3.5 Million that was set aside in 2008-2009 to offset the anticipated increases in health care and pension costs that hit in 2011. In addition, the Foster administration has increased the City’s debt through bonding and financing by $18 Million between 2008 and 2013 - $10 Million this year alone!
In terms of economic development, while the Foster administration is claiming a certain number of “new” businesses that have opened and other that have expanded over the last six years, there has been hardly any increase in the tax base and subsequently tax revenues to offset their increased expenses. An infusion of private development and investment on a much larger scale is needed.
How long have you lived in Peekskill for?
My wife Esther and I moved to Peekskill in November 1994, so we have lived here for just about 19 years.
What do you love about Peekskill?
What makes it the best place to live in Westchester? I love three things about Peekskill; its cultural diversity, its affordability compared to just about every other Westchester community, and its waterfront and the potential that it has to be the best on the Hudson River.
Do you have favorite restaurants or favorite places to shop?
Recently, my wife and I have enjoyed going to both Birdshall House and Gleason’s, but we also love 12 Grapes and the Peekskill Brewery. Of course, we can’t forget Homestyle Desserts. For shopping in town, we spend a lot of time at the Beach Shopping Center.
What does Peekskill mean to you?
Although I was not born and raised in Peekskill, it is my hometown. My wife and I got married here, we have raised our family here. I’ve always believed that Peekskill has the potential to be the best small city not only in Westchester, but in all of New York.