Although former Larchmont trustee and deputy mayor Anne McAndrews took a brief respite from the town board in 2011, her involvement in the village during which she has also served as president of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck League of Women Voters (LWV) and, more recently, as chair of the Village of Larchmont Democratic Party.
In 2012, however, McAndrews will be back on the ballot, running unopposed on the Democratic ticket for Josh Mandell’s vacated mayoral seat.
The Boston-born retired attorney and mother of five admits that she’s always been intrigued by the intricacies of politics, an interest that made local government a natural fit.
“The League of Women Voters was my lifeline,” she said, referring to her early involvement in local politics.
And with Larchmont facing some of the same challenges as many other municipalities statewide—balancing mandated costs associated with pension and health benefits in the wake of a two percent tax cap—keeping a close watch on budgetary expenses will be a necessity.
“It’s a biggie for future costs in the village,” McAndrews said, adding that a drastic measure like putting a freeze on future hires is just not a realistic option for the village.
She was quick to give credit to Mandell, however, for his recent salary negotiations with both the and , the lowest in 25 years.
“The village is left in a very good position,” she said, adding that future cost-saving measures might include incentives to employees for retirement and sharing additional services with the town.
Although the village hasn’t emerged completely unscathed from the financial downturn, McAndrews believes that, given the cyclical nature of retail and the volume of pedestrian traffic through the area, the road toward success won’t be a long one.
“We need forward and creative thinking to establish retail in these areas—how do you survive,” she said, pointing to the prevalence of home renovations being done locally as evidence of a turnaround.
McAndrews also envisions—if elected mayor—potentially hiring an administrator to manage the town day-to-day, similar to what is already in place in the Town of Mamaroneck.
“There are very few villages that do not have professional management,” she said.
Ultimately, though, McAndrews said her years of experience will serve her well in office, if elected.
“Everything changes and stays the same—I know to look at everything freshly, “ she said, continuing, “You have to open your eyes to how new circumstances may change anytime.”
Election Day is Mar. 20 and polls will be open at Village Hall from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. The mayor and two trustees will be elected.