This year, two members of the Larchmont Board of Trustees will be notably absent from the ballot during the Mar. 15 elections for village trustee. Neither Anne McAndrews nor Richard Ward—both Democrats—will be seeking reelection this year in what will be an uncontested race for Democratic candidates Lorraine Walsh and John Komar who will be filling their seats.
Patch had a moment to speak with the departing trustees about memorable projects while in office as well as their future roles in the community.
Ward was particularly proud of the Flint Park project, a 2008 undertaking that repurposed the existing field for soccer, lacrosse and woman’s field hockey by replacing grass with synthetic turf.
“The thing that I am most proud of, in a sense, is opening up more field space,” Ward noted, continuing, “We were able to increase recreational soccer. There are a lot of kids who really enjoy getting out and playing, and who would not have gotten the opportunity if I had not fought for it.”
Another initiative that had a notable impact—in the form of cost and emissions savings—on the village was McAndrews’ efforts to secure a $75,000 grant for solar panels that were installed on the Department of Public Works (DPW) roof in 2009.
“It supplies a couple thousand dollars worth of energy every year,” she said, citing the immediate cost benefits to the village.
“At the same time, we updated all of the circuit breaker boxes, and received a 50 percent grant toward a little electric vehicle,” she said.
The $16,000 off-road vehicle—a GEM el—was partially financed through a New York Power Authority Green Zones grant, according to the NYPA website. It is used in areas where large trucks cannot go such as across fields and driving through small spaces, and can hold two passengers. It is used so often, McAndrews added, that the DPW is in the process of shopping for a second vehicle.
Reflecting on his reasons for leaving office, Ward noted that not all change is bad, particularly in governing bodies.
“I think that the strength in our system lies in competition,” he said, continuing, “If people aren’t willing to step down after they’ve been there awhile, that is not a healthy situation.”
Although both individuals are leaving their posts, Ward will continue to be involved in volunteer efforts, while McAndrews will continue working with the village on obtaining a grant to have wires placed underground along key roads, including Palmer Avenue.
“We don’t have the money to put wires underground. It is heartbreaking, but it is very, very expensive,” she said, recalling a Con Edison estimate to bury wires along a short stretch of Boston Post Road (from Addison Street to Chatsworth Avenue) that ran $250,000.
“They have to change where the power comes in the buildings along the way,” she said, adding, “But even when times were a little richer than they are now, it still isn’t enough. Aesthetics doesn’t cut it,” she said.
Ward, who decided last summer not to run again, felt that two terms were sufficient for him to accomplish everything he set out to accomplish, adding that, “there were too many things that I wanted to do that other people didn’t want to do, so I didn’t feel like I needed to stay on the board to maintain the status quo.”
Although this will be the “first time when I won’t have a title,” McAndrews will remain engaged in the community where she has served for many years.
“It has been a wonderful experience for me,” said McAndrews, who has been on the board for five terms, since 2000. Her long reign over, she’d like to offer, “other people the fabulous opportunity at serving the village.”