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Councilwoman Pauline Oliva chooses not to run for reelection.

6 vie for Democratic nominations for Council as Oliva confirms she will not run.

4 seek Republican Council nominations.

Financial credentials reviewed, positions, constituencies and charisma under scrutiny.

By John F. Bailey

CityLine: March 2, 2001: CNR Newsroom

Councilperson Pauline Oliva confirmed to WPCNR this week that she will definitely not seek reelection to her council seat in the November election. She intends to serve out her term which would complete eight years of service to the Common Council.

"I just think it's a time to give someone else a chance," Ms. Oliva told WPCNR, when asked her reasons for not running. "I have other things I want to do with my life."

Oliva said she would finish her current term which ends in December. She said she would do the best that she could in considering the issues facing the Common Council for the balance of her term.

Asked if there was a great deal of interest in her seat, Oliva said there were at least six White Plains residents being considered by the Democratic Party Nominating Committee. Candidates are expected to be announced in April at the Democratic Party Dinner, at which Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Carl McCall is scheduled to address the Democrats.

Democrats interview six for the Council:

WPCNR sources have indicated to us that the Democrats are reviewing the credentials of six persons. This fall the Mayor and three council seats will be up for election. It is WPCNR's information that Council President Rita Z. Malmud will be running for her seat, with Robert Greer retaining his councilseat while running for Mayor against the Republican candidate, who is expected to be the incumbent, Joseph M. Delfino. However, the Mayor has not made this official.

On the Democratic side, the Nominating Committee is considering the following persons who have reportedly expressed strong interest in running: Glen Hockley, who has organized a strong community business effort to fight hunger in White Plains; Tom Roach, Peter Katz, a leader of the Saxon Woods neighborhood, Claire Eisenstadt, the strong open space advocate and member of the Design Review Board, P. Lyn Oliva, Mrs. Oliva's daughter and formerly of the Westchester County Planning Board; Candyce Corcoran, the indefatigable organizer of White Plains; and a dark horse, Marc Pollitzer of the North Street Civic Association, noted for his grasp of city issues and his participation in creating the revised City Master Plan of 1997.

Ms. Eisenstadt confirmed to WPCNR she was definitely running for a nomination to the Council; Mr. Pollitzer told WPCNR last week he was not interested in a council seat. Mr. Katz expressed strong interest in running for the council seat and would be honored to do so. Ms. Corcoran is very serious about running for Common Council and has been lining up support. Mr. Hockley, Ms. Lynn Oliva and Mr. Roach have not yet been contacted by WPCNR.

Assuming Ms. Malmud does run, this leaves 5 persons vying for two council nominations. WPCNR has learned that there is a sixth person, too, joining the hunt.

William Ryan, the Democratic County Legislator, is apparently out of the running for the Mayoral position. This according to Bill Waterman, is because he has been told by the Westchester Democratic Party that they do not want him to resign his seat to run for Mayor. If he did so, it would cost them a majority on the Board of Legislators. WPCNR sees a clear awarding of the nomination to Robert Greer.

Republicans consider four persons for 2 Council seats.

On the Republican side, a longtime observer of the White Plains political scene, the former councilman William Waterman, Jr., told WPCNR the Repubican Nominating Committee is quietly reviewing the credentials of four persons.

Waterman said the Republicans are seriously considering Tim Sheehan, the attorney who has spoken eloquently in support of the ill-fated Presbyterian Hospital Plan A in July. Sheehan's prediction of what would happen if the council did not accept Plan A for referral was prophetic. It came true last week when the Council voted to settle their suit for the hospital.

Another source on condition of anonymity, said that Sheehan is interested, but is weighing the commitment of time that being a councilperson takes, and how that will affect the management of his business.

Larry Delgado, the incumbent Republican Councilperson, has told WPCNR he was undecided about running for his Council seat, but considering that he is holding a fundraiser next Friday, March 9, in honor of his birthday, WPCNR takes this as an indication that he will be running for his seat again.

The White Plains GOP is also considering, according to Waterman, the downtown businessman, Bob Tuck, and the attorney, Michael Amodio.

Another WPCNR source said the former Councilperson, Jo Falcone, was also being considered by the Republicans.

WPCNR will be contacting these Republican hopefuls.

Running for Council requires "a minimum of $20,000."

Waterman said that most persons who think about running for councilperson do not realize what it takes in terms of time and financial commitment to run, as well as the demands of the job.

According to Waterman, the nominating committees are looking for candidates who have "the independent ability to contribute a minimum of $20,000 to run their own campaign."

"Most persons don't have that kind of money," Waterman said, "and they have nothing to offer to raise money from other individuals. They have no jobs to give out."

Waterman pointed out that the city political parties do not fund council campaigns.

Waterman also stressed that running for Council was a family decision that a candidate has to consider very soberly.

"Your family may not be happy about your giving up six months of your life, 7 days a week, to run for Council," he said. He pointed out that anyone running for council has to be prepared to spend massive amounts of time speaking to sponsors, groups, making appearances, and of course, raising money.

Once you get on the Common Council, Waterman said, your eyes really get opened at the sheer workload of meetings (the Common Council had 61 meetings in 2000), and the pressure of decision-making.

Both parties are expected to announce "their final answers" to who will run in April.



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