The Sidewalks of White Plains

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Sidewalks of White Plains:

Legislator William Ryan tosses his "Green Hat" into the Democratic Ring.

Bill Ryan considers Mayoral run on Democratic ticket.

The Greer path to power is challenged. Greer surprised at the Ryan insurgence.

Ryan reports discussions with White Plains Democratic Party, says city is at crossroads, and wants his ideas considered for city future.

Sees little chance for Legislator Carsky's combined district plan, stands by to consider housing initiative in Woodcrest Heights.

By John F. Bailey - Interviews with Legislator Bill Ryan and Robert Greer and Rita Malmud, City Councilpersons


CityLine: March 14, 2001--Albany and White Plains, NY

Westchester County Legislator William Ryan confirmed by telephone today to WPCNR that he was in the running for the Democratic Party nomination for Mayor of White Plains, and lead WPCNR to believe he would accept the nomination.

Asked for reaction to the Ryan insurgency, Councilman Robert Greer, considered previously by many insiders to be the Democrats' choice, said he was very "surprised" that Ryan had gone ahead and appeared before the Democratic Party Nominating Committee and expressed interest in making the run.

Greer told WPCNR that both he, Mr. Ryan and Common Council President Rita Z. Malmud had made presentations to the Nominating Committee.

Ms. Malmud's reaction to the rumored, now confirmed Ryan candidacy, said she felt "Mr. Ryan had served with great distinction (as a legislator) and I have a high opinion of him. I think we'd be lucky (if the Nominating Committee should select him) to have him in that position (Mayor)."

Ms. Malmud confirmed to WPCNR that she had presented her desire to be Mayor to the Nominating Committee, but that the Committee had not made its decision yet. She said the Nominating Committee automatically interviews every sitting Councilperson as to their availability.

Asked if she would abdicate her council seat in exchange for the possibility of being named Deputy Mayor in any new Democratic administration, Ms. Malmud said "I am hoping the Nominating Committee will nominate me for some position," indicating to us that she was not about to follow Pauline Oliva into retirement.

Ryan reports discussing Mayoral candidacy with city Democrats.

Ryan told WPCNR today that "I have discussed with them (the Nominating Committee) the possibility (of running for Mayor). There is a question about undermining other candidates."

He said he would not run a primary challenge if he was not selected for the Mayoral candidacy.

"I'm more interested in getting my ideas and thoughts across to people (the Democratic Party), and to offer my ideas in the Democratic campaign. All the persons running (for Mayor) are people who have worked hard and do the best they can. The best thing I can do is to help and assist them (the nominee)."

WPCNR asked Ryan what some of his ideas were and his response was: "If I am nominated, that will be the time to discuss that. I have strong opinions about the city and its future."

County Executive Spano has not told him to stay on the board.

Stopping short of saying he would accept the Mayoral nod, Ryan said he was "being considered, and I've allowed that. We're at a real important point."

"We're facing significant challenges in White Plains, and (running for Mayor) is one way I can play a role in that (the city's future)."

No pressure not to run. "No chance" of Legislature reorganization.

Ryan said he had not been told by the County Executive that he should not run for Mayor because his Democratic vote was needed on the County Legislature due to Legislator Noto's resignation.

He indicated that the county legislature was in a great state of change at the present time, but said there "was not a chance" the Board would cut the number of legislators in half and consolidate districts, as proposed by Legislator Kay Carsky.

He also said that constituencies would be less served by consolidating many county committees as legislator Carsky has proposed.

Greer accepts the challenge, though "surprised."

Seasoned Common Councilperson Robert Greer, handicapped by many as the all-but-annointed Democratic Mayoral standard bearer, said he was "surprised" by the Ryan bid, and also ruled out a primary challenge if he lost the nomination to Ryan or Malmud, saying "I doubt it."

"He's done it, despite pressure from the county to keep him right in his seat," Greer said. Greer reported that he had presented a detailed platform to the Nominating Committee describing how he would run his campaign and what he would do as Mayor.

Ryan on Woodcrest Heights County housing initiative.

In another matter, Legislator Ryan said he had not had the Woodcrest Heights affordable housing proposal presented to him by Lawrence Salley, the Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Westchester County, yet and did not have any comments on it.

Ryan said he expected it would be a number of months before the $2 million bond issue financing the purchase and infrastructure development of the Pettinichi Property would actually come to a vote. He said he was interested in the Woodcrest Heights Association reaction to the plan.

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