MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. --- Mount Kisco village Trustee Karen Schleimer announced Wednesday that she is running for a seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
The seat is for District 2, which also covers Bedford, Lewisboro, Pound Ridge, North Salem and part of Somers. It is currently held by Peter Harckham, a North Salem Democrat who is not seeking re-election.
“I will work for you," Schleimer, a Democrat, said at a campaign-launch rally. "I will fight for each and every one of you to provide the best quality of life we can possibly provide.”
Schleimer, who was first elected to Mount Kisco's Village Board of Trustees in 2012, has lived in the village since the late 1970s. A real estate attorney by profession, she has served in several public roles, including as chair of Mount Kisco's Zoning Board of Appeals and as village prosecutor. She also served as counsel to the Zoning Board and the Architectural Review Board.
Schleimer touted the village board's financial record while also criticizing borrowing at the county level for operational costs.
“In Mount Kisco we’ve passed responsible budgets that protected taxpayers and the highest quality of services that our community is used to,” she said.
Schleimer was joined at the rally by fellow Democrats, including village board colleagues and incumbent legislators.
Harckham offered his support for Schleimer's bid, touting her role in an agreement between the village and the county to consolidate police.
“That is the kind of broad thinking that we need in county government," Harckham said, noting that it will save village taxpayers more than $2.4 million over five years.
Under the deal, Mount Kisco will make annual payments for the county, which in turn will provide 25 county police personnel to take over local law enforcement currently done by village police.
Schleimer spoke in favor of the consolidation at a county Board of Legislators meeting on Monday night before lawmakers approved the contract.
Harckham also praised Schleimer's background, noting her legal career in fighting for clients and in passing the bar exam without having gone to law school.
Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Somers Democrat, also offered his support.
“Karen has the mettle to follow Pete Harckham.”
Catherine Borgia, the county board's majority leader and an Ossining Democrat, had her own praise.
"Karen has done so much for this community.”
Schleimer will have to face two issues that are common in the district but not significant in Mount Kisco. One is the county's 2009 federal settlement that requires the county to have 750 affordable-housing units built in predominantly white communities over a seven-year period.
Although Mount Kisco is not among the affected municipalities, Schleimer touted her legal work involving subsidized housing and her negotiating.
The other has to do with the possibility of allowing alternative septic technology; Mount Kisco residents use sewers. Schleimer admitted she will need to learn more about the issue but noted she has learned about differences between septic-system types.
On the Republican side, Bedford Town Councilman Francis Corcoran will run for the seat, according to a local GOP email , referencing a recent Record-Review story on his plans.