Two Democrats and two independents are running together as a ticket on the Democratic line for City Council in this fall’s election. In a joint statement, Josh Cohn, Sara Goddard, Julie Souza, and Ben Stacks said, “Our goal is a City Council that responds to residents’ concerns and welcomes public participation. We are running because you deserve to be heard.”

Cohn, who is running for Mayor, is best known by the community for co-founding the citizen’s group, Protect Residential Rye, in order to prevent, in the short-term, an application to install cellular equipment in the residential right-of-way, which would negatively impact quality of life and home values all over town.

Watching the current City Council handle citizen concerns was “motivational” for Cohn, a Rye resident since 1991. In a conversation last weekend, he said he’s been disappointed in the Council’s response on a number of issues, not solely Crown Castle’s application to install 68 mini cell nodes. “The fact that the current Council comes to public meetings ‘pre-decided’, before hearing from the community. Their actions and behavior convinced me that I could accomplish something.”

Among those tangible “somethings” is: taking better care of roads, finding funding for dredging at Milton Harbor, strengthening the City’s tree law, and ensuring that residential development projects don’t diminish Rye’s character or add to citywide drainage issues.

“I am not anti-development,” said Cohn. “We should neither discourage the development we need, nor a thriving real estate business. But we must do so with an eye to preserving the character that drew so many here.”

Cohn, who retired last year from Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, of which he was a partner and head of the U.S. derivatives practice, says he has the energy and the enthusiasm the job of mayor requires and will be a good financial steward, finding efficiencies and securing more grants.

As founder and chair of the Rye Sustainability Committee, which produced the Rye Sustainability Plan and won national recognition from the EPA, Sara Goddard has been a strong and steady leader on conservation and protection of the environment. “I am a task-oriented person who likes to get things done, and one of the reasons I am running for City Council is that I’ve been frustrated by the Council’s inability to get things done, especially in an empathetic way.” She added, “A level of empathy defines how I conduct my life.”

Goddard says one of her primary goals is to ensure that the community works <with> the environment — in the form of a strengthened tree law, and pesticide-free public property.

Since leaving the world of energy and structured finance to raise three children, Goddard has volunteered her time and skills to benefit the Rye community full-time.

Ben Stacks is Market Manager for Northeast Commercial Real Estate at Capital One Bank. A longtime member of the Rye Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee, he is active with the Protect Residential Rye residents group.

In addition to a career in sports media, Julie Souza serves on the board of directors of Carver Center, is president of the Loudon Woods Neighborhood Association, and volunteers with Midland Elementary School, POTS, and the Children’s Philanthropy section of the Woman’s Club of Rye.

— Robin Jovanovich

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