Letter: Listen to what candidate Grangenois-Thomas has to say
February 21, 2019 at 6:54 a.m.
I am writing to voice my support for the candidacy of Joan Grangenois-Thomas in the upcoming election of the Village of Port Chester’s Board of Trustees.
I first met Joan in April 2017 when she came with her daughter Kiah to our Evenings of Dance in Port Chester series, where residents are invited to meet one another, to enjoy a dance performance and to engage in discussion about what they witnessed on stage. In subsequent months, I came to know Joan also through meetings of the Sustainable Port Chester Alliance. I think it speaks well of a candidate for political office that she has an eye and ear for the arts and culture and actively seeks out, enjoys and promotes arts organizations and events in her community.
Readers are probably aware that there is a plan in the works to develop Port Chester’s downtown area that calls for zoning changes to allow for high-rise apartment and mixed-use buildings. As our village changes, Joan wants to make sure that all views, concerns and interests are represented so that Port Chester can flourish as a vibrant community for all. Specifically, Joan wants to ensure that development is sustainable in terms of environmental impact, traffic and parking, that the historic character of the village is preserved and aesthetically enhanced, that current renters and small business owners are not priced out of the market, that construction provides well-paying employment for local workers and that the development plans include publicly accessible spaces where the community can gather to enjoy the arts and cultural events.
Generally, and perhaps most importantly, Joan wants to strengthen democracy in our village by encouraging and empowering all residents to participate in government meetings and hearings with the aim of fostering a healthy community spirit that is constructive, inclusive and forward-looking. In my view, and I think that most readers will agree, this also means that after a hiatus of nearly 20 years it is time to include women on the Board of Trustees. I encourage my fellow residents to come out and listen to what Joan Grangenois-Thomas has to say.
33 Parkway Dr.
Hans-Jakob Wilhelm is Board Chair of the Ballet des Amériques in Port Chester.