Village Bulletin Candidate Statement

[Published in the Sea Cliff Village Bulletin March 2017 edition]

Trustee Candidate Deb McDermott

I believe that we are all stewards of the world, our planet, our country, our community, and our families. To the best of my ability I want to take care of these things and make them better. My schooling, from my parents through college, taught me that when we have resources that can help, it is our responsibility to recognize that and offer them.

Our Village Board is well served by having lawyers and those with financial backgrounds on it, but it also needs a balance of skills, experience and perspectives. My professional background is in communications. In my 14-year career at IBM, I focused on creating open and collaborative communications between everyone from executives and sales teams to (the many kinds of) employees and clients. The basic job was to get people who don’t easily share information, ideas, or problems to communicate openly and form productive relationships. I believe the skills and experience I gained doing this work for IBM would be valuable in our village government.

My husband Dan and I moved to Sea Cliff almost 12 years ago. We didn’t have kids at the time, but moved here for the excellent public schools, the wholesome, neighborly feel, the beach, the many parks, Sunset Serenades, Ice Cream and Cider Socials, and the overall wondrous experience of living in Sea Cliff. Before my daughter (who will be 10 in July) was born I had started to compile the Calendar section for the Village Bulletin, a project I did until around the time my now 7-year old son was born. I shifted my focus toward the school, creating the website for the PCA, joining the school and district Nutrition Committees, and then the Board of Ed’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC), of which I am now the chair.

LAC focuses on legislative issue affecting educational policy and funding. This advocacy work is very detailed and has required me to learn large amounts of technical information quickly. For example, the closing of the LIPA plant in Glenwood Landing, a publicly, then privately held utility which physically exists in both the Town of Oyster Bay and the Town of North Hempstead was and continues to be a major issue for all of us. In working on this issue I’ve become well versed in local and state property tax laws and state and county environmental laws. LAC has also afforded me opportunities to work with Senator Marcellino, Assembly members Lavine, Ra, and Montesano, Education Commissioner Elia and Regent Roger Tilles.

I am an independent candidate. I value an environment where people feel their input is important and sought after, conflict is invited and resolved positively and politely, creative dissent is welcomed, and above all where there is a high level of trust and respect. I think that meetings with agendas should be published well in advance; meeting minutes made available quickly; meetings recorded and posted on the Village website to make it easier for people to be well informed. I hope that if you share these values you will entrust me with the responsibility of bringing them to my work as Village Trustee by voting for me on March 21.