RYE, N.Y. – Republican William Villanova has formally announced his candidacy for the 91st District Assembly seat vacated by George Latimer. In November, he will face Democrat Steve Otis, the former mayor of Rye and chief of staff for State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer.
Villanova is currently Rye Town councilman, serving Port Chester, Rye Brook and Rye Neck. The following is the text from Villanova’s speech Saturday at Rye Town Park where he announced his bid:
"Almost a hundred years ago in the Province of Potenza, Italy, a dream began with the humble hopes of my grandfather, Giuseppe Schiro. His dream was to one-day raise a family in a country with inherent God given freedoms… A community instilled with faith, family values, and a sense of purpose… and to follow a promise that with hard work, determination and personal responsibility, there was no dream his children and grandchildren could not realize.
That country is America. That community is this one and that dream is being realized today as I formally announce my candidacy for the New York State Assembly.
Four generations later, the story of my family, like many of yours, is truly an American story… But even more, it is truly a Westchester story. A story of faith, family and friends... As a life-long resident of Westchester, I grew up in Port Chester as the eldest son of William and Joanne Villanova, and it’s where I live today with my wife Sandra, and our three children: Gianna 8, Bill Jr. 5, and Nicholas our two year old.
Yes, my family’s story is truly a Westchester story. Which is why it saddens me when I travel around this district, and see how the failed policies of recent years have had a crushing effect on our residential neighborhoods and business districts. From Larchmont to Rye, Port Chester and New Rochelle to Mamaroneck, there are far too many signs that read: “For Sale” or “For Rent” – and not enough signs that say “Sold” or “Help Wanted.” Our Sound Shore Communities deserve better.
Here in Westchester, we live in one of the most heavily-taxed and expensive places in the country…Jobs are lost… development is stalled… and more and more hard working families and businesses are giving up on the area and simply moving out.
I am running for State Assembly because I know we can do better! And we must!
I am running to End Albany’s Tax and Spend Insanity… Our children’s and grandchildren’s future depend on our ability to behave in Albany like we do around our kitchen table: spending less than we make and resist the urge to live off our credit cards.
We must focus on economic development… Businesses both large and small are the backbone of our community and state… As a businessman and Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Rye, I know personally how taxes and over regulation kill small businesses. The next wave of job creation can only come when government gets out of the way.
I have been successful in local government because I addressed the tough decisions head on to reduce taxes and expenditures, I have built consensus to make much needed and overdue government reform, created a responsible budgeting process, and I will not be bullied and I cannot be bought! I represent the change we need in Albany and the leadership your family deserves!
As I travel this district, it is becoming clear that a new voice is starting to rise across the political discourse, it is not the voice of the protesters or shouters, the reactionary right or the occupy Wall Street movement, but it is the quiet voice of the majority of our citizens who have been forgotten.
Who are they? Let me tell you who they are… They live in this community by the thousands and in this state by the millions. They are good people, they are decent people; they work, and they save, and they pay their taxes, and they care about their family’s future. They are the great majority, and they have become angry not with hate, but angry because they love this country, they love their communities and they don’t like what’s happened to it these past years.
My opponent is a career politician, a true creature of Albany and a symbol of everything that is wrong with the broken system. For three decades my opponent has been living off the tax payers backs to the tune of well over 2 million dollars. And now this November in this election he comes asking residents of this district for more. Another chance. Another shot. Our answer? Not this time! Not this year!
I say to Steve Otis and other career politicians and political cronies like them, that for too long we’ve tried it your way. You’ve had your chance. You’ve had your moment. You have not led! We will!
We have all recently seen the sometimes ugly face of Albany in the news. The 100K back door payout to cover up sexual harassment allegations, the legislators bogus non-for profit payments to a family’s shell organization and let’s not forget the other Albany legislators who recently asked for a raise. This is outrageous and will not be tolerated. In the Coast Guard our motto is “Semper Paratus”, which translates to “Always ready” or “Always prepared." Well, I am ready and I am prepared to go to Albany and finally put an end to this culture of corruption and send the career politicians packing.
I have a plan to help New Yorkers. The plan includes sensible solution when it comes to Tax and Mandate Relief, Government Reform, Economic Development, Housing, Public Safety, Education, Energy, Veterans and Volunteers.
I will build consensus by reaching across political party lines. My efforts will begin with term limits, reducing daily stipends for Albany Legislators and by reducing legislative staff costs. This will not be popular with many Albany politicos, but I won’t be elected to do what’s popular. I will be elected to do what’s right.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results… How insane does Steve Otis think we are?... In this campaign I will continue to deliver our message to every resident of our district and that message is clear, it’s simple and it’s this: Stop the insanity and vote for change!
Change happens. Change happens because people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership. As we move towards November, let us remember the promises and hopes of generations past. After all, we’re New Yorkers. We are a people of immeasurable hope, character and conviction, always looking toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember our history, answer our destiny, and rebuild this community once again.
Thank you, May God Bless America and May God Bless the Great State of New York."