VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Margaret Cunzio formally announced her candidacy last week for Westchester County legislator to represent Mount Pleasant, North Castle and part of Greenburgh.
Cunzio, 40, is seeking to succeed Legislator Michael Smith, who is not running for a third term. A political outsider, Cunzio identifies Westchester’s crushing tax burden as the No. 1 issue facing residents of the 3rd District.
“I support County Executive Rob Astorino in his pledge to not raise County property taxes,” she said. “Like most families reviewing their finances at the kitchen table each night, the County needs to strike the right balance between the must-haves and nice-to-haves,” Cunzio said.
“Essential services must be provided on a cost-effective basis. The social safety net must be strong and preserved. But striving for greater efficiency is essential in these trying economic times.”
Cunzio, a professor at Iona College, was raised in Armonk and graduated from Byram Hills High School. She and her husband, Michael, the principal of Columbus Elementary School, have lived in Thornwood for the past 16 years. She also teaches at Western Connecticut State University and previously worked as an elementary school teacher.
Cunzio noted that under Astorino, Westchester residents have not seen an increase in the county tax levy. Recently, some legislators have been calling for the six-year streak of no tax levy increase to end.
“I have known Margaret Cunzio for 15 years and I know we can count on her, just as we were able to count on Michael Smith, to protect taxpayers,” said Astorino.
“Like me, Margaret Cunzio was born and raised here in Westchester,” said state Senator Terrence Murphy, who represents Mount Pleasant. “We share the same values, compassion for public service and work ethic that will make the residents of the third district proud to call her their legislator.”
“This district has a long tradition of electing individuals who represent the unique values of our neighborhoods,” said Smith. “I am confident that Margaret Cunzio will be just as conscientious about using the hard-earned tax dollars as cost effectively as is possible.”
Cunzio will be running in November’s election on the Republican, Conservative and Reform party lines.