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Five Questions: Dufault Runs for Village Trustee

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Daily Mamaroneck will be compiling candidate profiles before the Nov. 8 elections. Each candidate was asked the same questions.Scott Dufault, 69, is a candidate for village trustee in the Village of Mamaroneck, where he grew up. The Mamaroneck resident is a lawyer with Queens Law Associates, P.C. in Forest Hills, N.Y. and attended Washington College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1978. Dufault has been employed as a lawyer primarily in the area of criminal law since passing the bar in 1978.

Why would you be a good representative in the coming term?

I think one of the reasons is that I have a lot of legal experience, and a lot of what you deal with on the Board are legal issues: making laws, dealing with contracts. There's a lot of legal work that goes into it and a lot of legal thinking that you have to do, and I bring that experience. I bring a little bit of a different skill set than my counterpart Louis Santoro. He's a good guy and a hard working guy, but he has a different experience than I do.

If elected, what are the three biggest goals you'd work to accomplish?

I know that we need to foster business and development, but I don't want to do it at the expense of the natural beauty that we have. So we have to be very careful about how we develop the village. Because, if we do it too much or too fast, it's going to affect the quality of life in our town. It's still a small town. We don't want to change it into something that it's not and find out we have to add more police officers and more services just to service having so many more people come to our village. We have to strike a balance.

I think we've got to try to find new sources of revenue because there is a big tax burden and it's difficult for people, especially older people who may have fixed incomes, or whose income is not that high to stay in the village. We have to be careful not to add additional burdens to our citizens who live here. But we have to find new sources of revenue.

The third thing is I would like to see more opportunities for our children, because I don't think there's any place for them to gather together, except in the school, which is great. But, there's no community center that they can go to that's nice and welcoming. I would like to see something done, maybe, with the Harbor Island Pavilion, or maybe some more playing fields, basketball courts, soccer courts in some of the areas of town. Maybe at the top of Barry Avenue, maybe the school on Mamaroneck Avenue, maybe in the Harbor. Those are three things I'd like to do.

Has the local government made any mistakes or had any oversights that you'd try to avoid? How?

There have been oversights and mistakes because there have been a lot of lawsuits, and a lot of money has had to have been paid out based on those lawsuits. I personally thinking that the Mamaroneck Beach And Yacht Club, which was settled by the current mayor; I think that, if it was going to be settled, it could have been settled more favorably to the village. Basically, it was more of a capitulation than a settlement, as far as I can see. We ended up paying a substantial amount of money to them and they basically got everything they wanted. They didn't own the wetlands where they put in a parking lot. It was protected wet land, they filled it in. Then they claim that to be a part of the area they own. That's been settled and I would not advice anybody to go back there to re litigate that. But I think that, If I had been on the board, I would have wondered why we didn't raise some of those issues. At least use those issues to get a more favorable settlement. That's what I would have done.

What specifically makes you different from your opponent?

I think we bring different skill sets. I'm an attorney and I'm also a Democrat. I have a little different philosophy of government. I think that services are important. I think we need them and people want them. On specific issues, sometimes there is no real party line in village politics. I think that i'm more likely to protect the quality of life that we have here, as opposed to urging or promoting very rapid and aggressive development, particularly on the waterfront area. I am a conservationist, I am very concerned with the environment.

What's the best part about Mamaroneck?

The best part about Mamaroneck is the people are friendly. It really is the friendly village. It's a close knit community. And it's got a lot of natural beauty. We have all this beauty around us, the water, the Sound, the parks. The thing that's very valuable to all of us is that we have access to it.

How can voters get in touch with you?

I am a Mamaroneck resident of course and am in the phone book. I can also be reached at my office in Forest Hills, N.Y. at 718-263-9301.

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