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Pre-Election Rancor, Rhetoric Ramp Up In Mamaroneck

This video was released by Democrats seeking to oust Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum. It captures spats between the Republican mayor who is up for re-election on Tuesday and Democrat Ilissa Miller, a village trustee who was re-elected last fall.
This video was released by Democrats seeking to oust Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum. It captures spats between the Republican mayor who is up for re-election on Tuesday and Democrat Ilissa Miller, a village trustee who was re-elected last fall. Video Credit: Natchez-Burt Campaign

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- As Election Day approaches, campaigns are heating up in the Village of Mamaroneck.

Democrats seeking to unseat incumbent Mayor Norman Rosenblum and Deputy Mayor Louis Santaro, both Republicans, released a video from village Board of Trustee meetings showing the three-term mayor clashing with Democratic Trustee Ilissa Miller, and earlier with a former school board president.

The campaign video -- titled "Is Chivalry Dead In the Village of Mamaroneck?'' -- replays public meeting footage from Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Television . The LMC-TV clips capture Rosenblum arguing with Miller -- who is not up for re-election on Tuesday, during meetings on Oct. 13 and in July. (Miller also is a volunteer community advisor to Daily Voice.) The campaign video also shows former Mamaroneck Board of Education President Celia Felsher being cut short at the mayor's insistence from completing her public comments during a village meeting in February 2014.

Democrat Daniel Natchez, a former village trustee who is running against Rosenblum, and Thomas Burt --- who is challenging Santaro for his trustee seat on Tuesday -- said in releasing this video that the mayor "as presiding officer at public meetings, is responsible to control and model the proper tone, tenor and decorum."

The candidates appeared in a League of Women Voters forum Wednesday in Mamaroneck, which can be watched at www.lmctv.org.

In a separate development, the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee announced on Wednesday that it met to hear complaints involving all four Mamaroneck candidates against one another, ruling both for and against all parties.

In one complaint, Rosenblum claimed an ad and mailer by Natchez depicted four Village projects with the unfair headline “Mayor Rosenblum Projects,” and made assertions about each project which were misleading.

The Fair Campaign Practices Committee ruled the Natchez ad/mailer was unfair since the mayor was one of four board members voting on the projects, concluding: "It would have been fair to state that “Mayor Rosenblum supported these projects.”

The Fair Campaign Practices Committee also opined about a banner at the bottom of Natchez material stating “Mismanagement of $2.3 million costs.”

"This number is an overstatement because it includes all of the bridge costs, when one half was the responsibility of the Town of Rye,'' the Fair Campaign Committee concluded.

Meanwhile, Natchez and Burt complained that the “palm card” -- a small brochure handed out to the public by Rosenblum/Santoro -- incorrectly lists the incumbents' names as appearing on ballot lines B, C and E although the county Board of Elections denied Rosenblum/Santoro line E because of insufficient valid signatures on the nominating petition. These facts were not disputed. Rosenblum and Santoro failed to either have the palm cards corrected or reprinted correctly, the Fair Campaign Committee noted.

Natchez and Burt complained that the “palm card” of Rosenblum/Santoro incorrectly states that they have “continued flood mitigation river silt removal." The Fair Campaign Committee agreed that the incumbents' claim that the village was doing river silt removal "is untrue, even though the village administration may have been doing other types of flood mitigation in those years."

Finally, Natchez and Burt complained that the “palm card” and other Rosenblum/Santoro campaign items use the phrase “KEEP MAMARONECK NUMBER ONE!!!” -- without citing any source.

The Fair Campaign Committee concluded: "The use of such phrases in campaign literature is normal political discourse or rhetoric."

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