Candidate Statement: Town Councilwoman Kristen Burke
As Winston Churchill famously said, “Let us go forward together.” I am running for Re-Election for Pelham Town Council because I believe that my hard work with, and on behalf of, the members of our community will continue to bring great things to Pelham.
I am the mother of middle schoolers Henry (8th grade) and Hannah (6th grade). I am married to Sid Burke, who was recently elected to the School Board. I am the General Counsel for Mercy University, where I’ve worked for the past 8.5 years. I volunteer as coach for the U12 Soccer Girls Wolfpack, I am a former Colonial PTA President, and in 2021 co-led the COVID-19 Task Force that brought Pelham Schools back to full-time in-person instruction.
Over the last 4 years, I have been a collaborative Board Member. I have served as the liaison for legal affairs, the court and the constables, and helped the Town navigate the COVID pandemic with policies and protocols; helped implement sexual harassment training, a Code of Conduct and edited the Handbook for Town employees; revised the Constable Handbook; and I regularly advise on legal and personnel matters.
Town’s Accomplishments in the Last 4 Years
– Negotiated a deal with Eastchester to staff a dedicated ambulance and the EMS (Fly Car) in Pelham, effective January 1, 2024.
– Obtained over $400,000 in grants to purchase a Town ambulance.
– In the areas of transparency, innovation and inclusiveness:
—The Town invested in a new ADA accessible website, allowing community members to opt-in to Town notices.
— I draft regular Town Board Updates informing the community about happenings in the Town.
— Monthly meetings are now livestreamed.
— I advocated for:
—— Pride Month Resolution and the Pride Flag to be flown in Gazebo Park during June;
—— Menorah and Kwanzaa displays during those holidays; and
—— Resolution recognizing Gun Violence Awareness Day.
– In the area of sustainability, I work with the Clean Energy Communities and Sustainable Westchester on initiatives, such as the recently approved Resolution and benchmarking of Town buildings’ energy usage.
– I am championing the Circuit EV rideshare program, an ecofriendly vehicle service aimed at alleviating parking and congestion issues throughout Pelham.
– The Board has increased services offered to youth, adults and seniors through the Recreation Department, including the upgraded senior van which helps bring senior citizens to doctors’ appointments.
Over the coming years, the Town has important decisions to make regarding use of Town buildings when the Pelham Village Police vacate space currently occupied in Town Hall and move into the new Municipal Center. Community input will be sought as we reimagine how these spaces will best serve Town residents.
In light of all of the progress made in the last four years, and all of the important work ahead of us, I hope that you will vote for me on November 7th.