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Primary Day Coverage: Q & A With Lisa Douglas, District 2 Candidate

Sept. 13 is primary day, when Lisa Douglas and Peter Michaelis will vie for the Republican ticket for the Westchester County Board of Legislators District 2 election in November. Check back tomorrow for our Q & A with Peter Michaelis.

Lisa Douglas of North Salem, former school board member and founder of the Hudson Valley Patriots, a local Tea Party group, of Bedford, former television news producer and founder and president of WINDTech International, for the Republican line in the race for District 2 in the Westchester County legislature.

Michaelis has been endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties.

Douglas, 47, is a U.S. Navy Veteran and is a former operations manager for Keyboard Communications. She is a current student at SUNY Albany, where she is studying American History. She also authors online news blogs including the Well Informed Citizen. She is married to Scott Douglas, and mother to five children, Christopher 26, Nicole 25, Stephen 24, Trevor 19, and Taylor, 16.

The winner of Tuesday's primary, faces the incumbent, Peter Harckham of Katonah, in November. District 2 encompasses Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge and Somers.

Check back tomorrow for the Patch Q & A with Peter Michaelis.

Patch: What is your definition of a public servant or your philosophy of public service?

Douglas: A public servant is someone, or should be someone, who does what is right and moral. They are above being bought by special interest groups, are innately in tune with their constituents and in the end will vote in favor of what is right and just for all. A public servant makes the tough decisions, puts the right action above all else, never succumbs to political pressure and is all about action not lip service.

Patch: What specific experience - personal or professional - prepares you for the challenges of this elected office?

Douglas: As a U.S. Navy cryptographer, I was trained to see more than what is in front of me, meaning I am able to see the bigger (and potential future) picture. This is an asset especially working within/or planning a budget. Additionally, I am an excellent researcher as evidenced working on the North Salem Board of Education as an elected trustee; serving as both middle-and-high-school Parent Teacher Organization President and the Founder of the Hudson Valley Patriots, where researching allows for fiscal prudency and making smart/cost effective decisions. Currently, I serve on the North Salem Republican Committee and am keenly aware of what District 2 resident needs really are. As a blue collar family, we don’t just say we know what you are going through – we really understand what you are going through because we are living it too.  

Patch: What are the top 3 issues you'd like to address as county legislator?

Douglas: 1) Get county government out of the business of being in business. For example, the private company Shred It performs the same service as the county Mobile Shred—shouldn’t we be supporting small businesses and not competing with them? Another example is the One Stop Centers [career center]. There are plenty of private businesses that do this. These are just two examples of duplication of services and how our county government has stepped on the small business owner. We need to end government’s involvement in business and let the private sector do what it does best – create jobs. 2) Stop the wasteful spending. No more money for festivals, special interest groups, and pet projects. 3) Put similar examples as above into place and we hit the target for the third issue: lowering taxes.

Patch: Are you in favor of consolidating county government in any way? How?

Douglas: Everything I have read states that consolidating leads to higher costs due to salaries rising to the levels of the highest paying municipality. That said, I am a firm supporter of local control meaning more control for individual towns and less control from the county. I am not a supporter of consolidating our police, fire, ambulance or highway departments. When there is an emergency residents want and need a quick response.

As an example: We could suggest moving all elections during the year. School budget, fire district and general elections on the same day would be a win/win as more residents would be voting, and less money would individually budgeted for the voting process. We need to be creative, together, across the board to save money.

Patch: Under what circumstances do you feel it would be appropriate for the Board of Legislators to override the new annual tax levy cap?

Douglas: The BOL needs to learn to live within its means just like everyone else. If we lose our job, take a lower paying job—we need to adjust our spending. Essential services aside, if the BOL sticks to what it’s supposed to do and not what they want to do they should be able to live with the 2 percent cap.  Speak to some of our seniors – ask them if their Social Security benefits have gone up to match the rising costs of everything else. The answer is no. Fiscal Responsibility needs to be on the brain of all legislators—not the word override. Where there is a will there is a way.

Patch: How would you describe your platform or differentiate yourself from your opponent's platform?

Douglas: My actions match my words all the time every time, my opponent can’t state that. I have no hidden agenda; I owe no one anything; I am not looking to further my political career; and by no means lastly, I am the true Conservative in this race as he [Michaelis] states quite openly he’s a moderate that leans to the left.

Reader-submitted question: Will you refuse stipends and reimbursements to save some tax payer money?

Douglas: On my honor, I will refuse the health insurance; committee stipends; gas/mileage reimbursements; will not take a cell phone/lap top/ or have any taxpayer pay for my additional job responsibilities and/or travel in any way. The salary the taxpayers give for something that is considered a "part-time-job" is already equitable to a full time salary for many. I am not in this for the money—I am in this for true fiscal change. 


Eds. note: These responses were edited for clarity and length, not substance.

Bill Bongiorno September 08, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Republican Primary Sept 13 for Westchester County Legislator; Michaelis $1000 donation to Obama; Douglas $0, you vote http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsmeat.com%2Ffec%2Fbystate_detail.php%3Fst%3DNY%26last%3DMICHAELIS%26first%3DPeter&h=zAQCPLUYoAQA71xBVrNq7XcSn7gbNlCzdf2PGBbXazQaOyA
Howard Helllwiinkel September 08, 2011 at 07:13 PM
To Peter Michaelis, REPUBLICIAN primary candidate for county legislature. President Obama has told me I have to provide health insurance for my employees while I am fighting to stay in business competing against Chinese imports. Obama’s NLRB has told me I have to post a sign on the wall telling my employees how to form a union. Obama wants to raise my Sub S corps income tax. Obama wants to spend money we don’t have which scares my customers and stops them from buying. Obama stopped oil exploration which will raise the cost of fuel that is used to deliver and ship my products. This will also affect the electric bill in my factory and warehouse. Obama extended unemployment benefits unconditionally so when we did want to hire people a few months ago nobody responded to our want ads. Obama’s treasury department borrowed a trillion dollars from the Federal Reserve Bank which increased the money supply, devalued the US dollar and caused the cost of our imports to rise. Since the economy is so weak we could not pass these costs on to our customers. Mr. Michaelis, thank you very much for giving $1,000 to candidates Obama’s campaign. I trust you will be contributing again in 2012. I will vote for Lisa Douglas. She won't play on both sides of the fence.
Ross Revira September 08, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Mr. Bongiorno you are the epitome of a political hack. You will do and say anything to get publicity for yourself. You give the Tea Party a bad name.
Bill Bongiorno September 08, 2011 at 07:32 PM
Great answer Ross for why a Republican candidate would donate $1000 to Obama. Who is the political hack? I care nothing for publicity. I care about who is my representative.
Ross Revira September 08, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Really Mr. Bongiorno who are you kidding. Last year your Tea Party chapter did not endorse Sen. Greg Ball because he criticized your wacko candidate Carl Paladino for making those anti-gay comments with the Orthodox Rabbis . If anybody deserved your so-called conservative endorsement was Sen. Greg Ball. You are what gives the Tea Party a bad name.
Bill Bongiorno September 08, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Check your facts, Ross, we DID endorse Ball: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/tag/northern-westchester-tea-party-patriots/ But in fact during the same sex marriage debate, his vote was up for sale to the highest bidder. He was going to vote YES if Dick Cheney campaigned for him: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2011/06/27/ny-times-ball-wanted-cheneys-help-in-exchange-for-same-sex-marriage-vote/ I would not endorse Ball now if you paid me! Clearly facts matter nothing to you, just attacking me.
Ross Revira September 08, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Strange Sen. Greg Ball is not in the picture.
Bill Bongiorno September 08, 2011 at 08:34 PM
He could not make it - probably too busy selling his vote!
Ross Revira September 08, 2011 at 09:06 PM
He was not invited and you know that.
Bill Bongiorno September 08, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Yeah, right, I put him in the news release, but didn't invite him. You really are making yourself look bad.
Ross Revira September 08, 2011 at 09:51 PM
You put him in your news release because he had the name power.

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