A Democrat from New Rochelle, Stavros Pantelis, has announced he will challenge Westchester Legislator Jim Maisano, the Republican minority leader on the Board of Legislators, who represents District 11 in Pelham, Pelham Manor and part of New Rochelle.
He accused Maisano of becoming too comfortable. Here is the full statement announcing his candidacy:
Stavros Pantelis Enters Race for County Legislature
New Rochelle Democrat Will Give Maisano First Challenge in 10 Years
New Rochelle resident Stavros Pantelis today announced his campaign for Westchester County Legislator in District 11, comprising part of New Rochelle, Pelham, and Pelham Manor. Pantelis’ announcement guarantees that incumbent Jim Maisano will have a competitive race for the first time in 10 years.
Pantelis, a local businessman, has been speaking to constituents, and more importantly, listening to them, as he begins his campaign. “The people here feel neglected,” said Pantelis, “Many constituents have told me that they’ve never even heard the name Jim Maisano, and that certainly shouldn’t be the case after 15 plus years as an incumbent.”
He noted that Maisano voted in favor of a 12-year term limit for legislators, yet this is his 16th year sitting on the Board and he’s seeking yet another term this election. “If Jim Maisano won’t live by the principles he advocates,” continued Pantelis, “at least the voters of District 11 should have an opportunity to hold him accountable to those principles.”
Pantelis has observed firsthand the consequences of being represented by an unchallenged Legislator. “ He’s way too comfortable.” said Pantelis. “Jim Maisano sits on four committees that met 76 times in 2012, and he missed 36 of those meetings. In any other job, he would have been terminated without question.” Pantelis further stated, “I have the utmost respect for anyone serving as long as he has, but there’s no way you can carry out your due diligence if you are absent that much.”
Pantelis says he is aware that taking on Maisano won’t be easy. “Beating an incumbent is always a challenge,” said Pantelis, “but I’ve overcome challenges before, and I won’t back down from this one.” Pantelis noted missteps he made as a young adult, notably recording two DWIs and separation from the United States Army, in his early 20s. “I turned those mistakes into life lessons. I went back to school and got my life on track. That experience motivates me every day.”
The life-long Westchester County resident says his campaign is focused on several priorities. “I believe that we need to start with the basics,” said Pantelis, “From transparency and accountability to economic development, job creation, and lower taxes. Once we focus on these issues, I believe the possibilities for an even greater future are endless.”
“As a father, I know that the true test of legislation is how it will affect our children.” said Pantelis. “The current administration has failed this test time and again by borrowing millions to balance budgets and neglecting the planning that would prepare our county for economic growth.” Pantelis reiterates that proof of this can be seen with the passing of the 2013 Westchester County budget. “In order to balance the budget, the current administration borrowed $13 million to cover tax certiorari’s, cut vital social safety net funding, and terminated over 100 county workers. That is clearly not the leadership we need for a better Westchester County.”
Stavros Pantelis is a product of Yonkers public schools, a graduate of Westchester Community College (Valhalla) and City University of New York at Lehman College (Bronx). He has six years of accounting experience and four years experience as a realtor. Stavros is a District Leader for the New Rochelle Democratic Committee, a member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Westchester Young Democrats, and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Stavros currently resides in New Rochelle with his wife, Kelly, and their son, Jacob.
Photo: Stavros Pantelis, candidate for Westchester County Board of Legislators, District 11