Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 26 March 2010 00:00
What was thought to be an uncontested village election in Garden City turned dramatic when Ronald Tadross and Raymond Rudolph announced their candidacy days before the election on March 16. Despite a last-minute campaign using the Internet and email, all four Community Agreement candidates prevailed. Tadross and Rudolph’s message resonated with the Garden City residents who came to the polls to write the candidates’ names on the ballot.
The two write-in candidates Tadross and Rudolph are co-founders of the website www.gardencityresidents.org, an open forum where residents can voice concerns and share ideas. The website also provides information and conducts opinion polls on various matters of importance in the village, including St. Paul’s, property taxes and the village’s debt.
Tadross, a financial analyst, has lived in the Estates section for almost 30 years. Rudolph, a resident of the East section for 10 years, owns his own construction business. The two men were inspired to run to increase transparency in village government. Tadross told Garden City Life, “I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was the budget process and the fact that I sat through all the budget meetings, and I’m a financial analyst by trade, and there’s not one financial analyst on the whole board of directors.”
Tadross and Rudolph were not officially listed on the ballot as Community Agreement candidates. The Community Agreement, which was adopted in 1919, states that, “the trustees are elected by the non-partisan vote of residents. The four Property Owners’ Associations are the conduits, which supply the slate of candidates. At all times each section of the village has two of its residents on the board of trustees, assuring equal representation.”
After the election, Tadross and Rudolph sent a message of encouragement to supporters thanking them for their efforts. “We want to thank you all for your support in the general village election, and realized it was more about you than us. The 957 residents that came out to vote were almost five times as many as last year and (hopefully) a message in itself to the village trustees and administration. While our grassroots effort could not match the established POA base, our effort was commendable given its infancy. We still believe the POAs need to better represent the residents, or our job will just get easier,” they wrote.