Q&A: Tom McKnight, Village of Warwick trustee candidate

| 17 Feb 2022 | 01:56

What incident, circumstance or other motivation prompted you to run?

Two seats are open. We need strong, empathetic leaders who are not afraid to challenge the status quo. We need objectivity; not someone with a self-interest grievance against the Village; not someone funded by and beholden to party politics. We need someone with relevant experience, not casual interest. I currently serve the Village, I have a track record of community leadership, and I have the skills and temperament to be an effective Trustee.

What, specifically and concretely, would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?

Modernize our water infrastructure; specifically, nailing down steps to be grant-ready for a consolidated retention tank and pump station. I will push to adopt NY Stretch Energy Code, and to be the first certified Climate Smart Community in Orange County. I will work to formalize a pedestrian infrastructure plan, and to revisit the Parks Plan.

What experience, education or other factor gives you the ability to be skillful in this office and accomplish your goals?

Being on the Village Planning Board, I am the only Trustee who has taken an oath to serve the Village. I am also on the Comprehensive Plan Committee. Prior, I served as President of the Board of Trustees for the Chester Public Library. I have done my research, I’ve spent time learning from various board members, I am well versed in the challenges we face, and I have a strong understanding of what it means to govern our Village.

Professionally, I am a cybersecurity technology executive. Through a 20 year career, I have learned the value of due diligence, attention to detail, and leading with empathy. These are skills which I’ve developed into a fact-based, pragmatic approach to problem solving, and will allow me to be an effective Trustee.

What would be your strategy?

I will not be out-prepared. I will seek first to understand, manage by fact, generate more light than heat, and revel in collaboration. I am offering to bring my personal brand of level-headed, rational, no-nonsense leadership to Village government.