With the Patchogue Village Mayoral Election coming up on March 20, Patchogue Patch has sat down with all of the candidates for Q&A and for a quick video pitch on why you should vote for them. Check back to Patchogue Patch next week for spotlights on the trustee candidates from Patchogue 2012 and Residents First.
Party: Progress For All
Patch: Why have you decided to seek office and what makes you qualified to serve as a trustee/mayor?
Evans: I decided to seek the office of Mayor for a number of reasons. The Village of Patchogue is my home, where I planted my roots and where I will raise my family. After seeing Patchogue’s political climate and noticing a local government split down the middle I decided to get involved. I felt that we, the residents, no longer have a government or a candidate that represent us. The political ambitions and personal agendas have begun to take precedence over the needs of our community. As mayor, I will owe no favors to any organizations, corporations, donors or other elected officials. As a small business owner, I have first-hand knowledge of the economic challenges that we face as a community. My ideas and vision will create an environment to motivate investment and small business.
Patch: What are your thoughts on Patchogue's growth over the past five years?
Evans: Patchogue has seen improvements over the last five years; however on one hand we have seen investments by large development corporations, yet on the other hand we seem to have forgotten about small business development. Small business is the foundation of our local economy and must not be overlooked in the interest of large business. Not enough has been done in the last five years to fill the vacant store fronts.
Patch: What are the two biggest issues Patchogue still faces?
Evans: The two biggest issues that Patchogue still faces are the local economy and our current political environment. Patchogue needs to put forth a plan that will attract new business while also stimulating existing small businesses. We need local jobs created and tax revenue generated by creating a strong incentive program motivating new business investments. The existing government and current candidates are more interested in personal and political agendas rather than the future of Patchogue. We need a government that will work together in a common vision rather than be separated by political parties.
Patch: Are you for or against project and why?
Evans: Development of the Four Corners is necessary. I would have rather seen a plan with commercial/retail being the forefront of the project. This location needs to be the cornerstone of our business district and should be a destination for residents and visitors to come for commerce. We need to take advantage of our infrastructure (water ways, railways, highway, and local airports) and we need to start building an economy around them. Furthermore, I would have explored the possibility of Tritec making an investment into a small business fund. The fund can be setup as a low interest loan, no interest loan or in a grant form. In a time where business financing capital is low and hard to come by, we need to give people an opportunity to open a business locally, here in Patchogue. We need to focus on jobs and the local economy.
Patch: What kind of time commitment would you be able to put toward the mayor/trustee position?
Evans: I will be a full time Mayor.
Patch: In what ways would you reach out to Patchogue's large Hispanic community?
Evans: Hispanics are a part of America’s story. They have put their blood, sweat and tears into raising our nation. We need to have the Hispanic community involved in our Village. We need to directly communicate with the Hispanic community as they are integral in the fabric and success of Patchogue, from registering more Hispanics to vote, to having more Hispanic-owned businesses. As a Mayor, I will make sure their civil liberties are protected equally.
Patch: What's your goal for the makeup of Patchogue's Main Street at the end of the next four years?
Evans: Main Street needs to be full of vibrant store fronts. It has to be a place where people, not only from within our community but also from outside of the Village, come and spend their time and money. We have to make Main Street not only as the center of our Village but also a destination.
Patch: There are many vacancies on Main Street; how would you propose enticing new businesses to open up in Patchogue?
Evans: Setting up a Patchogue small business fund that will provide startup capital and support for small business investments in our Village will be a great way of enticing new businesses. Creating a more user friendly website that will easily link with our businesses with potential customers. Set up an aggressive advertising campaign with our local businesses promoting people to come to Patchogue. Streamline the process of opening a business quicker. Give economic incentives to potential business owners. We need to run a government that works hand and hand with small businesses.
Patch: What are three of your hobbies?
Evans: Some of my hobbies are reading, spending time with family and friends and woodworking.
Patch: How would your best friends/family describe you?
Evans: I would be described as someone that has empathy and is passionate about their beliefs. A hard worker that knows what it takes to get a job completed.
Check back next week for Candidate Spotlight profiles with trustee candidates from Patchogue 2012 and Residents First.