It was a delight to speak with Bob McLoughlin, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Dobbs Ferry. As our conversation unfolded, it became clear that Bob McLoughlin is very interested in Dobbs Ferry and wants to see it continue to prosper in the future. Bob, who has loved living in the village for over 25 years, shares his vision for Dobbs Ferry below.
Why did you choose to run for Mayor? I've been volunteering in the village for over 25 years. I'm not really a political guy, but I thought I could help in some way make a difference. I've been very fortunate in my life and I like to give back to the community. My dad taught me long ago that when someone asks you to help, and you have the ability to, you should help out. I still believe in that. I want to work together with all the talented people in the village who have great ideas for the future of Dobbs Ferry.
What comes to mind when you think of Dobbs Ferry?
I have been all over the country, and there is nowhere that tops Dobbs Ferry, we've got everything: great neighbors, the majestic Hudson River and waterfront, the aqueduct, and the history of the Hudson Valley area is amazing. I fondly remember Dobbs Ferry from when I was a small child. My father would take the family, mom and the four boys for a treat to eat at the Dobbs Diner. I would order a hot turkey sandwich with french fries and a coke. I remember telling everyone that I would live there one day. I still go to the Diner today. It brings back such fond memories.
What can you tell us about your family? Family is very important to me. We originally chose to move to Dobbs Ferry because we wanted to be near family and also near to work in New York City. It turned out to be one of the best decisions. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, my wife and I raised our three children here and now have two grandchildren. I'm a lucky guy.
What do you see as the major challenges facing the village? I see safety of the village as a top priority. We must do things to make our sidewalks and crosswalks safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Development is also a major concern for residents. We need to listen to all sides and decide as a community what we want the quality of life in our Village to be like and balance that with the ongoing revenue needs to sustain that lifestyle. I, personally, would love Main Street to be the filled with the storybook architecture of the Historic Hudson Valley, but I can't impose my tastes over the rights of property owners. I do think we need to slow things down a bit and take a breather. There has been some recent changes to the code that can help us moderate the pace of building, but we may need to go further. There has been lots of development and Ardsley Bridge rebuild at the same time and has caused problems, but I believe we can work together to reduce those problems going forward.
What would you change about the way residents interact with Village officials? If elected mayor, I will take steps to ensure the village governs in a more open and transparent way. I believe communication is key. There is a lot of misinformation about how the village is run. People don't understand what all the different boards, such as the Zoning Board, the Planning Board and the AHRB, do and how they make decisions that impact how we move our village forward. I would like to change that by having information sessions so the residents can better understand how so many talented individuals are coming together to make our village better. I would like to bring more clarity around the processes that drive our village so that people understand how decisions are arrived at.
What do you do for fun? I love to walk. I enjoy long daily walks through the village. I love to go on the Aqueduct and down to the Waterfront Park. My walks keep me in touch with the people. I go different routes everyday and I always run into to people I know and get a chance to catch up on things. I also enjoy meeting new people and new families who have come here to enjoy a wonderful life in proximity to all New York City has to offer.
What are some of your favorite local businesses? We have such great restaurants and food establishments here. I especially enjoy morning coffee at JJ Beans, wedges or sandwiches at Scapperotta's Deli or the Park Store, shrimp scampi at Sam's, Steak and the view at Half Moon, burgers at Doubleday's, Harper's or Cedar Street Grill, pizzas at Brick Oven or Buffalo Chicken pizza from San Gennaro's, Sushi Mike's, Golden Dragon, Cookery, Parlor and of course, Dobbs Diner.
What more would you like to tell voters? I see a very vibrant village with a lot of really great things going for it. I also see some capital improvements that need to be addressed to ensure our success long term. We need to make sure our fire department gets the equipment and building upgrades it needs to keep our residents safe. We need to ensure our recreation facilities get the updates they need to serve our current and future residents. We need to make sure our roads and sewers are being maintained properly. We need to focus on safety initiatives to keep our pedestrians, cyclists and motorists safe. We have many challenges ahead, but if we work together and hear all sides, we can definitely find the best solutions.