Yorktown is a place for families. I’m proud of growing up here and my wife and I are raising our family here too.
For Yorktown to be a place where young families grow and seniors can retire, we must have both a plan and a commitment to achieve smart growth.
As I’ve begun knocking on doors in my campaign for Town Supervisor, I’ve heard one overarching theme: Yorktown is just too expensive.
For starters, Yorktown’s commercial tax base continues to be the lowest in Westchester County. So when the town needs money, it looks squarely at our homeowners. Yorktown has fallen behind our neighbors who are welcoming new employers and new jobs. Traveling down Route 6, you see transformative projects underway expanding the commercial tax base in nearby towns and alleviating the pressure placed on their residential taxpayers.
Unlike Cortlandt, which quickly zoned, cited and approved a new ShopRite, the Yorktown Lowe’s took nearly a decade and an estimated $20 million to open for business. And while the rest of Yorktown lays dormant, there are exciting projects underway in Somers, Mahopac and Chappaqua.
Yorktown has earned a reputation as hostile to new opportunity—and it’s crushing our homeowners. Look no further than the cancelled expansion of the Jefferson Valley Mall, which is one of Yorktown’s largest taxpayers. Beyond new jobs, the additional tax revenue could have helped alleviate the Town’s property tax burden, improve services for our seniors and enhance our schools.
I have a plan to get Yorktown moving again and the experience needed to deliver real results. We need walkable downtowns in each of our hamlets and complete streets that improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. We need smarter, more efficient delivery of services. It’s time for our local government to be a leader in innovation and, considering the taxes we pay, it already should be!
I have the experience needed to reform Town government and I’ll work hard every day to get Yorktown headed in the right direction. I believe in public service and, for the past four years, I was privileged to serve our community as State Senator Terrence Murphy’s chief-of-staff. Together, we wrote and passed 50 new state laws benefitting local residents and delivered over $4 million in new state funding for Yorktown. We tackled a wide range of state and local issues, ranging from the heroin epidemic to the installation of a new traffic light at the intersection of Route 118 and Route 129.
Working with Senator Murphy, we partnered with local officials and members of our community to enact important reforms, including new state laws requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for opioid addiction and ending the long-term prescriptions that helped flood our communities with Oxycontin and other dangerous narcotics. We also invested in Yorktown’s quality-of-life by delivering $1.9 million to rehabilitate local roads and millions more for our fire departments, school districts, libraries and vital community organizations that provide important services for local residents.
One such grant provided $700,000 to modernize town facilities. Yorktown has the best employees in Westchester, but we must continue working to ensure they have the resources and technology needed to move our community forward. Specifically, we must create an online system to streamline the permitting process and use Open Data to improve government transparency. The rest of the world is already doing these things and Yorktown’s dormant town government is not keeping up.
It’s time for new leadership for Yorktown. As Town Supervisor, I will bring my passion and experience to the job. Let’s make Yorktown a place that everyone can afford to call home.
Click here to read the original in the Northern Westchester Examiner.
YORKTOWN, NY – Stepping out from his behind-the-scenes political roles, Yorktown Republican chairman Matt Slater announced last week that he is running for town supervisor.
It will be the first bid for elective office for Slater, 33, the former chief of staff for state Sen. Terrence Murphy and a longtime political professional. He is expected to face incumbent Supervisor Ilan Gilbert in November.
Slater, who said he plans to step down from his Republican Town Committee post, lives in Yorktown with his wife, Kellie, and their 3-year-old son, Charles.
Slater was joined at the event by dozens of supporters, many of them decades his senior, including his running mates, incumbent councilman Tom Diana, 62, and Ed Lachterman, 53. His former boss, Murphy, 52, who lost a re-election bid last year, said, “Matt has been waiting to do this for years. His credentials are bar none.”
The slater resume includes four years in the State Senate as Murphy’s aide as well as stints as executive director of the New Hampshire GOP and the Mid-Hudson regional director for the New York State Assembly’s minority leader.
A 2004 Yorktown High School graduate, Slater received his bachelor’s degree from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College.
During his press conference, Slater criticized the Gilbert administration for what he called its inaction on important projects. Owners of the Jefferson Valley Mall, for example, recently shelved plans to construct an 8,000-square-foot building with two new restaurants and a retailer on its property.
The Washington Prime Group, the owners, has been typically tight-lipped, declining multiple opportunities to explain the decision. But Republicans lay the blame squarely at Gilbert’s feet, saying the project was reviewed to death at the local level.
“I’ll have a very proactive administration,” Slater said. “It’s not waiting for people to come to me saying there’s a problem. It’s going to them, understanding what hurdles they’re seeing and how we can help them overcome them faster, more efficiently, more effectively without costing us more tax dollars.”
His criticism of town government wasn’t reserved for Gilbert’s administration. Slater faulted elected officials for decades of what he said was poor financial planning and bureaucratic hurdles that “have created a system where expenses continue to outpace revenues and nothing is done to ease our residential tax burden.”
Yorktown, with its “anti-progress reputation,” he said, has the lowest commercial tax base in Westchester County.
“Why is it that Cortlandt can get ShopRite zoned, sited and approved in a year and it’s taken us here in Yorktown 10 years to get Lowe’s open for business?” Slater asked.
Asked specifically about Depot Square, Slater stopped short of endorsing former Republican Supervisor Michael Grace’s plan to demolish the highway garage on the corner of Front street and Underhill Avenue and replace it with a privately owned mixed-use building. Gilbert’s administration has not moved forward with the Grace plan, calling it “flawed.” But Slater did say there were opportunities to “modernize” the town’s facilities.”
“Here in Yorktown, we have town employees working out of a trailer with a tarp because they have a leaky roof. And we park our maintenance vehicles and our equipment on tennis courts,” Slater said. “That’s unacceptable, and, for the taxes we pay, frankly it’s outrageous.”
YORKTOWN, NY – The Grand Old Party in Westchester County ain’t dead yet. That is the message republicans are proclaiming as new candidates step up and challenge democrats in the northern and southern parts of the county. In the wake of the Blue Wave that swept Westchester in 2016 and 2017, several new, fresh faces have stepped forward to talk about taxes, affordability, and present a different narrative to the progressive ideals proclaimed by many democrats in Westchester and New York State.
In the Town of Yorktown, Longtime political operative Matthew Slater has declared his candidacy to become the next Yorktown town supervisor. Yorktown, which was a republican stronghold for decades, recently elected its first democratic supervisor in more than a generation, when Ilan Gilbert defeated Michael Grace in 2017.
Slater is not new to government, having served as chief of staff for former State Sen. Terrence Murphy, as well as having served as mid-Hudson regional director for the New York State Assembly Minority Conference. Slater served as chairman of the Yorktown GOP committee until stepping down to run for supervisor.
“People that have lived here all of their lives and people that just moved in say the same thing, Yorktown is just too expensive,” he said. “Decades of poor planning and bureaucratic hurdles have created a system where expenses continue to outpace revenue and nothing is done to ease our residential tax burden.”
Slater has been endorsed by Murphy, his former boss. “There are a lot of unsung heroes in public service and to have Matt step up from behind the scenes will be a huge win for the people of Yorktown,” said Murphy.
State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne also endorsed Slater, saying: “In Yorktown alone, he helped us alienate parkland to preserve a historic cemetery, designate nearly two dozen local lakes including Mohegan Lake, Sparkle Lake and Junior Lake – as inland waterways for the purposes of waterfront revitalization and environmental remediation, as well as rename two of Yorktown’s state roads for fallen warriors of the community.”
Slater, 33, and his wife, Kellie, have a 3-year-old son. He is a 2004 graduate of Yorktown High School, received his undergraduate degree from St. Anselm College, and earned his Master of Public Administration from Marist College.
Click here to read more from Westchester Rising.
Yorktown Patch: ‘We need a walkable downtown in each of our hamlets,’ says Terrence Murphy’s former chief of staff
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – Lifelong Yorktowner Matt Slater announces his candidacy for Supervisor with his Mom, wife Kellie, and son Charlie.
YORKTOWN – Longtime political operative Matthew Slater has declared his candidacy to become the next Yorktown town supervisor. He will face incumbent Town Supervisor Ilan Gilbert in November.
YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Matt Slater, former chief of staff to state Sen. Terrence Murphy and chairman of the Yorktown GOP, is stepping out from behind the scenes to run for elective office.
JEFFERSON VALLEY, NY – All hands were on deck early on Monday afternoon, including state senator and an aide who assisted at the scene of a two-vehicle crash in Putnam County.
Matt Slater was just getting back from Albany (luckily) in time for our interview.
Apparently the state budget is due next week. “There’s always something”, he says with a sleepy grin.
Slater is Senator Terrence Murphy’s Chief of Staff and has been working with Murphy for the past ten years. In fact, Slater was just 22 when he and Terrence Murphy met, which definitely puts him at the younger end of the spectrum in his role today for the Senator as his Chief of Staff.
Although being the young gun in his field definitely comes with its’ own set of challenges, Slater has learned how to, “Not take no for an answer…not be afraid to fail. You’ve got to keep putting in the effort…you can’t replace a good work ethic, which I get from my mom. She is the hardest worker I’ve ever met in my life… she pours her heart and soul and every fiber of her being into
her work whether it’s her job, or church, or community projects.”
Unsurprisingly, Slater credits his mom for his inspiration to get into politics, whom took him on a childhood trip to Washington. Also like his mom, Slater enjoys, “just helping people”, as he puts it. A most recent example of help given in Matt’s day to day work would be during the Nor’ Easter power outages our region encountered this past season., “It was a really bad situation for people all across the region”, says Slater, who then goes on to describe an instance of a 39 year old quadriplegic man whose elderly parents could not utilize his feeding tube for him. As soon as the Red Cross informed their office about it, Slater and Senator Murphy had a generator going at the home in a mere hours. When asked to touch on another prevalent subject, Matt Slater talks about the opioid epidemic. “It’s horrific what’s going on out there”, he says.
Through the Senator’s work with the local task force, Slater explains, they’ve passed a bill with a seven-day limit on the amount of pain medication that can be prescribed at one time. Senators Gillibrand and McCain picked up the bill to make it national as well. This subject ties in nicely in our conversation to his wife Kellie’s work. Kellie Slater is the Director of Community Outreach at AFC Urgent Care in Yorktown Heights.
Clearly a woman that “stands by her man” in support of everything her husband does, she also has experience with the opioid crisis on a community level in her work. She explains that drug seekers who may come into the Urgent Care office can be looked up on a state regulated “istop” computer program that checks to see exactly where and when they’ve been prescribed painkillers at other locations, enabling health care officials to know if they are abusing drugs as opposed to being in a legitimate occasion of need for pain meds. Kellie Slater actually grew up in politics.
Her mom, was George Pataki’s Executive Director, and resides today in West Point with her stepfather who was a state assemblyman for years and also worked for Pataki as his director of public relations.
Kellie’s birth father was a (youngest to date) Judge in Monroe. However, with Kellie’s boisterous and giving personality, she became frustrated over the years at witnessing change occur only in small increments. Doing community outreach work at hospitals has given Kellie the impetus she’s needed to help people in a more immediate way. She started at Hudson Valley Hospital and then on to White Plains hospital where she and Matt met, whereas he frequented the health fairs she put on there often. “Oh he must be very philanthropic, or so I thought…”explains Kellie with a gregarious laugh. As it turns out, philanthropy aside, Matt was there all the time to see Kellie, of course! Today Kellie and Matt are happily married and sharing a life together with their two-year old son Charlie whom, “works a room better than both of us combined!”, exclaims Kellie.
Being that they are both busy working parents, they talk about how they are fortunate to be able to make many of their work events family events. “If we have an event in Cortlandt, Peekskill,
or Yorktown we bring Charlie… and our date nights are cocktail parties for the chamber!” It’s easy to see that Kellie and Matt have found the right recipe for making their family and work lives blend together seamlessly, with Charlie’s grandparents on both sides enjoying being involved in his upbringing.
“My boss always says that family is the nucleus of your life”, explains Matt. This article would not be complete without the mentioning of the Drs. Rajesh and Seema Gupta, the owners and practicioners of AFC Urgent Care where Kellie works.
It’s evident after listening to Kellie and Matt (the Guptas’ lived on the same street Matt grew up on!) gush over the Guptas’ that they are a couple that truly enjoy the people they know in their community, whom many of become their patients as well. In addition to his Urgent Care practice, Dr.Rajesh Gupta makes “housecalls” to Fieldhome Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Yorktown, and the VA Hospital in Montrose.
It’s no surprise given these characteristics that DR.Rajesh and Seema Gupta possess that Matt and Kellie Slater feel right at home in Kellie’s workplace; with an ability to blend seamlessly their “nucleus” of work, family, and community life.
As Kellie Slater says, “Make time for your community because in the big picture that’s where you’re going to see change.”
JEFFERSON VALLEY, NY – The Yorktown Republican Party’s own Matt Slater of Senator Terrence Murphy’s office explains how the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown is getting a major makeover.