News From Masters
Michael Fitzgerald '18, Editor-in-Chief
Masters junior and 16-year-old David Oks is currently campaigning to be mayor of the Village of Ardsley. Oks will be running against Nancy Kaboolian, who served as deputy mayor under the retiring current mayor, Peter Porcino.
Oks said he made the decision to run for mayor in early August, and will be running as an independent; Kaboolian is running as a Democrat. If elected, Oks’s goals are to be fiscally moderate and socially liberal, to commit Ardsley to the Paris Climate Agreement, and to turn Ardsley into a sanctuary city for immigrants. Additionally, Oks stated, “I would like to reduce the rate of growth in village taxes, and the people of Ardsley agree with me.”
The position of mayor of Ardsley has a two-year term, and Oks stated that he would likely take a gap year after graduating in order to fulfill his mayoral duties if he did in fact win. Oks has assembled a campaign staff made up of current Masters students, as well as a few Masters alumni. At the beginning of his campaign, Oks received a list of all Ardsley voters from the Westchester Board of Elections, which has enabled him to meet various citizens of Ardsley.
Oks’ campaign has generated media attention, so much so that he was interviewed by The New York Times and WNYC regarding his campaign. However, Oks discovered that New York State Law has a provision preventing people under the age of 18 from assuming local office if they are elected, meaning Oks would be unable to serve if elected. That being said, Oks claims the same provisions forbid non-residents from serving in local government, even though there is a non-resident currently serving as a member of Ardsley’s government. Additionally, many towns in New York have received carve-outs, which are exemptions from these provisions. Given this, Oks is confident he can overcome this legal challenge if it occurs.
Oks’ campaign hit somewhat of a setback when his name was removed from the ballot due to a challenge of his petition signatures. The man who filed the suit claiming the signatures on the petition were invalid is his opponent, Kaboolian’s husband. However, this has not stopped Oks from continuing his campaign, and he is pursuing election via write-in. Election Day will be Nov. 7.
Full disclosure: David Oks currently is a member of the Tower staff, serving as Opinion Editor. He did not have editorial input on this article.