ARDSLEY, N.Y. In less than a week, Jay Leon will no longer be the mayor of Ardsley. After six years in office, he is turning over the baton to current Deputy Mayor Peter Porcino.
While Leon would like to continue as mayor, his day job as marketing researcher at Turner Sports left him with little time. Receiving three promotions in four years earned him more responsibility and, consequently, more time away from the village.
"I just don't have the time to do it anymore," said Leon, a 20-year village resident. "If I do something, I have to do it to the best of my ability. And I'm at the point where I want to be a great family man, a great provider and a great mayor. And it's gotten to the point where I can only do two out of those three."
Leon's three long-term projects will be completed during Porcino's inaugural term. The first project is to fix the traffic problem on Route 9A by adding a second southbound lane to alleviate the congestion on the stuffy road. The second project is to make the streets of Ardsley more walkable by installing sidewalks on Heatherdell Road from Farm Road to Olympic Lane near Ardsley High School. Construction is expected to begin in the spring. The third is to create workforce housing for volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps workers where the Waterwheel Restaurant used to be. Construction should start in early 2013.
During Leon's six years as Ardsley's mayor, he and his colleagues built a new firehouse and bought a new fire truck. They developed above-average storm water requirements. Ardsley was the first municipality in Westchester County to negotiate contracts with both Verizon and Cablevision so residents could choose their own provider. The village's website was redesigned and email news blasts were offered to residents. In addition, the library was renovated with an expansion in the children's section. Ardsley provides library services to the village of Elmsford, a "quintessential win/win situation," as Elmsford pays Ardsley a fee.
"The library is one of the finest libraries of its size in the country," said Leon. "But I didn't do all of this alone. I am proud of these accomplishments."
Leon was born and raised on Long Island and studied music at the Manhattan School of Music as a trombone player. His wife is a nutritionist and registered dietician. They have a 16-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son.
Incoming Mayor Porcino will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 5 at Village Hall.
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