Candidates For Town Board | October 25, 2007
On November 6, 2007 there will be an important election in the Town of Tuxedo.  Four candidates are vying for two open seats on the Town Board.  Below, please find bios submitted by  each of the candidates.


My name is Tom Darling and I am seeking election to Tuxedo town council. I am thirty seven years old and live in Laurel Ridge with my wonderful wife Shannon. My parents, Roger and Theodora, moved to Tuxedo in nineteen sixty nine shortly after my birth. I have lived in Tuxedo on the circle by the school, on Brandy Hill Rd. in Southfields, and in Clinton Woods. A little over two years ago Shannon and I bought a house in Laurel Ridge a short distance from where I was raised.

I run a small business fabricating, installing and servicing awnings in Bergen and Orange County.  For twenty two years I have served the Tuxedo Fire District at Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Company. Currently I am president with five years in that roll. I have held many other positions including vice president, engineer, bylaws committee chair and truck committee member (design and purchase of truck for fire district).

Service to your community is a concept I learned early on, from my grandparents, Fred and Adelaide who were active in their church as well as the silver dollars. My parents have been active in scouts, the fire dept., the town hall, the historical society, etc.

I have chosen Tuxedo as my home and I would take pride in being one of the people who lead our town into the future.

I do want this town to move forward… without pushing out the people who built it, or burying its unique history.  I believe in the support of the town’s police department and the recognition of its service.  I believe that the current responsibilities of the ARB need to be examined along with the structure of the board and the length of its member’s terms.  I also believe more town’s people need to be more aware of what decisions are being made regarding their future. I’m speaking of their right to know as well as their responsibility to know.

I feel that Tuxedo is at a crossroads and that the decisions made by the next board will be critical to the future of our town.  Competent and experienced oversight of the Tuxedo Reserve project is essential to protect the environment, the small town feel and the historical heritage of Tuxedo. I feel that I am qualified to provide that oversight.  Our town faces complex issues including; Spending Control, Recreation Center Development, School District Boundaries, Downtown Revitalization, Ambulance Coverage and Volunteer Recruitment, and Proposed Development within and along our borders, just to name a few. I believe that the right choices for Tuxedo are; Gary Phelps, a long time resident and 17 year planning board member, Elaine Laurent, Joe Tripoli, Loretta Davis and myself. Please give us an opportunity to provide Tuxedo with a Government that works!


My name is Gary Phelps, and I am a candidate for a seat on the Tuxedo Town Board as Town Councilman.  I have been a Tuxedo resident for over 25 years.  I am married with three children and two grandchildren, and I have my own carpentry business.  I served my country in Vietnam and was honorably discharged after three years of military service.  My past community service has included the Tuxedo 10K, Fishing

Derby, Little League Coach, Ramapo River Clean-Up, Town Clean-Up, Hamlet Committee, Lucky Playground Planning & Construction, Conservation Advisory Council (recycling program) and Multi-Modal Committee.  

I am currently on the Tuxedo Planning Board, on which I have served as a member for 17 years.  I am also a trustee of the Tuxedo Chamber of Commerce.

I believe as Councilman I would bring experience and direction in matters important to Tuxedo residents.  I feel that residents and businesses should have more input in what the future of Tuxedo should be and look like.

I believe better efforts can be made to inform residents of upcoming projects or happenings in Tuxedo, such as use of the public access television channel, more postings throughout the various sections of Town, newsletters and possibly a dedicated phone line with a recorded message which could be updated regularly.

I support the drafting of ethics guidelines.

I believe we should seriously pursue the addition of another full-time police officer.

The current duties of the Architectural Review Board need to be changed to make better use of the members’ time and abilities to concentrate on Tuxedo Reserve and other future development. The current sign law conflicts can better be solved by a new and separate 3-5 person committee made up of members from the ARB, the Chamber of Commerce, the Town Board and/or Planning Board and individuals with architectural, design or artistic expertise.

Tuxedo is going to experience incredible growth in population over the next dozen or so years, and I believe with planning, foresight and resident input, we can still have a Tuxedo with the same “small” town appearance, feel and community closeness.

I would also like to do a serious, in-depth study into bringing our Tuxedo students in Monroe-Woodbury back into Tuxedo.


I am originally from a small town north of Chicago, Illinois.  I grew up in a large close-knit family in a community that emphasized family values, education, organized sports and religion – a town very much like Tuxedo.  Unfortunately, suburban sprawl has turned every farm, field and open space I remember into a new neighborhood, sidewalk mall, bank or gas station mini-market.  My husband Raymond and I looked for a very long time and at many communities before putting our roots down here.  Tuxedo is similar to the “small town” I remember growing up in and the town that Raymond and I will raise our three year old son, Rosario (“Rossi”). 

I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.  Before moving to New Jersey in 1997, I was a contract administrator for a large international company that manufactured lithographic printing presses.  I reviewed every detail of contracts to make sure everything was in order before each multi-million dollar contract was signed.  Since 1998, I have worked as the Personnel Administrator for a manufacturing company owned by my husband.  I tend to employee relations; health, building and liability insurances; weekly payroll; workers comp issues and OSHA compliance.  As part of the family, I am called on regularly to make important decisions in a variety of situations.  I am a highly organized and detail oriented person able to work within a diverse group.  I quickly assess the situation at hand and arrive at a solution that is agreeable for all involved.

Tuxedo’s Future – Controlled Growth
I am new to local government.  I am not new to listening intently and managing fairly and effectively.  I am in favor of our town maintaining our open spaces and small town feel.  Our town can, however, enjoy positive growth through proper planning and management.  Now that Tuxedo Reserve is progressing forward, I feel that the Town Board has the responsibility to carefully oversee this project to ensure that the developers adhere to the special permit adopted by the Town Board.  Tuxedo Reserve is a reality; it should become the best community that it can be because it will affect the rest of our town.  I believe the Town Board needs to persist in seeking resourceful avenues in which to bring in additional revenues to hold our property taxes down.  Simply, we need to “Continue the Progress.”

I am encouraged by Tuxedo’s direction and would like to bring my business experience and skills to work as part of the team.  I would be honored to have this chance to serve my community through government.  I will come to the Town Board with energy and dedication.  Please vote for me, Jean Ruffino on Tuesday, November 6.  Together we can Continue the Progress toward an even better Tuxedo  –  one that will remain a place we will be proud to call home.


I was born in New York City and have lived most of my life in Orange County, New York.  I presently reside in Tuxedo Park with my wife of 17 years, Jill Rubin Siegel, and our 9 year old daughter, Sophie Rubin Siegel.

I am presently a Councilman for the Town of Tuxedo. I was appointed to that position in January 2007.  Since then, I have been very involved in numerous Town issues, including the crafting of a new Master Plan and the revitalization of the historic Tuxedo Train Station.  I am very interested in environmental and growth/development issues that face our Town.

Previously, I was a Member of the Town of Tuxedo Architectural Review Board and also served as Recording Secretary for the Village of Tuxedo Park Board of Architectural Review.

I have an accomplished career in Law, Information Services, Publishing and Legal Marketing.

I started my career as an Associate at the Law Firm of Brennan, Fabriani and Novernstern in the firm’s Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group.

During my career, I have worked as a Regional Sales Manager for Lexis-Nexis, Regional Sales Director for OneSource Information Services, Regional Sales Manager for Thomson Findlaw/Thomson West, Sales Director for LRN – The Legal Knowledge Company, Senior Director for Martindale-Hubbell, Vice President of Sales for REIS and Vice-President of Sales & Business Development for Questia, Inc.   At the present time, I am a principal in Genesis Global Recruiting.  My company is an Executive Search and Staffing Firm.  I run a division that focuses on legal and law related opportunities.

I am a graduate of Minisink Valley High School in Slate Hill.  I am also a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany where I earned a B.A. in Psychology.  I received my Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law.

I am an avid runner and cyclist and can often be seen running and cycling throughout the Town and the Village.   I am also a Member of the Tuxedo Club.

My wife Jill is also an active member of the community.  Jill has co-chaired fundraising efforts for the Tuxedo Park School and is an active member of the PTO for the Tuxedo Union Free School District.

I look forward to speaking with you about my views as well as my vision for the future of Tuxedo.  Thanks in advance for your support!

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