MaryJane Shimsky had never held office before winning the Greenburgh seat in the County Legislature last fall. But it was something she had long prepared for, even if she didn't know it at first.
"My whole life people have told me that I should run for something," said Shimsky. "But it didn't really dawn on me until [seeing this legislative position]."
Shortly after moving to Westchester in 1996, Shimsky became involved in local issues ranging from property sales to development and traffic issues. Understanding what her Greenburgh neighbors need now helps her convey her district's concerns to her legislative colleagues.
"It's actually a dream constituency," said Shimsky. "The people of Greenburgh tend to be very well-educated, very aware and very well-informed. They're not afraid to express their opinions or to seek you out if they think you might be helpful."
The main challenge she and her constituents face is the continuing economic crisis and its ripple effect. With a background in law and local issues, she is very focused on how taxpayer money is spent. While demand for governmental services is rising, she wants to contain spending while providing essential services to those in need.
"We're working with the County Executive who came into office with a perceived mandate to shrink government," said Shimsky. "And now we have to make sure that we do more with less. But we have to do more with that lesser amount not just the same. Too many people need too much right now."
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Shimsky attended Yale University and New York University Law School. Currently a resident of Hastings, she served as the community relations officer to former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.
In the legislature she sits on multiple committees, including Community Services and Environment and Energy, and in her spare time enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.
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