Roach was elected to the White Plains Common Council in 2001. He was appointed to the position of mayor in Feb. 2011, after his predecessor's resignation. He went on to win the mayor's seat in a special election later that year.
He also serves serve on the Executive Committees of the New York Conference of Mayors and the Westchester Municipal Officials Association and as a member of the Tappan Zee Bridge Mass Transit Task Force.
Here are Roach's answers to a questionnaire sent out by Patch.
Occupation: Mayor of the City of White Plains
Patch: Why did you decide to run for re-election?
Roach: White Plains is a great place to live, a progressive city. Both of my children attend White Plains public schools; they are the fifth generation of my family to live in White Plains. Since being elected Mayor I have worked to improve the city’s fiscal condition, enhance our already bustling downtown keep the crime rate low and make the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists. I want to continue my work on these and other initiatives to make White Plains an even more attractive place to live and work.
Patch: What personal or professional experiences qualify you to serve as mayor?
Roach: I have been an attorney for 26 years, I served on the common council for ten years prior to becoming acting mayor and then elected mayor for two and a half years. Even before serving on the council I had been active in many community organizations throughout the city. I try to attend as many community events as possible, forging relationships, and learning about issues of concern. This is essential in a diverse community like White Plains, and I’m proud to be a mayor who can work with everyone.
Patch: What is the top issue facing city residents?
Roach: The number one concern throughout the state, with regard to every city, town, and village, is controlling taxes All of our tax budgets, since I have become mayor, have been in compliance with the state tax cap. We’ve done that without borrowing money to fund pension obligations or other expenses, while maintaining the high levels of service residents expect. Moody’s has upgraded our Aa1 rating from an Aa1 negative outlook to an Aa1 stable outlook, with a specific nod to my fiscal policies.
Patch: Describe your campaign platform or how you differentiate yourself from your opponents' platforms?
Roach: We have taken real, concrete steps to save money and improve efficiency since I was elected. The Parking and Building Departments have moved from rented space into city owned space, departments have been consolidated, and automated side loader sanitation trucks have been introduced to the city’s fleet, changes which save money and improve operational efficiency now and in the future.
We have worked for a more sustainable city, bringing the first dedicated bike lanes to Westchester County, passing complete streets legislation, and establishing White Plains as a leader in the nation’s growing electric vehicle charging network.
We have taken a pro-active approach to the revitalization of our commercial areas, bringing new businesses, jobs and revenue to our city.
As mayor I put in place new communication technology which permits the city to communicate quickly with residents, an ability which become crucial during Sandy.
I have established excellent working relationships with our elected representatives at every level of government. My approach to governing, is to find common ground and work together to solve problems.
Patch: Should you be re-elected, what would you like to achieve over the course of your term?
Roach: We are going to continue to introduce more efficiencies into government, as well as enhance the city’s environment. We are working on legislation to phase out the use of no. 4 and no. 6 heating oil in the city, reducing air pollution. Most people agree that the train station does not rise to the level that White Plains deserves and we will be working to revamp that entire area .
I will be continue to keep the city fiscally strong, preserve our neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of our downtown to attract new businesses, jobs, and residents.
Patch: If elected, how do you feel you will balance of the concerns of the city’s businesses community with the concerns of all your other constituents?
Roach: I don’t view the two as mutually exclusive. When we have a strong, thriving business community downtown, we generate revenue for the city which helps stabilize tax rates for everyone – including residents. It also enhances the quality of life in the city. It’s nice to have a downtown where you can stroll down Mamaroneck Avenue with restaurants and dining, where you can see a movie or a play, or be a short ride from midtown Manhattan by train.
We also want to make the city a more pleasant experience for pedestrians and cyclists. We want make it more “walkable” and “bikeable,” which means fewer cars downtown and more residents able to enjoy the city.
Patch: Is there anything we haven't asked that you would like the public to know about you?
Roach: I feel honored to be mayor of this city. I work hard every day to keep the fabric of our city woven together. I work at all levels of government to discuss how crucial White Plains is to our regional economy, ensuring we receive the appropriate recognition and support.
When I took office I turned down a city car and turned down a city cell phone. When attending events I walk when possible and attend events without staff or security. I welcome comments from and discussions with our residents and do everything I can to make myself accessible.