Former Patch editor who wrote tell-all is running for public office

The Daily Sleepy Hollow | Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch
Sean Roach, who wrote a buzzed-about cover story about his experience as a former editor of Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch for Columbia Journalism Review, is a candidate for Sleepy Hollow’s Board of Trustees. He took questions about his candidacy from Main Street Connect’s Meredith Shamburger last month, including this.

What qualifications make you the best candidate for village trustee?

I covered local government for five years as a reporter and have seen decision making in action and understand how local government works.

Roach is running as an independent with two other candidates, one of whom he profiled last year. The elections are scheduled for March 20.

“I think being a reporter gives you insight on how things work,” Roach says on the phone. His previous political experience consists entirely of a successful bid to be student body treasurer at his high school on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. Roach considered running as a Democrat, he says, but he was worried people would think his earlier coverage favored that party.

Issues that drove him to run? “There’s a lot of issues in our little village,” Roach says. He’d like to engage Sleepy Hollow’s Spanish-speaking community, which makes up nearly half the town population. He wants to get a master plan in place for downtown. He hasn’t discussed his candidacy with his fellow volunteers on Sleepy Hollow’s and Tarrytown’s ambulance squad, for which he is an EMT. “If there’s one thing I want to stress, it’s that I don’t talk about politics when I do ambulance corps,” he says.

Roach isn’t sure if he’ll go back to journalism or not. Since leaving Patch, he’s taken a job as a public relations manager for the National Kidney Foundation, which he enjoys. “I do miss journalism a lot already,” he says. He’ll look at his options after the election. || Related: Tim Armstrong says he “co-founded Patch because local information and journalism improve people’s lives” | “A Brief History of Hyperlocals” (both from CJR)

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