John G. Testa
As a life-long resident of Peekskill, New York, John is presently in his fifth term as Westchester County Legislator and Minority Leader for the board. Prior to his County Legislative seat, he served three terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming Mayor, he also served a four-year term as Councilman.
John and his wife Nancy, of 34 years (who is employed by the Peekskill Field Library) have two adult children, John, Jr. and Katy.
Testa has dedicated many years of service to the Peekskill community. He has served on the Peekskill's Conservation and Parks Advisory Board, the Peekskill Zoning Board, and served 14 years as a Trustee for Westchester Community College, assisting in expanding the satellite campus in Peekskill. Other civic responsibilities include The Lincoln Society in Peekskill, where he is a Past-President. Testa is a member of the Peekskill Fire Patrol, the Christopher Columbus Society, where his Great-Grandfather was a founding member, and The Peekskill Elks Lodge 744.
Other civic responsibilities include The Lincoln Society in Peekskill, where he is a Past-President. Testa is a member of the Peekskill Fire Patrol, the Christopher Columbus Society, where his Great-Grandfather was a founding member, and The Peekskill Elks Lodge 744.
With an avid interest in history, Testa has worked to preserve local historical structures and promote local history. As a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for over 40 years, Testa lectures at local schools and organizations. As mayor he was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, Peekskill’s original train depot where President-Elect Abraham Lincoln stopped to address the community in 1861, and now serves as President of the Lincoln Depot Museum Board of Directors. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site and headquarters for the American Army prior to the establishment of West Point. Under his leadership the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.” Also under his tenure Peekskill was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts.
Testa has also been instrumental in his support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the first newly constructed live/work co-ops in NY State in over 100 years. Under Testa’s leadership Peekskill secured the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, a world-renowned center for high quality art and culture. During Testa’s tenure as mayor the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house, went through a complete restoration costing over $1 million. For his efforts Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by the Westchester Arts Council.
John received his Bachelors degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his Masters degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies. Testa retired in 2013 after 33 years teaching.