Traffic commission hopes to see bike lanes

The Larchmont Traffic Commission is proposing to implement bike lanes within the village, a plan that has been in the works for several years. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

The Larchmont Traffic Commission is proposing to implement bike lanes within the village, a plan that has been in the works for several years. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

If approved, Larchmont could launch a pilot program to implement bike lanes in the village, beginning with one extending from Palmer Avenue to Magnolia Avenue.

If approved, Larchmont could launch a pilot program to implement bike lanes in the village, beginning with one extending from Palmer Avenue to Magnolia Avenue.

By KILEY STEVENS
The Larchmont Traffic Commission has a presentation and proposal ready for the village Board of Trustees to create bike lanes in the village, that, if approved, could begin with a pilot program from Palmer Avenue to Magnolia Avenue.

According to Traffic Commission Co-Chair Carol Miller, the idea was formed in either 2007 or 2008, and the commission started working with the Rye YMCA to come up with ideas on how to incorporate bike lanes into the wide village streets. After the project was tabled for a while, Carolyn Lee, a resident of Larchmont and chairwoman of the Recreation Committee, approached the mayor about it to pick up where the Traffic Commission left off. They were able to dig up a report that the Rye YMCA completed with the help of New York University Wagner, the graduate school for public service.

The report was a study researching the “Complete Streets” strategy, which according to the study’s findings means, “to implement policy measure and design features that make streets safe and accessible for all users, regardless of age, ability or mode of transportation.”

In this study, which included the city of Rye, the town of Mamaroneck and the villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, the NYU Wagner team describes types of bike lanes, including sharrows—painted markings on the roadway, indicating that the road is a shared space for both motorists and recreational users—dedicated bike lanes—space for bicyclists along roadways, at least 5 feet in width and in the same direction as prevailing traffic—and two-way bike lanes—the same as a dedicated  bike lane, but doubled in width, allowing for two directions of bike traffic.

The study recommends two different sections of roadway in the village of Larchmont, the first for Chatsworth Avenue (from Palmer Avenue south to Boston Post Road) suggests dedicated bike lanes on both sides of the road, as well as sharrows used in areas where the avenue has four vehicle lanes. The study suggests dedicated bike lanes because Chatsworth Avenue is 54 feet wide—the streets were designed for a trolley system in the late 1800s and early 1900s—allowing for the 5-foot wide requirement to be met.

For Larchmont Avenue (from Palmer Avenue south to Magnolia Avenue), the study suggests a two-way bike lane, a dedicated bike lane and sharrows, or a single, southbound dedicated bike lane.

Lee, who told the Review that she is an avid biker, feels strongly that residents should be biking and walking more.

“My kids bike to school or walk to school every day, and they’re not the norm,” she said.

Lee, however, realizes that many parents make the choice to drive their children places simply for safety reasons. “The design [of the roads] is not welcoming,” she said. “It doesn’t make you want to hop on your bike.”

The implementation of these lanes would be fairly simple, according to Miller.

“It requires some careful measuring and painting, and possibly labeling,” she said, adding that it would be cost-effective. “There’s no construction, nothing has to be widened, and no traffic patterns have to change.”

Miller added that she hopes to see the issue on the agenda for a village board meeting soon. She requested that it be added to an agenda last November, and it was scheduled for a meeting in January but was pushed back. Larchmont Mayor Anne McAndrews, a Democrat, said she is not yet ready to comment on the proposal, but is excited to see the commission’s presentation at an upcoming board meeting.

CONTACT: kiley@hometwn.com

 

Walkways being discussed for Mamaroneck Ave.

 

According to village officials, the installation of walkways would improve the convenience of parking lots and give residents and visitors an alternative to parking directly on Mamaroneck Avenue. File photo

According to village officials, the installation of walkways would improve the convenience of parking lots and give residents and visitors an alternative to parking directly on Mamaroneck Avenue. File photo

By KILEY STEVENS
In attempt to incentivize commerce and increase pedestrian safety, the village of Mamaroneck is considering installing walkways between Mamaroneck Avenue and public parking lots in the adjoining business district.

The idea of creating pedestrian walkways in the village’s business district spawned out of discussions within the planning department. In a recommendation to the village Board of Trustees, the department outlined many reasons to increase the number of walkways in the village, highlighting sustaining businesses on the avenue and pedestrian safety as the two major factors. In addition, the department believes the creation of walkways would improve the convenience of rear parking lots and give visitors and residents an alternative to parking directly on Mamaroneck Avenue, which, at times, suffers from limited parking due to lack of turnover.

Ray Schramm, owner of Northeast Oyster Co., located at 152 Mamaroneck Ave., said he has realized that parking is a much bigger issue than he thought.

“Anything that is going to help with parking, I’m all for,” Schramm said.

Currently, there are only two walkways connecting parking lots behind businesses on the avenue—one near CVS and the walkway that connects the parking lot under the Emelin Theatre, located on Library Lane, to Mamaroneck Avenue.

Assistant Village Planner Gregory Cutler said the planning department is recommending implementing an amendment to the zoning laws that will encourage storeowners and developers to create open-air walkways by granting them extra space to build to make up for space lost by the creation of a walkway.

Because building space is limited in the central business district, without an incentive, there is little leverage to encourage development of walkways that will take away from the overall density of a business’ building, according to Cutler.

Saidur Dawn, owner of Café Mozart, located at 308 Mamaroneck Ave., said if the village doesn’t find a solution to the parking problem soon, people will stop frequenting the avenue.

“If they make a walkway between the parking spaces and the avenue it would be a good thing to do,” he said.

In an effort to make up for potential building space lost by creating walkways, the planning department has suggested that applicants be granted a 10 percent building bonus, as long as it complies with a list of guidelines as determined by the village Planning Board. However, when the proposal was brought to a work session in June 2015, the Board of Trustees expressed concerns about how the building bonus would be calculated.

A memo from Cutler to Village Manager Richard Slingerland stated that the Board of Trustees believed the criteria for the calculation was not fair. But after a recent village board work session, village trustees asked the planning department to draft a code for these guidelines so that the board may move forward in putting this incentive in motion.

CONTACT: kiley@hometwn.com

 

Cuomo vetoes hotel tax, upsets local officials

 

The Mamaroneck Motel is one of two motels in the village that would have been affected by a hotel occupancy tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have imposed the 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons in some Westchester municipalities.  Photo courtesy Mamaroneckmotel.com.

The Mamaroneck Motel is one of two motels in the village that would have been affected by a hotel occupancy tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have imposed the 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons in some Westchester municipalities.
Photo courtesy Mamaroneckmotel.com.

 

By ANGELA JORDAN
After finally passing through the New York State Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Dec. 28, vetoed a bill that would have imposed a 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on motel patrons
in Mamaroneck.

Cuomo also vetoed requests for a hotel occupancy tax, also known as a “bed tax,” from other Westchester towns and villages including North Castle, Tuckahoe, Greenburgh, Harrison and Port Chester.

In his veto message, Cuomo said that the state Legislature has only advanced hotel occupancy tax bills like this for counties and cities so far, with the village of Rye Brook being a special circumstance in 2011.

“If there is to be policy change on this issue, it should be done pursuant to a comprehensive and determinate statewide policy as advanced by the Legislature,” wrote Cuomo in his veto message. “If the Legislature sets such a policy, I will commit to reconsidering this issue.”

This decision has upset elected officials from both parties, at both the state and local levels.hotel-glance

“This bill has bipartisan support,” said New York state Sen. George Latimer, a Rye Democrat. “[The veto] is hard to justify.”

The village of Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, expressed displeasure with the veto, but said that the lack of a bed tax is not a “dire” loss to the village, which has only two motels.

“I find it very disappointing,” Rosenblum said. “They continually lower the tax cap which is a continuous pressure on
local municipalities.”

Ultimately, Rosenblum said, this gap in revenue negatively affects  property owners the most.

According to Mamaroneck Village Manager Richard Slingerland, the potential revenue lost by missing out on the tax is between approximately $34,000 and $35,000. He also noted, however, that with rising costs and stricter tax caps, “every little bit helps” during municipal budget seasons.

“We’re trying to do a lot of things with the annual budget,” he said. “We’re reviewing all other revenue sources, such as village fees.”

This bill, in conjunction with the other local hotel occupancy bills that were vetoed, was strongly opposed by members of  the Westchester Hotel Association. Dan Conte, the president of the trade group and manager of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, penned a letter to Cuomo on Dec. 16 urging the governor not to pass the bill.

Conte wrote that hotels in Westchester County already face a 3 percent Room Occupancy Tax from the county, in addition to state and county sales taxes. He said that by allowing these bills to pass in Westchester, the total tax on hotel rooms would increase from 11 percent to 14 percent.

“Our business relies heavily on annual bookings of large blocks of rooms by the businesses whose corporate travel planners could easily shift their hotel choices to adjacent markets in northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Conn.,” he wrote in the letter. “All would be hurt as well as the local economy which benefits from the visitors they attract.”

Conversely, state Assemblyman Steve Otis, a Rye Democrat, said that in other Westchester municipalities, such as the cities of Rye, New Rochelle, White Plains, Peekskill and Yonkers, and the village of Rye Brook, bed taxes have been quite useful for local governments.

“Hotel taxes are [a] uniquely valuable alternative to the property tax, as they are primarily obtained by visitors rather than local residents,” Otis said. “Rye Brook, for example, has used all of that money each year to help fund their capital projects budget. Generally, municipalities pay for that by additional debt or raising taxes.”

Latimer agreed that this particular tax would have been best for the communities asking for them. “Every time the word ‘tax’ comes up, it’s a ‘bad word’; but in this case it would have alleviated the tax burden on locals,” he said.

Conte could not be reached for comment as of press time.

CONTACT: angela@hometwn.com

 

Black team earns stripes

 

Harrison Fried takes a shot against Mount Pleasant on Jan. 2. Fried is one of the captains of Mamaroneck’s second varsity team.

Harrison Fried takes a shot against Mount Pleasant on Jan. 2. Fried is one of the captains of Mamaroneck’s second varsity team.

Harrison Fried bodies an Ice Cats defender at Hommocks.

Harrison Fried bodies an Ice Cats defender at Hommocks.

Tommy Conley starts the rush against Mount Pleasant. Photos/Mike Smith

Tommy Conley starts the rush against Mount Pleasant. Photos/Mike Smith

Matt Croly looks for an open teammate on Jan. 2.

Matt Croly looks for an open teammate on Jan. 2.

By MIKE SMITH
On Jan. 2, Mount Pleasant topped the Mamaroneck Black team 9-4 at the Hommock’s Ice Arena, but for the Tigers’ second varsity team, the loss was just another learning experience for a promising young group. As the Tigers continue to make strides on the ice, they are turning into a very serious contender within Section I.

Mamaroneck stayed tight with the Ice Cats—6-1 thus far this season—through the first period and a half, carrying a 3-3 tie into the second period before Mount Pleasant was able to pull away for a five-goal win. Sophomore Colin Lavan had a goal and two assists in the loss.

Thus far, the Mamaroneck Black squad, which is comprised mainly of sophomores and freshmen, has shown the ability to hang with some of the top teams in the section, including the Ice Cats, despite a marked lack of veterans.

Mamaroneck’s ranks have swelled this year, leading to the creation of a second varsity team, but Mike Chiapparelli Jr., who heads the Black team, said that through the first 10 games of the season, his skaters are showing that they’re more than just a junior varsity squad.

“We are playing against teams with a lot of senior leadership,” Chiapparelli said. “The biggest thing for us is coming in and not thinking of ourselves as a ‘B’ team.”

Chiapparelli, whose father is the longtime coach of Mamaroneck’s more established varsity team, which is currently 10-0, has been pleased with the play of his young squad, which has acquitted itself well on the varsity level this year, compiling a 3-5-2 record to start the season. With 32 players on the roster, none of whom came into the season with previous varsity experience, the Mamaroneck Black team has had to learn on the fly as they adjust to the speed of the game. Two of the team’s losses have come to top 10 clubs, the other being a Dec. 21 loss to 10-1 Rye Town/Harrison.

“Our defense is very deep, we can roll out about eight or nine players who do a great job,” Chiapparelli said. “We are just having trouble with missed opportunities on offense, which comes from not having a lot of varsity experience yet.”

Chiapparelli Jr. and the Tigers are looking to push ahead in 2016 and get back to .500. According to the head coach, that will only happen if the team finds a way to start quicker.

“The first period has been our biggest problem,” he said. “But we’re bouncing some ideas around to figure out how to change that.”

The Tigers will be back in action on Jan. 8, when they host Rye Town/Harrison in a much-anticipated rematch. A win over the Titans, who are coming off a 13-0 rout over Rivertown, could be the signature victory the young squad has been looking for.

“We tested them at their place,” Chiapparelli said. “So we’re definitely motivated to come out and play them again.”

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com

 

Column: Misery loves company

On Jan. 3, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills dashed the Jets’ playoff hopes with a 22-17 win over Gang Green. For a Giants fan like Sports Editor Mike Smith, the Jets’ loss was a bright spot in an otherwise terrible NFL season. Photos courtesy Wikipedia.com

On Jan. 3, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills dashed the Jets’ playoff hopes with a 22-17 win over Gang Green. For a Giants fan like Sports Editor Mike Smith, the Jets’ loss was a bright spot in an otherwise terrible NFL season. Photos courtesy Wikipedia.com

I swear that I’m not a spiteful person, but when it comes to sports, it seems like a healthy dose of “schadenfreude” is sometimes unavoidable.

Last Sunday, while watching my New York Giants put the finishing touches on a dreadful 6-10 season—and Tom Coughlin’s coaching career—the only thing that gave me any sort of comfort was seeing the Jets’ season come to an equally disastrous end.

I know. I’m a bad person.

The truth is, even for a Giants fan, this wasn’t a hard Jets team to root for. After jettisoning swagger-y blowhard Rex Ryan in the offseason, Gang Green was under new management in the form of Todd Bowles, a coach cut from the same cloth as the no-nonsense Coughlin. They played hard-nosed defense, had the franchise’s most explosive offense in more than a decade and had a likeable—if not imperfect—signal caller under center in Ryan Fitzpatrick. What’s not to like?

But jealousy is a strange emotion. I came into Week 17 with every intention of rooting for the Jets to beat the Bills—now helmed by Ryan—and clinch a playoff spot. But as the two 1 p.m. games unfolded, I found myself almost subconsciously cheering each Buffalo third-down conversion, delighting in the growing despair of the Jets fans around me.

I guess part of it is the residual resentment built up from the Rex Ryan regime. I never had strong feelings one way or the other about the franchise before Rex took over, but his tenure was marked by the kind of bravado and boastfulness that doesn’t engender a lot of goodwill from opposing fan bases.

But mostly, it had to do with the Giants’ failures. If I had to watch my team blow chance after chance and miss yet another postseason, why should anyone else—let alone people I have to see every day—have the right to be happy?

Am I being juvenile? You bet. But at least I’m not alone.

Throughout the course of the game, I was communicating with some friends in a group chat, the majority of whom were Giants or Eagles fans, and had no real stakes in the Bills-Jets game. Only my friend Mike, a season ticket-holder for years, swears allegiance to New York’s other team. But as Fitzpatrick’s interceptions doomed the Jets, you would have thought the rest of us were members of the so-called “Bills Mafia.”

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin lost his job after another bad season for Big Blue. For Sports Editor Mike Smith, the only silver lining is that the Jets aren’t in the playoffs either.

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin lost his job after another bad season for Big Blue. For Sports Editor Mike Smith, the only silver lining is that the Jets aren’t in the playoffs either.

GIFS of plane crashes, butt-fumbles and jubilant Rex Ryan celebrations flooded the chain, as we did our best to pile on to our buddy’s already crummy day.

I may not be proud of myself, but if I can’t be proud of the Giants, watching someone else suffer might just be the next best thing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Tyrod Taylor jersey to order.

 

Follow Mike on Twitter
@LiveMike_Sports

 

 

Column: Hopes for 2016

New Year’s resolutions are fine for matters within our own power to control such as what we do to others and to ourselves. But for what is beyond our reach we can only hope and pray for, according to our beliefs. Here are some yearnings that fall now into the category of mere hopes.

I hope that in 2016, we Americans will gain a president-elect with the brains and stamina for this hugely demanding responsibility. Considering the broad range of our present and foreseeable problems, the person we need may not seem to be able to beat the present in our sight. But candidates can sometimes rise above their prospects.

I hope that our organs of government will function successfully in 2016, bringing about lawful and practical solutions that have been thoroughly discussed among the interested parties.

I hope that age-old religious schisms and hatred of other humans, regardless of race, color, creed or beliefs may be defeated by love and kindness and, if that fails, by either a national or international criminal court where the eyes of world might be “the jury of their peers.”

I hope to see a new Rye City Council that swears off the sloppy habit of holding private meetings to discuss the public’s business. Even in the infrequent situations where allowed by state law, private meetings are a blot on our civic reputation.

And I also hope to see a City Council where differences of opinion are welcomed and aired in a spirit of respectful debate, rather than being shunned as some sort of juvenile behavior. Let friendly smiles and good will prevail in City Hall.

And I hope to see continued support for architectural and environmental preservation in our city of Rye and that the only rock-splitting sounds that we hear this year will come from the traditional suburban “garage band” of a guitar, bass and drums and not from any destructive earth-shattering chipping machine.

And I hope to see all members of our community, Republicans and Democrats, white collar and blue collar professionals, women and men, young and old, continue to volunteer their time and expertise on our many boards and committees, our firefighting companies, nonprofit organizations and houses of worship in order to preserve the unique character of this place that we call home.

CONTACT: j_pcarey@verizon.net

 

Column: Honoring Sgt. Lemm and My Community Alert

As many of you know, our community suffered a loss with the tragic death of West Harrison resident Staff Sgt. Joseph Lemm, who was recently killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Sgt. Lemm was cherished by his family and was greatly admired by our community. Through these dark days, I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of love, friendship and faith I’ve witnessed, especially by our residents. I hope that this show of support will encourage those who knew and loved Sgt. Lemm to draw strength from the sense of community we have in Harrison. Thank you to those involved in honoring his memory. I hope we can all find solace in celebrating Sgt. Lemm’s short but meaningful life and remembering better times.

I would like to extend my warmest wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year. I hope you and your family had a happy and festive holiday. I want to thank you for all your support over the last year. The town board has achieved incredible things so far, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in 2016.

As we begin the new year, I am happy to report that Harrison continues to build on the success of the last few years while keeping tax increases in check, sustaining a healthy reserve and maintaining all our basic municipal services. In addition to our improved bond rating from Moody’s, Harrison’s 2016 budget was adopted and remains under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandated tax cap. Advancing this positive trend is a priority and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.

I would like to bring your attention to My Community Alert. This valuable system allows Harrison police officers and other town officials to notify residents in the event of an ongoing emergency. Text messages and emails are sent to registered residents if the Harrison Police Department believes that the community should be informed of a local incident or event. Recently, our Police Department has sent out alerts pertaining to road closures and weather updates, and has warned our community that fraudulent phone solicitations had been reported in our area. Residents can register with My Community Alert at mycommunityalert.net. I encourage all to take advantage of this very useful tool.

Please be aware of the following sanitation notice: Christmas trees may be placed curbside for pickup through Sunday, Jan. 31. Please do not place trees in plastic bags. No holiday wreaths or roping will be collected. Visit harrison-ny.gov for more information.

The library is continuing to offer great programs. I encourage all interested movie buffs to attend our library’s Brown Bag Cinema. Enjoy the new large screen at the recently-renovated Halperin building of the Harrison Public Library. This event is free of charge and is held on one Thursday each month at 1 p.m. Bring your lunch, sit back and enjoy a screening of a film newly released on DVD. Upcoming films include “The Walk” on Jan. 21 and “The Intern” on Feb. 18. Refreshments are provided by The Friends of the Harrison Library.

Column: New York state villages face added burdens

The New York state comptroller’s office recently announced that beginning with the June 2016 budget cycle, the 2 percent tax cap law will translate into only a 0.12 percent tax ceiling for villages in compliance.

This unrealistic limit was extrapolated from a signature piece of legislation for the governor, which limits spending growth to either 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

In contrast, state spending is not limited in this way, nor are the projected increases in the more than 200 unfunded mandates annually delivered to villages from Albany.

Clearly, the tax cap operates in a politically expedient vacuum devoid of economic realities.

Although it is rhetorically brilliant, the long-term detriment of the tax cap cannot be overestimated.

As illustrated, if Bronxville were to come in under the cap in this budget cycle, we would have to forfeit $5 million-plus in FEMA flood mitigation monies because our 12.5 percent matching share would exceed the tax cap limit.

Unlike the exception made for school districts, capital improvements and infrastructure repairs undertaken by a municipality are not exempt from the tax cap spending calculation. This prohibition creates the most powerful disincentive for communities to repair one of the nation’s most aging infrastructures.

In an effort to counter the unrealistic 0.12 percent spending increase ceiling, many of our neighboring villages, including Tuckahoe, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Hastings, petitioned for a 3 percent hotel tax on each rented room; the logic being that the revenue would be a user tax, rather than a property tax, and the increased funds would at least keep local services flat.

Even though the governor signed an almost identical bill allowing the city of Yonkers to generate this revenue, he vetoed it for local villages after most of Westchester’s elected officials and the bipartisan Westchester Municipal Officials Association objected to it.

Why are there disproportionate burdens on villages, including the unrealistic 0.12 percent tax cap, the lack of an exemption for capital/infrastructure repairs and the continuation of the Metro-North tax for municipalities only, which cost our village a half percent tax point yearly?

As a close follower of the governor’s statements, I have concluded that the tax cap legislation and the recent veto are rooted in the governor’s overarching goal of municipal consolidations.

When he was our attorney general, Andrew Cuomo’s office submitted a bill allowing any citizen of New York state to start the process of the dissolution of a village, regardless of whether they lived in that village, by garnering the support of only 10 percent of the residents who voted in the last mayoral election. To put the governor’s bill into context, a non-resident would need to find only eight Bronxville residents to force a villagewide referendum or vote on dissolution. The incredibly flawed bill was amended several times, but the new bill passed has provisions that require communities to vote on their own dissolution before a consolidation plan and financial impact statement are produced. The village of Seneca Falls went this route and is now mired in years of litigation between cost sharing and financial obligations with its merged town.

On the subject of consolidation, Cuomo states that there are 10,500 government units in New York state, which are far too many in his estimation. Refuting this, the state comptroller’s office sets the number at 4,200. Included in both calculations are all of the Off Track Betting operations and Industrial Development Authorities, which have no taxing authority, so both numbers are misnomers.

In his stump speeches, the governor states, “I support consolidations. I think if you said to the taxpayers of most districts in this state, I know you like to have your name and identity. Is it worth $2,000 a year—the supposed, though undocumented, savings from consolidation—to have your name and identity, they would say, ‘Change my name.’”

The statistics don’t bare this out.

Since the most recent revision of the Consolidation Law was enacted in 2007, thanks to the governor’s efforts as attorney general, one community in the state, Altmar, with a population of 407, has consolidated with its neighbor.

Based on the federal census of local governments per capita, there is also no correlation between the number of governmental layers and a person’s relative tax burden.

Two of the most intensely-governed states are New Hampshire and Oklahoma, yet they are two of the least taxed.

New York and New Jersey are near the bottom in governmental units, but are near the top in tax burden. This is the result of New York’s “trickle down” policy of making local governments shoulder tax burdens shifted from Albany.

In Westchester County alone, $225 million collected annually at the local level is remitted to Albany for the state Medicaid program. Westchester County taxpayers could see this $225 million in local tax relief immediately if the governor and the state legislature would only do what 49 other states have done already and fund Medicaid
at the state level.

The consolidation theme mirrors the tax cap mantra in its political appeal and simplicity of message, but again does not address the true underlying issues. Eliminating a few positions in a police or public works department does not ameliorate the underlying unsustainable pension system. Rather, consolidation puts an added distance between the taxpayer and their government. I would also argue that elected officials closest to the impact of their decisions, and personally sharing the financial consequences thereof, make the more efficient decisions and are directly answerable to their constituents, be it at Village Hall or in the aisles of Value Drugs.

Consolidation decisions should be made on factors unrelated to the vicissitudes of the current Albany agenda, rather on the benefits to the most important special interest group, the New York state taxpayers.

Letter: Rosenblum is the arrogant one

 

 

To the Editor,

Mayor Norman Rosenblum’s letter to the editor on Jan. 1, “Political arrogance in the ‘friendly village,”’  disturbed me.

As a resident, I have attended numerous village of Mamaroneck meetings where the mayor is arrogant, completely controls the agenda, limits the ability for attendees to speak, and is rude to the public. This is disrespectful and not particularly friendly nor accommodating behavior from an elected official.

Rosenblum is disturbed that he cannot manipulate the three intelligent trustees who will certainly come up with a reasonable solution to the parking meter dilemma if trusted to do so. The democratic process is working in the “friendly village.” I suggest we support the three competent trustees, Leon Potok, Illissa Miller and David Finch, to make an educated decision that will be economically feasible and acceptable to the public.

 

Gloria Goldstein,

Mamaroneck 

 

Letter: Give PE in our schools a chance

To the Editor,

It’s a new year, and with it often comes New Year’s resolutions. Many adults resolve to exercise more, be healthier, and really commit to it this time!

What about our kids? I hope they also want to exercise more, focus on healthier habits, and be motivated to continue it into adulthood. PE in school and youth athletics are critical, and we have some phenomenal PE teachers in our school district with an engaging curriculum. However, the PE instructional spaces at Mamaroneck High School are nowhere near on par and haven’t been updated as far as anyone can remember.

Locker rooms go unused because the lockers are rusted and won’t secure belongings. Plumbing and electrical installations are antiquated and ventilation is poor. Not where I imagine my kids getting hooked on lifelong fitness. And not particularly safe, either.

Our town prioritizes youth sports, which I think is a positive thing. We have improved fields, worked to expand field space, and schedule teams so as to maximize the number of kids who can play. However, when those young athletes grow up and want to compete at the high school level, we offer them a weight room with exposed pipes that leak. We have them leave their sports bags and equipment in the hallways, because nothing fits into the existing (broken, rusty) lockers. There are no showers available (or even running water) and no changing or meeting space for female athletic teams.

The plan that the district has proposed reconfigures unused space so that PE instruction can expand. Infrastructure is replaced so that our kids are safe and so is their gear. Health and wellness becomes the focus and the facilities will reflect how we feel about supporting our young athletes.

Please educate yourself on this issue, and then vote YES to the bond vote on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at your local elementary school. Your kids will thank you.

 

Lisa Sommer,

Larchmont