Decoding Village Agendas –   August 14, 2017 Work Session of the Village Board 7: 30 p.m.  (Open to Public and Televised)

 

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  • Discussion about model ordinance for solar canopies within the Village.  The Model Law provides zoning provisions that promote solar energy systems while protecting community character and the environment.  I was developed by Sustainable CUNY and Pace University Land Use Law Center in conjunction with the New York State Power Authority. It is intended to promote solar energy systems with common local requirements and concerns.
  • Update on capital projects throughout theVillage, including Elliott Wat Improvement Project, Hunter Place/Farrington Sidewalk Project, Pumphouse road Culvert & Bridge Repair Project and Corrosion Control Project.  All of the above named projects are on going this summer.  Staff will update the Board on their progress towards completion.
  • Request by the Village Manager to enter into an executive session to discuss contract issues regarding the purchase of 435 & 439 Yorktown Rd.  If the request is granted, an executive session will be held.

 

 

Brian Pugh: Community Economic Development

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped
As the most local level of government, the Village government should be taking the lead on community development.  Yet when it comes to substantive steps to stimulate investment in our Village the current administration’s record leaves much to be desired.
In 2015, the Croton United Party platform stated, “We will revive the Business Development Committee…and task it with doing just that – developing new relationships and nurturing the existing ones.”
This Committee was never reconvened and despite CU’s candidates repeatedly calling for capitalizing on the influx of visitors to our Village for events like the Blaze, there have been no concrete actions by the Village to do so.
The Village should take the lead in coordinating between our business community and the myriad of state, federal and county government agencies to make sure that Croton businesses can take advantage of opportunities like Small Business Administration loans, training grants and other incentives.
Finally, we should continue to monitor the progress of Harmon Rezoning, which allowed for mixed-use development on a section of South Riverside Avenue, and apply the lessons learned to other commercial districts.
Brian Pugh

Sherry Horowitz: The Immigrant Protection Act

Dear Neighbors:sherry2017

This letter is written in gratitude to Catherine Borgia, the Democratic majority leader, and our County Legislator, in the Westchester Board of Legislators, for sponsoring the Immigration Protection Act.

On Monday, August 7th, Borgia introduced the bill, which would limit the information the County shares with federal immigration authorities, and would also limit what County law enforcement can ask an individual about citizenship or immigration status. This is consistent with the policy adopted by Croton law enforcement to protect our neighbors from undue harassment, and is similar to policies that other Westchester municipalities have adopted. Borgia said “We introduced this bill as a public safety measure”. She said if made law, the act would send a message that immigrant residents don’t need to live in fear. Legislature Chairman Mike Kaplowitz said, “This is not a sanctuary bill, This is a welcome bill.”

Although the bill passed in a 10-5 vote, which included all 8 Democrats present and 2 Republicans, the County Executive, Republican Rob Astorino, said he will veto the bill.
If you are upset over the fact that immigrants who have lived in our communities for years: worked here, gone to school here, and are raising children here, are being picked up by ICE, detained and deported, I hope you will agree that Catherine Borgia is standing up for fairness and equal treatment for all in Westchester County. Let’s make sure she gets re-elected in November, and that Rob Astorino does not!
Sincerely, Sherry Horowitz,

 

A Community Letter from the Croton Democratic Slate

team2017

Dear Neighbor,

Thanks to dozens of volunteers and hundreds of residents who signed our nominating petitions, we will appear on the ballot in the Tuesday, November 7, 2017, village elections as the endorsed candidates of the Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Independence Party and the Women’s Equality Party. We look forward to restoring a progressive village government in Croton that reflects our community’s values.

Our vision for Croton is based on maintaining the quality of life that we all enjoy while embracing changes that can make our village stronger and more sustainable. Our priorities include:

  1. Control property taxes by actively managing our village’s expenses and supporting the development of revenue sources beyond residential property taxes. The rezoning of the Harmon area to allow mixed-use development — a move promoted by the Democrats and opposed by Croton United, the party that currently holds the Village Board majority — is one example of village government creating new revenue streams and supporting the small businesses in our community.
  2. Secure energy savings and fight climate change through initiatives such as Sustainable Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation program. Croton United prevented our village from taking part in this green energy initiative last year.  As a result, Croton residents were not given the chance to buy energy from 100 percent renewable sources and save money on our energy bills, although we did get to watch our neighboring municipalities take advantage of this opportunity.   
  3. Make strategic infrastructure investments and capital improvements, such as the timely completion of the Croton Point Avenue initiative and the replacement of the Fire Department’s 20-year-old-plus Engine 118, while interest rates remain low. Delays on these projects caused by the current Board majority are increasing the likelihood that both projects will cost taxpayers much more in the long run.
  4. Restore meaningful communication from village government and bring back the monthly village newsletter, which the current mayor cancelled.

This is a common sense agenda. Yet each example referenced here was opposed by some or all members of the Croton United majority currently on the Village Board.  

Over the years, the Croton Democrats have been responsible for most of the advancements in our community that have brought money to the village and made life better for our residents. Some of the most recent Democratic accomplishments include:

  • Protection of open space: The Croton Landing riverfront purchase and the acceptance of the gift of Gouveia Park, along with a trust fund to maintain it — all opposed by Croton United.
  • Harmon Gateway Rezoning: Permits mixed residential and commercial use in the Harmon Zoning District, giving small business owners greater flexibility and adding to the tax base.
  • Keeping Croton Affordable: Enabling your tax freeze checks by staying under the tax cap for the last three fiscal years.

With your support, we look forward to resuming a Democratic majority on the Board and doing much more to preserve and improve our village.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Candidate for Mayor

Amy Attias, Candidate for Trustee

Sherry Horowitz, Candidate for Trustee

Sherry Horowitz: 400+ strong!

Dear Editor,sherry2017

Hi! My name is Sherry Horowitz, and I am a candidate for the position of Croton Village Board Trustee in the upcoming November election. Along with my team mates, Brian Pugh for Mayor and Amy Attias for Trustee, we publicly thank the more than 400 Croton residents who signed our nominating petitions. Since the 3 of us have been endorsed by the Croton Democratic Party, the Independence Party, the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party, we will be appearing on all those lines on the ballot in November.

Although it is early in the campaign, we would like you to know that we intend to work very hard, early and late, to get your support. We believe that individually and collectively, we are the right people to bring truly responsive, respectful government to Croton. Thank you.

Respectfully, Sherry Horowitz

Brian Pugh: Gouveia Park is a gift to our community.

To the Editor:

 
Gouveia Park is now officially open, as my colleague Trustee Ann Gallelli wrote in last week’s Gazette. If you have not had the opportunity to visit–I strongly recommend that you take some time to do so.
 
The park is open daily from 8AM to 9PM.   
 
The Gouveia family, longtime Croton residents,  donated the 15+ acre property with green lawns and rolling hills that’s become the park. The late Laurel Gouveia also donated a $1 Million fund to help with the maintenance of the property.
 
After improvements to the park by the Village, such as picnic tables and a parking lot, the Gouveia Park is now open to the public.
 
Although the donation of the Gouveia property was the source of some controversy, it’s worth remembering that Croton Landing was also the target of criticism when its acquisition was first discussed.  Indeed, many of today’s Gouveia Park grousers were yesterday’s critics of Croton Landing.
 
I believe that a stroll through the new Gouveia Park should put such concerns about the property to rest and inspire appreciation for the generosity of the Gouveia family.
 
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Sherry Horowitz: All the way with CCA!

To the Editor:sherry2017

It was very gratifying to hear the representatives from Good Energy talk about all the positive aspects of the Community Choice Aggregation program (the CCA) at last Monday night’s Croton Village Board work session. They explained that the CCA is good for electricity customers (lower rates for consumers) and good for the environment (sustainable energy sources rather than fossil fuels).  There are those of us in Croton who have been saying these very same things, and lobbying for Croton’s inclusion in this program, for over a year and a half, ever since Sustainable Westchester aggregated 20 municipalities, which includes 110,000 County residents and small businesses, in early 2016.

Good Energy even referred to the rationale behind the “opt out” feature of the CCA program. First you aggregate an entire municipality and then, those who don’t want to take advantage of either lower electric rates or sustainable energy sources can opt out.  It’s simple, ingenious and easily understandable.  All that remains now is for the Village Board majority to share this understanding with residents so that the Village will be ready to join Sustainable Westchester’s successfully operating aggregate group in early 2018.  Time is of the essence; let’s not lose out again!

Sincerely, Sherry Horowitz

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 375

Decoding Village Agendas
1 message

 

Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com> Sat, Jul 22, 2017 at 10:23 AM
To: Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com>

 

Dear neighbor, Here is the 375th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

 

 

 

Decoding Village Agendas –  July 24, 2017

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

 (Open to Public  – Televised)

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  • Thomas F. Wood, Town Attorney, Town of Cortlandt; re: The Town has determined that the property being proposed for the Village’s new DPW facility, located within the Town of Cortlandt (435 Yorktown Road), will be granted at 60% real estate tax exemption.  The Village had sought a 100% tax exemption on the property proposed to acquired for a new DPW garage on Yorktown Road (129) in the Town of Cortlandt.   The Town Attorney has replied to the request that the Town will offer a 60% exemption rather than 100%.  A 60% exemption would mean that the Village will pay in the range of $30,000 to $35,000/annually in taxes for the property.
  1. Maria Cudequest, Village Resident; re: Public parking at the Merwin Oak parking lot.

Ms. Cudequest indicates concern with the number of parking spots in this parking lot being restricted to special permit only.

  •  Dan Ahouse, Area Director of Government Affairs, Altice; re: Notification that as of July 14, 2017 NBC Universal will cease operations of the Universal HD network; as of July 15, 2017 Altice USA will launch the Olympic Channel HD; and effective July 18, 2017 i24 News will be re-tiered to be available to additional subscribers.  Mr. Ahouse advises on changes in the line-up for Optimum customers.
  • Dan Ahouse, Area Director of Government Affairs, Altice; re: Notification that as of August 15, 2017, the “sports surcharge”, currently $4.97/mo., will be $5.97 for all new residential and commercial customers.   Mr. Ahouse advises that the “sports surcharge” will increase for “new” customers.

 

APPROVED RESOLUTIONS:

  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to close the enclosed Capital Project Accounts as of May 31, 2017 and return the associated amounts to their respective funding sources.  This budget housekeeping resolution was passed at the Village work session on July 17 by a 5-0 vote.

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2016-2017 General Fund Budget in the amount of in the amount of $123,566.45 for grant monies received for reimbursement related to expenditures by the Croton Coalition.  The Village is the administrating agency for the federal grant supporting the Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse.  This year’s funding is being allocated to the various applicable accounts by this resolution.
  2. The Village Board of Trustees authorizes the Bike-Pedestrian Committee to submit a grant application to the NYS Greenway Communities Grant Program.  At its July 17 work session the Board discussed with the Bike Ped Committee their desire to make this application on behalf of the Village.  The application is to fund a Bicycle-Pedestrian Wayfinding and Access Enhancement project from the Greenway Communities grant program.
  3. Authorizing the Village Manager to fund the position of part-time Assistant Building Inspector in the amount of $30,000, and authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer that amount from Contingency to Engineering Personnel Services – Part-Time.   As stated, the Village is in need of some part-time help with its inspections.
  4. Authorizing Village Manager to extend the contract with Golden’s Tree Service for Tree Trimming and Removal Services for one additional year.  The existing contract allows for an one year extension at $1,796.40.  The DPW Superintendent recommends this extension.
  5. Authorizing the Village Manager to issue Change Order 1 in the amount of $70 to ADS Environmental Services.   The work involved in this contract exceeded its authorization by $70.
  6. Authorizing the Village Manager to negotiate a price and execute the necessary agreements in order transfer ownership of the Village’s abandoned 4-inch water main on Observatory Drive to Con Ed for use as a sleeve for a new 2-inch gas main in order to provide gas service to residents in the area.   Some residents on Observatory indicated a desire to have gas service installed in their area in a recent survey on the subject by the Village’s Sustainability Committee.  An existing, abandoned, Village-owned water main on the street could be used as a sleeve for a new gas line by Con Ed.  This resolution allows agreements to be reached for the Village to sell and transfer ownership of that abandoned water line to ConEd to be used for that purpose.

Sherry Horowitz: Leadership & Community

sherry2017Hi, I’m Sherry Horowitz. In my Letter of Introduction to you a few weeks ago, as a candidate for Croton Village Board Trustee in the November 2017 elections, I mentioned that I had been endorsed by several parties, reflecting my Democratic affiliation and my lifelong support for Working Families and Women’s Equality. I am delighted to share that since then, I have also been endorsed by the Putnam/Westchester Central Labor Body. This group’s endorsement speaks to my belief in the basic dignity of all work, in worker’s  rights to organize and negotiate for a living wage, for safe working conditions and for on the job protections.  I am thrilled with the endorsement!

In that same Letter of Introduction, I made a rather bold claim.  I said that I know how to build a strong and caring community.  Year after year at Childrenspace, preschool children come together for the first time, to leave a year, or two, or three years later as solid members of a loving school community. Certainly the Croton community is much larger, and more diverse than the Childrenspace community. But the same strong identification with a group, the same feeling of acceptance and belonging is what gives members a sense of connection and confidence. Whether we’ve lived in Croton our entire lives or are just newly arrived, whether we worship in a temple, a mosque, a synagogue or not at all, whether we are single, married, with or without kids, we all share the love of the community we call home.  We are all stakeholders in Croton’s present and future development, and have the possibility, and indeed the obligation to take part in local decisions that affect our daily living situations.

In any organization, including local government, strong, principled and compassionate leadership is key. Leaders have the responsibility to create an environment that encourages stakeholders to fully participate in local decision making. That kind of environment requires respect for all residents, tolerance of all views and the ability and desire to work together for the welfare of all. I’ve attended too many Village Board meetings where that respect and tolerance is woefully missing, where people’s views are dismissed out of hand, where opinions that differ from the prevailing majority are met with argument, condescension, or anger.  We need to bring back a basic attitude of civility, respect and good fellowship to our local government so that we are comfortable to express our cares and concerns.  Again, I would love to be a part of that process.

Respectfully, Sherry Horowitz