Ann Gallelli: Capitalizing on the Capital Budget

To the Editor,ann2016
Last Monday, the Village Board adopted budgets for the Fiscal Year 2017/2018 General, Water and Sewer Funds. During the past month, the Board reviewed the proposed budget submitted by Manager King. This budget was the result of very hard work by our staff and their commitment to provide the best services possible while keeping within the NYS Tax Levy Cap. They did a very good job and the Board made very few changes, all of which were minor.
Unlike in most recent years, the Board decided to postpone adopting the Capital budget at this time. There remains uncertainty about what major financial commitments are in the near future and how to accommodate them in the long-term capital plan. This budget does not affect property taxes set for Fiscal 2017/2018.
The original proposed Capital Fund budget included spending $730,000 from the Village’s Fund Balance for some cars, a truck ($265,000) and roof repairs at DPW ($125,000) and Washington Engine Company ($165,000). These are not unexpected or emergency expenses. These items are best paid for by Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) – low interest, 5 year notes. I disagreed with this plan. It makes no sense to spend our Fund Balance down for items like these.
In the coming year or two, the Village will likely be faced with some major expenditure for which bonding will be necessary. It makes far more sense to use this Fund Balance money to reduce long-term borrowing for future projects. We know the cost of bonding is on its way up with interest rates rising already. By having this $730,000 available at that time, the cost of future borrowing could be reduced – potentially by hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the bond.
For this reason, I was happy that, at the Manager’s suggestion, we take more time to assess our likely capital expenditures before adopting the Capital Budget.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 365

Dear neighbor, Here is the 365th 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 – April 17, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
7:30:00 pm
(Open to Public – Televised)

NOTE: As indicated below, the Board will meet at 7:30 for a Special Session for the purpose of adopting the 2017/2018 Budget.

Village Board to consider adoption of the budget for the fiscal year commencing June 1, 2017 and ending May 31, 2018. Following multiple work sessions at which the Board reviewed the tentative budget proposed by the Village Manager in March, the budgets for the General Fund, Water Fund, Sewer fund and Debt Service will be considered for adoption. The budget can be viewed from the Village website. Overall, it calls for $11,474,942.57 to be raised by property taxes on an overall budget of $19,026,760. This represents a 0.75% increase over the prior year’s taxes or an increase of $1.913/$1000 of assessed valuation. The Capital Fund budget will be finalized and voted on in May or June.
To add the past due receivables to the tax bills for the fiscal year June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
To authorize the Mayor to sign the Tax Warrant for the collection of taxes for the period commencing June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
To set the Village fees for the fiscal year 2017-2018. The new Master Fee schedule is available with the budget on the Village’s website. It includes some increases in recreation, parking and building department fees.

Regular Meeting Agenda

PUBLIC HEARING: Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2017, which would transition the Village’s water billing from biannually to quarterly.

CORRESPONDENCE:
Lindsay Audin, Chair, Sustainability Committee; re: Request that the Village Board allow the committee to roceed with producing a draft grant application for review by the Board of Trustees and submission to NYSERDA. The grant application to NYSERDA proposes to convert the interior lights in the Municipal Building to LED at potentially no net cost to the Village. The committee has met with the Board in a work session to discuss this application. If granted, it would use the building as a “living lighting laboratory’ that would display alternative lighting strategies and educate others on energy efficient options. The building currently has 977 fluorescent lights which would be replaced.
PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:
Authorizing the Village Manager to amend the bid award resolution for the Elliott Way Improvement project to reflect funding allocation to the appropriate Water Fund capital account. This is an amendment to a previously approved resolution in March for funding of the Elliott Way project. It corrects the allocation of the portion of the project for the new water line to the appropriate Water Fund account.
Authorizing the Village Manager to sign three Inter-Municipal Agreements with the Town of Cortlandt for shared services including the removal of appliances containing Freon, purchasing and shared equipment. These agreements are extensions of previous existing agreements between Buchanan and the Town and the Village. They result in cost savings for all involved.
Authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer $6,500 within the General fund to cover expenses related to the purchase of a fleet management software. This software enables DPW staff to efficiently manage the maintenance and operations of fleet vehicles utilized by the Village. The software will help the village DPW in tracking its vehicles with regard to all aspects involved with their usage and maintenance.
Authorizing the Village Manager to enter into agreement with Trillium Invasive Species Management, Inc. of Esopus, New York to treat the infestation of phragmites and knotweed at Duck Pond, Kaplan’s Pond, Senasqua Park, Croton Landing, Black Rock Park and Gouveia Park for the spring 2017 cutting period ending May 31, 2017 in the amount of $5,350. Both phragmites and knotweed have become prevalent in some Village parks and are posing a threat to the natural environment in these areas, which has necessitated the need for an invasive species management plan. Trillium provided these services to the Village in 2016 as well. This year Gouveia and Black Rock parks have been included.
Authorizing the Mayor to sign the 2016 Sponsor Approval Form for the Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program. Article 11-Aof the New York State General Municipal Law requires that a list of members of the Fire Department is developed which indicates those who earned a year of service credit during the calendar year, those who did not earn a year of credit, and those who waived participation. This list must be certified under oath by the Fire Department, approved by the Village Board, posted for 30 days, and then approved by the Mayor. The list of volunteers receiving credits was reviewed by the Board in February and has been sworn to by the Fire Department. This is the last step in the yearly process of identifying those who will receive service credit for their volunteer work during the past year. The Service Award program was first authorized by a referendum in 2003.
Authorizing the Village Manager to award the bid for the Lawn Maintenance Program at selected Village parks, fields and other properties to Errico Landscaping Corp. of Hartsdale, NY in the amount of $46,400. Four bids were received for this contract with the DPW Superintendent recommending Errico. The work includes regular lawn maintenance at specified Village locations as well as spring and fall cleanup.
The Board of Trustees refers the special use permit request to operate a two childhood education classrooms at 362 South Riverside Avenue to the Village Planning Board for comment back to the Board of Trustees. Since the proposed action is under 4,000 square feet, SEQRA is not required. The owner of Happy Hearts is proposing two classrooms for about 8 children each be created at the location. It is the former auto dealership of Croton Dodge and the classrooms would be in the front of the building. The Planning Board will review it and make a recommendation back to the Village Board.
Authorizing the Village Manager to approve the proposal from Dvirka & Bartilucci in an amount not to exceed $24,000 for design, permitting and bidding services for the High Street Drainage Project. The project involves the replacement of a drainage structure located on Riverside Avenue, the replacement of the existing drainage system located on High street, and the replacement of curbs and sidewalks within the work area. A portion of this work in within the New York State right-of-way an requires a permit from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). The objective for this project is to increase the capacity of the existing drainage system, as well as remove sanitary sewer odors leaching through cracks and voids within the infrastructure. Dvirka & Bartilucci has provided the initial 30% design work for this project in 2015 but the work was not completed due to funding constraints. This would authorize the completion of the design work as well as the permitting and bidding documents.
Authorizing the Village Manager to approve the proposal from Site Design of Yorktown Heights, NY for construction administration services relating to the Elliott Way Improvement Project at a rate not to exceed $53,040. Site Design was hired by the Village in 2012 for the design work for this project. This resolution would authorize them to provide oversight while the project is being constructed.

Brian Pugh: Thinking Strategically About Our Infrastructure Investments

To the Editor:
brian-pugh-group-cropped
Recently, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report that places the state’s drinking water infrastructure needs at $40 billion. Fortunately, the Village of Croton on Hudson has been ahead of the curve on this issue–undertaking a historic once-in-a-generation upgrade to our water system.
Although some decried recent issues of municipal bonds, I believe that recent events have demonstrated the prudence of making improvements to our infrastructure at a time when interest rates were at historic lows and construction costs were moderate–an era that’s drawing to a close.
As many readers may already be aware, the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and signaled further hikes this year. The move will likely mean higher rates on municipal bonds.  The Wall Street Journal also forecasts continuing interest rate increases in the years to come.
This squeeze could get tighter still. “If the Trump administration passes tax reform and successfully pushes infrastructure spending, the Fed may increase its rate-hike plans,” warns the financial newspaper Barrons.
And it is not just interest rates that are going up.  According to industry experts, the cost of construction (and therefore the “principal” of future municipal bonds) is increasing and at rates well above the coverall rate of inflation.
Meanwhile future opportunities for federal funding support for municipal infrastructure projects are dwindling.  Donald Trump’s first annual budget request to Congress proposes to cut $2.4 billion from discretionary transportation programs—a 12.7% reduction from FY 2017.
We must remain aware that the window for affordable investments in infrastructure may well be closing.  Delaying key projects may force the Village to pay more for less in the the near-future. As the Village Board works to develop this year’s budget, I hope that we will make far-sighted strategic decisions about what is in the long-term interest of our community.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Brian Pugh: Energize 2017

brian-pugh-group-croppedTo the Editor:

Last week I had the honor of representing our Village at the annual meeting for the Energy Improvement Corporation. The Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC) is a Local Development corporation, which is an NYS not-for-profit, established specifically to support energy efficiency and renewable energy building upgrades.

EIC offers the Energize NY Finance Program which is New York State’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance program. PACE programs are a recent innovation in finance and have emerged nationwide over the past year during which time 15 states have passed enabling legislation. The Village has been an Energize PACE partner since 2013.

PACE financing is made available to eligible property owners in order to provide attractive financing for property improvements that lower energy consumption. PACE programs eliminate the upfront cost for energy improvements by allowing property owners to pay for the improvements over 5-20 years through an increase in their annual property taxes. Under PACE financing, the annual energy savings offset the annual PACE financing payment.

One of the latest PACE projects sponsored by Energize was a 56 kilowatt solar power system for Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, which will offset almost all of the congregation’s energy consumption.

Another recent project was St. Christopher’s Parish in Buchanan, which with a 20-year PACE loan that covered 100% of roof repair and solar installation. The Church is saving $3500 annually and achieving its goal of answering the Pope’s call to protect the environment

In addition to reviewing recent Energize projects, the meeting elected new members to the Board of Directors. This included our own Cortlandt Town Supervisor, Linda Puglisi, who was nominated due to the large number of Energize projects in the Town of Cortlandt.

As we enter our fourth year in partnership with the Energy Improvement Corporation, I look forward to creating further progress to conserve energy and generate renewable energy locally by supporting homeowners and businesses interested in making economically and environmentally sound decisions.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Regarding the Village Statement on Immigration Policy

To the Editor, ann2016

At the Village Board meeting on April 3, the Village’s statement on its immigration policy was read. The statement came together over many days from an initial draft statement that was circulated among Board members. Comments and suggestions were made to it.
The final statement evolved from initially being primarily an endorsement of the Croton Police Department policy regarding immigration and law enforcement, to becoming an actual statement of policy for the entire Village government. Although the statement reiterates the Village’s November statement of Inclusion and states that the Village will have an open dialogue with its residents, I was disappointed that it did not go further.
In my opinion a policy statement should include some at least mildly proactive words about implementation. I had lobbied for inclusion of a sentence in earlier drafts that the Village would make a “concerted attempt to improve communication with its minority ethnic groups….”. As mild as that statement is, it would have still provided the basis for some outreach steps in the days and months ahead. I hope the Village’s statement is not the end of our actions in this regard and that such outreach steps will be taken.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 364

Dear neighbor, Here is the 364th 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 –   April 11, 2017

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

NOTE:  This work session is on Tuesday.

 

 

  1. Review of Proposed Department of Public Works  and Water Department Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017-2018.   The Budgets are available from the Home page of the Village website.  Department of Public Works includes the following expense accounts:

A5140,1640,8510,1620,5010, 5183,8090,8160,8560,5142,8140,8170,5182,3310,3510.

 

As a sample of the variety of jobs performed by the DPW, their budget includes the following: Public Works Administration, Central Garage, Brush and Weeds, Snow Removal, Refuse and Garbage, Public Buildings, Shade Trees, Storm Sewers, Street Cleaning, Street Lighting, Street Maintenance.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 363

Dear neighbor, Here is the 363rd 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 – April 5, 2017
Work Session of the Village Board
7: 30 p.m.
(Open to Public and Televised)

NOTE: This work session is on Wednesday. Item 2 below was originally scheduled for Thursday, April 13.

Review of Proposed Fire Department Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. The proposed budget includes expense account A3410. The proposed budget is available from the Home page on the Village’s website: http://www.crotononhudson-ny.gov. The total proposed budget for the Fire Department for the coming year is $556,849.00, a reduction from the current year of about $9,000.
Review of Proposed Administration and Parking (Board, Manager, Clerk, Treasurer, Engineering & Court) Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. This will include discussion regarding the proposed fee schedule. The proposed Administration and Parking Budgets include the following expense accounts: A1 A1355, 1320, 9730, 1010, 7550, 1650, 1410, 8710, 1900, 1680, 8760, 1440, 9901, 7510, 1110, 1420, 1230, 1210, 8790, 5650, 8020, 4050, 6410, 4020, 1362, 1325, 9000, 1900, 8010. As noted above, the proposed budget is available online from the Village’s Home Page. Some of the fees that are proposed to increase include Swimming at Silver Lake, rental of the Senasqua Pavilion, boat moorings, Day Camp and Tiny Tots camp, 3-month resident parking permit (by $6), some building permit fees and others issued by the Engineering Office, and Sewer fees.

Ann Gallelli: 362nd installment of Decoding Village Agendas

Dear neighbor, Here is the 362nd 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 – April 3, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
8:00 pm
(Open to Public – Televised)

NOTE: As indicated below, the Board will meet at 7:30 for an executive session on Real Property.

PRESENTATION/OTHER:
Request by Village Manager to enter into an Executive Session to discuss a real estate issue. If the request is granted, an Executive Session will be held at 7:30 pm.
Board of Trustees statement regarding immigration practices within the Village. The policy as currently proposed is as follows:

The Village of Croton-on-Hudson Board of Trustees hereby states its policy and practice for protecting the safety of its residents. While the Croton Police Department is responsible for carrying out the below-stated policy, the Village Board of Trustees fully endorses it on behalf of all Village residents and supports the Croton Police Department in carrying it out.

The Croton Police Department has not in the past, nor will it, inquire about an individual’s immigration status unless the status is important to a criminal investigation. Enforcement of Federal immigration law is the responsibility of the Federal Government and its various enforcement agencies. Croton’s Police Department’s practices are designed to promote mutual respect and to maintain an open dialogue with the community.

The Croton Police Department policy which documents its current and past policy is as follows:

It is the policy of the Croton-on-Hudson Police Department to not inquire about a person’s immigration status, unless the status is important to a criminal investigation. As municipal police officers, the Department members are not authorized to detain or arrest a person based on their immigration status alone. The Department will cooperate with immigration authorities on detainers where there is a judicial criminal warrant, or cases where there is probable cause that there are criminal offenses involved, including terrorism offenses. Department members are not authorized to stop, question, or arrest an individual based on a civil immigration warrant, administrative warrant, or an immigration detainer. (Note: Immigration Detainers are not criminal warrants issued by a judge, and may not provide sufficient basis to detain an individual or to prolong the detention of an individual detained for other reasons.)

Persons arrested for a crime are fingerprinted. The arrested persons fingerprints and information are available to both New York State and Federal authorities.

The Village Board endorses these practices and directs the Chief to incorporate these practices into the Croton Police Department’s written manual and operating procedures. Each police officer is to be given a copy of the policy and acknowledge receipt with their signature.

Further, the focus of the Village Board, the Police and employees of our Village is to serve our community and build relationships through open dialogue. This will ensure that all of our residents are treated fairly and equally, regardless of national origin, race, gender, sex, religion, disability, or political viewpoint.

The Village of Croton is an inclusive and welcoming community. The Village Board and the Croton Police Department will always be committed to protecting innocent, law abiding residents. The safety and well-being of everyone who lives, works in and visits the Village will
always be a priority. Every person in the Village of Croton on Hudson should feel safe stepping forward if they either have witnessed a crime or been victimized themselves.

The foregoing statement by the Board shall be posted on the Village web site and its other social media outlets in both English and Spanish.
CORRESPONDENCE:
Phyllis Bock, Director of Education, Teatown Lake Reservation; re: Permission to use Silver Lake Park for Trout Release Program. This is an annual request by Teatown as part of their ongoing programs. The releases would occur three times in late April and early May.
APPROVED RESOLUTIONS:
The records retention policy adopted in 1989 was recently reviewed by the Village Attorney and deemed to be still valid.
PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:
The Board of Trustees considers adopting the appended rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law. This was adopted on May 1, 2000 and recently reviewed by the Village Attorney who recommended minor revisions. The resolution actually calls for the repeal of the 2000 rules and regulations and adoption of the new rules and regulations. The proposed policy clarifies rules regarding the records retention office (village Clerk), location of documents, hours for public inspection how to request public records, subject matter list, denial of requests and fees.
The Board of Trustees considers adopting the Village of Croton-on-Hudson Email Policy applicable to all members of the Board of Trustees. The policy clarifies that all emails of elected officials in the conduct of village business are owned by the Village of Croton. All Board members have official government email addresses which are administered and accessible by the Village Records Officer.
The Board of Trustees considers supporting proposed bills by the New York State Senate and Assembly (S.5197/A.6825) which would provide the State increased authority to review and approve proposals impacting the Hudson River and surrounding communities. These two bills would give the State more leverage with regard to barges in the Hudson River and allow it to carve out places where such barges would be prohibited such as specific waterfront areas or natural resources or habitats. These bills are in response to the proposed 10 anchorages for 43 barges proposed by the Maritime industry and currently being considered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Authorizing the Village Manager to extend the contract for one year with Integrity Facility Service of Bronxville, NY for office and building cleaning services in the amount of$2,980 per month. This price includes a $120 increase which reflects the cleaning of the Community Room an additional day per week. This contract is an extension of the company’s 2016 contract which was awarded as a result of a bidding process. General Foreman Gariepy recommends the extension.
The Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing on May 1, 2017 at 8pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Intro. No. 2 of 2017 amending Chapter 70 Alarm Systems of the Village code to reflect updates in technology. The current Alarm code dates to 1990 and this proposed update reflects changes in alarm system technology as it pertains to Village Code.
The Village Board considers issuing a special permit to the Croton Little League for the 2017 season in order to sell sponsor banners along the Dobbs Park fence during the Croton Little League 2017 season. This resolution would allow the Croton Little League to hang sponsor banners on the fence during its season from April to June. The banners are a form of fund raising by the organization which is why a Board authorized special permit is required.
Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the trail easement on the Bell subdivision subject to final review by the Village Engineer and Village Attorney. During the review of the subdivision, the Planning Board discussed the availability of parkland on the property in lieu of a payment. Site visits were conducted by Planning Board members and members of the Village Trail Committee who identified the proposed new recreation trail, which is approximately 3000 feet and runs from the top of Finney Farm Road along the top of the Bell property adjacent to the Hudson National Golf Club and then down an old stone wall lined farm road through a valley with wetlands and stream eventually ending at Albany Post Road. The Bell subdivision is a 3-lot subdivision of 18.7 acres. The Trail easement would replace or substitute for the requirement that subdivision parcels pay a recreation fee for future recreation needs of the Village. As examples of the use of these funds, see resolutions “h” and “I” below.
Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the proposal from Playground Medic of Hawthorne, NY in the amount of $27,685for new playground equipment and installation at Senasqua Park. The current equipment has reached the end of its suggested life time and is in need of replacement. This project will be funded through a trust account designated for parklands, improvements of green space and community enhancements which had a balance of $76,580.65 as of March 2017. The proposed equipment consists of swings, a slide and climbing apparatus. The project was put out to bid. New playground equipment for this location has been identified as needed for several years.
Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the proposal from Precision Built Fences of Peekskill, NY in the amount of $10,795 to install fencing at Senasqua, improve safety and security at the park. This project will be funded through a trust account designated for parklands, improvements of green space and community enhancements which had a balance of $76,580.65 as of March 2017. The Parks and Recreation Dept. has recommended this fencing as a way to increase safety, especially for children, from loving from the Park to the boat and dock areas. The proposed fence would be 5 foot chain link with a gate to allow access to the bathhouse at Senasqua and a gate at the vehicular entrance. Both gates would have combination locks with access codes provided to those with mooring permits.
Village Board authorizes the issuance of a special permit to the Blue Pig Ice Cream store to sell ice cream at Vassallo Park during earth Day on April 29, 2017. Selling of food items in Village parks requires a special permit from the Board.

Ann Gallelli: What’s next for Gouevia Park?

Toann2016 the Editor,
This Spring, residents will have a new park to explore and enjoy. After widening the entrance and providing for parking, Gouveia Park will be open for visitors. Gouveia Park is essentially a passive area with opportunities for picnicking, walking, and otherwise enjoying nature. This first year of being open will give visitors a chance to envision future uses. Its natural contours provide a grassy amphitheater possibly lending itself to small dramatic, musical or art presentations. The Trails Committee will find an opportunity to expand our trail system leading to a promontory overlooking the Hudson. The diverse topography and ecology of the park lends itself to nature study. Schools and pre-schools may find it an exciting and educational opportunity. While the house will not be open until it meets ADA requirements for access, the remaining approximate 15 acres of property are as wide open as your imagination.
As with all new parks and acquisitions, its best uses will evolve as residents utilize its resources. Our residents are never short of ideas. This Spring that process will start. Be sure to visit Gouveia Park once it opens and let us know your ideas.

Ann Gallelli

Brian Pugh: When is the minimum wage not the minimum?

To the Editor,brian-pugh-group-cropped

At the start of this year, the NYS minimum wage increased to $10 (and will now gradually rise to $15/hour by 2021). The Village of Croton, as a local government is not required to pay the state minimum wage due to a loophole in state labor law.

Some local governments such as the City of Rochester, City of Syracuse and the State of New York itself have pledged to voluntarily pay all workers state minimum wage or better. Croton is not one of these local governments.

According to Village records, some Village workers were being paid as little as $8.25/hour as of June 2016. For comparison, the inflation-adjusted value of the 1970 minimum wage would be over $12/hour in current dollars.

If part‐time Village workers were paid a minimum of $10/hr, it would cost approximately $13,000–raising the pay for dozens of summer employees that serve as lifeguards and camp counselors and a pittance compared to the $19M proposed budget. Indeed, the $13,000 needed to raise wages for part-time workers is substantially less than the cost of the proposed raises for departments heads, which totals more than $20,000.

That is not necessarily a criticism of the individuals slated for raises in the proposed budget, but clearly money for raises. Indeed, Village staff in most departments and in most job titles can expect raises under the proposed budget. The question is why can’t any funds be found for the frontline workers responsible for the many Croton children that take advantage of offerings from the Recreation Department?

It remains a mystery how the majority on the Village Board of Trustees cannot find the money somewhere. It is even more baffling that one of my colleagues in the majority, who makes a great show of his support for Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)–and leading champion of a $15/hr minimum wage, made a spirited defense of the practice of paying seasonal workers a sub-minimum wage.

We can do better, we must do better.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh