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5 Questions for New Castle's Barbara Gerrard

  1. NEW CASTLE, N.Y. - The Daily Chappaqua recently spoke with outgoing supervisor Gerrard about the state of New Castle and its' future.
  2. 1. You recently said you are not running for re-election. Why is that?

“Well, a few things. The main one being the tradition in the town of New Castle. You have to go back to 1972 to find a supervisor that stayed in office more than four years. It’s been a 40 year tradition here that supervisors don’t serve longer than four years. In addition, my husband in his current position, he is the director of the Climate Change Law Center for Columbia Law School and he travels a great deal. Just in the last few weeks, he’s been to Japan and he’s going to Chile Saturday. I’d like to be able to travel with him but my commitments here have prevented that for the last seven years.”

  1. 2. Do you feel like there is anything in your term that you haven’t been able to fully address or haven’t gotten to yet?

“The only thing that is outstanding of course is the resolution of the Reader’s Digest litigation which will probably be that way for quite a while. But we did bring that to fruition, in that we signed off on the Final Environmentally Impact Statement (FEIS) and we put down parameters for the construction of 111 units including 20 affordable housing units so we think that was a good resolution.”

  1. 3. What made you in 2008 to decide to run for town supervisor?

“Well, I had been deputy town supervisor for four years. I had been on the board a total of eight years so I had a lot of experience. I had a very nice legal practice as a tax attorney for many years but I did enjoy the work. I was a history major and I’ve read a great deal in the founding of our country and the values that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams espouse and I believe in that with my whole heart so it was an opportunity to serve in something I had a good background in.”

  1. 4. When will the Chappaqua downtown plan be completed? - Dawn Greenberg asked via Facebook

“The downtown planning is completed. It’s the implementation that will continue over several years. The town doesn’t have the money to redo every sidewalk and redo all of the work that needs to be done in one year so it’s phased in. It is estimated to be completed 2013-2014, somewhere around there.”

“We believe that we have really good merchants with very high quality material. We have good restaurants. We don’t have enough restaurants as much as we’d like to have but the ones that are here are good restaurants and we need to have residents patronize them, come to town and shop here. Shop local, eat local.”

“We also are in fact, this Tuesday increasing the hours for parking from one hour to two hours as a way to encourage people to stay downtown. That was suggested by the merchants. We do listen, we do meet with the merchants from time to time, and we do try to listen.”

“Things will also be aided once the bridge is done, which is expected to be finished before the end of this year. There’s a whole lane that should be open by Labor Day. The bridge itself won’t be finished because there’s some lighting and some more stonework to be done but the main part of the bridge, the opening of that extra lane should open before Labor Day. That will be a real help, we’re really excited about that.”

  1. 5. Why can’t the town digitally archive former employee Jerry Faiella’s documents? Why not leverage technology and pass the savings onto taxpayers?- Gary Murphy asked via Facebook

“Here’s the thing. We’ve already digitized almost all the town records that’s been in process for the past three years. It’s all digitized. Jerry Faiella’s records are not the town’s records; he has his records, we don’t. Anything that he had that were “town records” are included in the material we’ve already taken care of.

“By the Secretary of State’s laws, the town clerk is responsible for keeping the records of the town. Most of them have been digitized and whatever hasn’t she’s still responsible for keeping them.”

Would you like your question answered next time The Daily Chappaqua sits down with your town supervisor? Keep the questions coming at The Daily Chappaqua's Facebook page.

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