Will they be discussing the highly profitable tax credits that building this type of HUD housing bestows on developers?
This is NOT the type of "affordable" housing that serves the local workforce. In fact, under the terms of the Spano settlement that our own representative Peter Harckham, actually voted to support (after warning, how dangerous it could be) the units must be advertised outside of the County.
The developers will reap the profits, the politicians they support will get some crumbs and the Goldens Bridge environment, the children at Increase Miller and the residents of Fairmont Road will be left to deal with the rest. View Comment
No wonder the Democrats finally voted to support Rob Astorino. The legal demands that HUD has been asserting down to challenging 1/4 acre zoning as somehow being discriminatory, and holding up federal grants to the detriment of low income areas show how irrational HUD is being in trying to overreach the original agreement.
Unfortunately, this one vote will not undo the past, when Democrats like Peter Harckham warned local town boards against the dangers of the settlement, but then caving to pressure from party leaders reversed themselves and voted in favor of the settlement despite no proof of the County being guilty of anything. View Comment
Nice try. The suit was brought only after the New York City organization failed to prove discrimination in court. CDGB grants have consistently been used in Westchester for ADA work and to help "blighted areas." Spano threw the case by settling on terms that are not enforceable against the local communities and without going to court. All five Republican lawyers on the County Board voted against the settlement and other legislators like Peter Harckham spoke out against it, but had their arms twisted and recanted. Remember the context, Spano saw the poll numbers going against him for reelection, and I guess this was his Hail Mary way of shoring up support from the more radical wing of his Democratic Party. View Comment
Allowing section 8 assistance, which is a form of welfare payment, to count towards the minimum income needed to qualify for this kind of housing brings the threshold down to near poverty levels. A far cry from the moderate income housing. It is being sold as
Most of the towns affected by the settlement provide for workforce affordable housing scattered among market rate units in exchange for density bonuses. This model works better for the hard-working moderate income families and the community, but is not subsidized by the federal government.
By concentrating this housing in self-contained projects, the effect will be to create wooded ghettos, but ghettos, nevertheless, far from jobs and transportation. This serves no one's interests, other than the developers who give generous campaign contributions and in return get even more generous HUD tax credits.
Should our supervisor have his way, and our town code is amended to cave into the illegal demands of the HUD housing monitor this is the kind of project the residents of Fairmont Road can expect.
What is not being emphasized is the fact that the lottery is not being run by the town, nor dues it serve the County. It is being run by HUD's representative and by the terms of the Spano housing settlement must be primarily advertised outside of the County.
Currently, Lewisboro has more affordable housing units available than there are applicants. The income threshold for these units is $36,000, yet there are few jobs in this area available at that level. Who can pay that rent and live in the woods without a car and just a MetroNorth shuttle bus?
Because of strained finances, our class sizes are already growing. Is Increase Miller ready to handle the extra students from 44 additional two and three bedroom units? Who is paying? View Comment
This is a fine example of one path to becoming a successful politician. This praise for the state budget comes from a local political leader who would not recognize a sound budget if one fell on him.
When it came to the County budget, the one Mr. Jenkins is responsible for, rather than work with Rob Astorino and accept a compromise budget hammered out with the support of northern Westchester Democratic leader, Mike Kaplowitz, when he saw he did not have the votes to block it, Mr. Jenkins stormed out of the chamber, turned out the lights, and started ringing. a loud bell to interfere with the voting process.
While the governor does deserve credit for implementing the 2% tax cap and beginning the process of pension reform in his first two years, as his reelection looms nearer, he seems reticent to finish the job, leaving local school districts caught between the cap and unsustainable benefit packages.
At least County Majority Leader Peter Harckham had the good grace not to sign this letter. He must realized that he turned his back on northern Westchester when he too walked out on the Astorino budget. View Comment
Glad that somebody sees the responsibility for spending taxpayers' money as a public trust. The Parsons plan, or lack thereof, would've put an annual $250,000 year slush fund into the budget without a plan of action, paying for a capital expense from general operating revenues and with no guarantee that the money would not be diverted the following year. Bravo Ms. Rendo, let's think before we spend! View Comment
The board majority formed by these two gentlemen and John Pappalardo has been the only thing standing between us and a near 20% tax increase, and a Tree Ordinance that was unconstitutional on its face and would have put up unreasonable barriers and costs to homeowners trying to take down dangerous trees on their properties. View Comment
Funny that Mr. Parsons now feels that the Town would benefit from the continuity of his reelection. That is quite different from what he told voters just over a year ago as he campaigned against Charlie Duffy, who, despite a personal issue he was able to overcome, did yeoman's work to lead the town out of its fiscal crisis, instituted a very successful reorganization of the workforce and offices, completely rebuilt the town's information infrastructure, and kept taxes low!.
Thankfully, the grown-ups on the board thwarted his proposed 17% tax increase, the wacky and dangerous tree ordinance and a poorly thought out road repair project. View Comment
The facts are starkly different than the Union's allegations that accused Dr. Kreutzer of yelling at town officials and running away to Ridgefield during the storms.
Geoff Curtis owes both Dr. Kreutzer and the community an apology. Not just for his disgraceful attack at the BOE meeting, but for behaving in this way while pulling down $154,738 a year plus pension and benefits for teaching Health, not to mention any stipend he might receive for coaching and his lucrative summer camps. View Comment
As majority leader, Mr. Harckham should be apologizing for Ken Jenkins’ juvenile behavior as well as his own complicity. The points made in this letter ring hollow as Mr. Harckham's fellow northern Westchester Democrat Mike Kaplowitz (a financial expert and hardly a “Tea Party” guy) was one of those who crossed over to support Rob Astorino’s compromise budget.
As he did with the Spano/HUD housing settlement, Mr. Harckham has once again soldout is own constituents to the pressures of down County politics.
Dear Mr. Oxman, your points are very well taken from the perspective of a former leader of a party that has been hijacked by municipal unions fighting to keep their unsustainable level of pensions and benefit's at all costs. However, here in northern Westchester where we write the checks for a bloated County government but see little in return, our interests, both Democrat and Republican, are not usually aligned with yours.
Mike Kaplowitz is to be praised for supporting the best interests of his constituents above the best interests of you and the rest of the down County bosses.
In contrast, it is the lack of concern for the very voters "who brought him to the party" that makes Peter Harckhami's decision to support Ken Jenkins' juvenile antics even more disappointing.
I would counsel any young person looking to purchase a home in Lewisboro not to bother. In effect, it will really be owned by the teachers’ union, and the young homeowners will spend their lives working to fund teachers pensions while any incremental rise in the value of the home will not keep up with inflation. Dr. Kreutzer understands this dynamic and that is why he’s so dangerous to the unions View Comment
Bravo, this is a heartwarming story of volunteerism. Maybe the WLT can get together a group to clean up some of the toxic waste left on the Levy Preserve when they arranged the sale to the Town which was left there from the auto body shop dump and the community dump located on the property? View Comment
Oldtimer, -many town employees are Republicans so what you really mean to say is that Mr. Parsons' failed to deliver enough to satisfy the voracious appetite of the town's labor associations, or to push through a plan that paves roads in the two areas where he received strong support.
Waccabuc, as I believe you actually know, the youth officer is a transfer from the highway department and is being paid for through a grant. The one officerr being added is being hired at a much lower salary. His exempt position is a response to the union's part-time work rules that make it impossible to schedule part-time officers properly.
You would think that the unions would be happy that this budget includes the two full-time positions that were added for the heads of the municipal workers Association, who backed the Democrats, alongg with a nice pay increases that did not go to the less politically connected library staff or to most any of the taxpayers who are being forced to pay for this. View Comment
We hope this portends good things to come. The failure of the Chamber to abide by New York State nonprofit law over the past decade, most notably its failure to hold annual meetings of the membership in order to provide for the duly authorized election of its officers, has been the key component in its failure to fulfill its mission.
Hopefully, now change can come. Lewisboro's businesses deserve it. View Comment
Is someone listening? The school's finance committee showed that Lewisboro's housing values lag behind those of our neighbors because we are overtaxed relative to income, not because we have "dangerous" roads! PS the State, not the Town maintains the state highways we rely on everyday like Rts. 35, 121, 138 22 and 123-they have nothing to do with this budget.
This increase, like the Brancati 25% increase of a few years ago becomes built into the budget each year. With the new hires and runaway pensions, we have returned to a structural deficit which will require a further increase each year. We already have a record number of tax delinquencies which reduces our tax collection and almost 2% of our tax revenues go just to making up lost revenue from falling assessments. Tthe added taxes hurt property values which lowers the assessments further creating a vicious negative cycle! View Comment
Mr. Parsons pledged open government and full financial accounability with monthly reports on the web. Of course that was campaign rhetoric, but it would be nice, at least,to have an explanatory budget message online as is provided for by Town Law Section 106. Then we might compare the Supervisor's 17% proposed increase to Beford, North Salem and Pound Ridge where they are striving to get under 3%!
That's a positive step. But it begs the question of how people can "step down" ?step up" or "serve at all" when there has not been a legally required meeting of the members to elect a proper board in order to adopt the "new" exclusionary bylaws they are functioning under? Hopefully, more good things are coming. View Comment