Congratulations to all, especially northern Westchester Democrat Mike Kaplowitz. I hope Democratic voters will hold the rest of their elected officials, particularly Messrs. Buchwald and Harckham to a higher standard that does not practice politics as usual with the kind of Albany dealmaking that is ruining our schools. View Comment
There is nothing to defend. The Cohort Survival method is a means of predicting future school populations based on an existing population of younger children. The demographer makes clear from his many disclaimers that he is not talking about the future. That is why the district will not commit to selling the school building for Town offices or a community center.
The task force completely ignored one parent, a real estate developer, who explained how her industry is investing tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to address the coming "Echo Boom" that everyone in the real world knows is coming.
http://www.rreef.com/content/_media/Research_Demographic_Changes_May_2011.pdf View Comment
The most effective foreclosure prevention money I can think of would be a donation to Andrea Rendo to get Peter "turn out the lights on taxpayers" Harckham out of office. Westchester taxpayers, already living in the highest taxed County in the nation, cannot endure another decade of his Democratic majority on the County board of legislators. It would be nice for a change for northern Westchester to be represented by a representative that represents them. View Comment
OAK RIDGE BEWARE
If you ever doubted that our Democratic leaders down County are in the tank for HUD and it's developers look at this article. Back at the time of the Andes proposal to build a County Rec facility at the location of the AP farm fields, Mr. Parsons' running mate, County Legislator and majority leader Peter Harckham confirmed on the record of a public meeting that the County considered the town's "good faith" obligation under the Old Field purchase fulfilled with the construction of the a home units, some other units added at Onatru and the fourth phase of Oak Ridge which is occurring now. Now he carries HUD's water.
And make no mistake about it, the Old Field agreement was for workforce affordable housing with preferences for local emergency responders and residents, not the HUD housing Mr.Parsons and Mr. Harckham are pushing now with its lower income threshold, no local preferences and with Section 8
public assistance counted as income.
Oak Ridge watch out, here comes the "old swticheroo." View Comment
Glad Assemblyman Buchwald can read. While he, Peter Parsons and Peter Harckham were holding their dog and pony show last Monday in Lewisboro at the Town House attacking Verizon to placate their union supporters, as reported in the New York Times a day or two later, Verizon was already in talks with officials in Fire Island which led them to withdraw their VoiceLink applications throughout the State. They staged a political event at taxpayer expense publicized by the supervisor through the Town's official email!
Mr. Bramson's record on taxes is abysmal, and now he is in bed with the Independence party leadership after Rob Astorino would not give Cavallo the patronage jobs he was demanding. It is these kind of jobs that made Westchester the highest tax county in the nation under our previous Democratic County executive.
Now the Independence party has sent a threatening mass mailer to young voters in an effort to suppress their participation. This is not just Yonkers/New Rochelle politics crossing North of I 287, it's voter intimidation reminiscent of the reconstruction era South.
With Rob Astorino having made real progress with his bipartisan budget supported by Northern Westchester Democrat Mike Kaplowitz, this no time to go back to the runaway County government of just a few short years ago View Comment
And what about the restaurant staff, which apparently witnessed a Connecticut resident on his way to a church service being physically threatened by one of Mr. Sklarin's crew while ordering a Diet Coke because he was mistaken for a local resident who may have signed an opportunity to ballot petition?
Is this really what our local Democrats want Lewisboro politics to devolve into?
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.