HNA has learned (second hand) about two upcoming meetings that will be interesting for all TOV residents:
1. Tues, March 28, 7:30-9PM at TDYCC (32 Manhattan Ave): described as “The Town will provide a brief overview, followed by an audience Q&A with Town Officials” who will include Andre Early, Commissioner of Community Resources (TDYCC); Town Councilman Ken Jones; Gerald Byrnes, Comm Parks & Rec; Victor Carosi, Comm. DPW; Garrett Duquesne, Comm, Community Develop and Conservation; Steven Fraietta, Building Inspector and Chief McNerney, GPD.
2. Thurs, March 30, Edgemont Seely Place Elementary School (51 Seely Place, Scarsdale): described as hosted by the Greenburgh Chapter of the NAACP as:
“a public forum on Edgemont’s future to explore potential impacts of Edgemont separating from the Town of Greenburgh. The presentation will feature Lena Anderson, President of the Greenburgh/White Plains Chapter of the NAACP and longtime community leader, along with other community members from Edgemont and Greenburgh (list of confirmed panelists will be forthcoming). Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments on index cards only.
The NAACP is concerned about the impact of Edgemont incorporation on lower income families who live in the Town of Greenburgh and on the livelihoods of sanitation, police and municipal workers. If Edgemont breaks away from unincorporated Greenburgh, the town potentially could lose $17.5 million dollars a year, jeopardizing the current level of support provided to the Theodore Young Community Center, and other programs and services around town. The Edgemont residents advocating for incorporation are pushing for privatization of sanitation which will lead to layoffs of public works employees. A referendum could be held in June of this year and only Edgemont residents will be able to vote according to New York State Law.
Edgemont residents could potentially experience reduced services and higher taxes in the event that Edgemont separates legally from the Town of Greenburgh. Edgemont residents need to carefully decide whether the risks of incorporation are worth the perceived benefits in terms of control over local zoning and land use decisions. This NAACP community forum will offer Edgemont and Greenburgh residents the opportunity to explore a variety of perspectives on the subject of Edgemont Incorporation.
The NAACP mission is to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” Anderson approaches the issue of Edgemont Incorporation from the framework of a social and economic equality perspective. All residents of the Town of Greenburgh deserve the high level of services that they are currently receiving. As Anderson explained, “We all have a duty to work together for solutions. Putting up walls between the haves and have-nots only exacerbates the tensions caused by the growing wealth divide in our society.”
Michael Schwartz, a member of a committee of Edgemont residents opposing incorporation, stated “although the EIC (Edgemont Incorporation Campaign) is correct that Edgemont’s share of Real Estate Taxes is greater than others in Greenburgh, it is clearly less costly to remain a part of Greenburgh than go off on our own. The EIC financial feasibility study needs to be carefully reviewed for quality, accuracy and reliability, and Edgemont residents need to fully understand the range of risks involved regarding unexpected expenses and lost services.” Members of the EIC have been invited and have accepted to serve on the panel.”
These meetings should be informative and potentially provocative. We recommend that all TOV residents participate in both meetings.
HNA was not consulted or invited to participate by the organizers of either meeting. Neither meeting description mentions HNA or acknowledges Hartsdale.
HNA takes no position on the strategy – or messaging – that the Town and our fellow TOV incorporation-opponents have chosen through holding these meetings – particularly the 3/30 meeting which focuses attention on the potential impact of incorporation on the TDYCC and town employee layoffs, without reference to impact on property taxes and property values throughout TOV.
HNA leadership invited the Greenburgh NAACP and its members to join the March 1 community meeting at the Highview School and to make a statement or issue a letter regarding the impact of Edgemont incorporation, but HNA did not receive a response.
HNA leadership has not at anytime suggested that Wespac (an apparent co-sponsor of the 3/30 meeting) participate in any forum related to incorporation and believes that the participation of Wespac in the 3/30 forum and the TOV anti-incorporation movement is potentially divisive and counter-productive.