Opinion: Edgemont Incorporation Is Risky

The effects of the potential incorporation of Edgemont extend far beyond its proposed borders, generating substantial risk for the Unincorporated Area of the Town and The Villages. Should incorporation come to fruition, the loss of Property Tax Revenue to the remaining unincorporated area will be $16,544,000, approximately 26% of the Town B Budget. As more than 50% of the cost of running the Town is payroll related, clearly many Town employees who have served us well for decades will lose their jobs. The Town is in the process of establishing scenarios which will plan for potential reductions in services and Property Tax increases caused by the loss of revenue, but clearly, there will be a necessity for both.
For Edgemont, the risk is no less than for the remainder of the Town. The incorporation Feasibility Report/Budget, presented to the community was prepared by the Edgemont Incorporation Committee and corroborated, we believe poorly, by two outside paid consultants. Most telling is the fact that the report was prepared and corroborated without any discussion with any uf the Department Heads of the Town. Although there is no question that everyone involved on both sides of the debate believes that existing services provided by the Town are excellent, the EIC proposal replaces Police and Public Works with its own Depts. and totally removes Parks and Rec. funding, currently enjoyed by many Edgemont residents. The budget and staffing levels for proposed services, which the EIC states are in line with surrounding Villages, are in fact replete with errors in presentation and cost and are clearly inadequate. The EIC’s refusal to include the obvious costs of services such as EMS, at nearly $1,000,000 per year, a Receiver of Taxes, outside DPW contract services and adequate supervisory and support staff, highlights the inadequacy of their preparation. The EIC proposal attempts to compare new Edgemont services with comparable Villages, but refuses to make the comparison with existing services, which are far better and therefore far more expensive.
The major issue for the EIC has been governance. Their approach has been to attack the Town and its Board members wherever possible. The concept of self governance, especially in land use and zoning are the foundation of the EIC argument. However, zoning is a matter of NYS Land Use Law and zoning and planning committees cannot, break these laws to deter projects they find personally unacceptable. As an example, it should be noted that the EIC has stated they will utilize the Greenburgh codes until they establish their own. How is this different?
The greatest issue for Edgemont residents remains RISK.
1-     Where will EMS services come from?
2-     How will lost Parks and Rec. services be replaced?
3-     How can understaffed and underfunded departments provide the services and safety we now enjoy and require?
4-     What will happen to those who park at the Hartsdale Station if litigation is unsuccessful?
5-     How will property values be affected by $23,000,000 in initial capital debt?
6-     How will property values be affected by the uncertainty of new zoning laws and a new and inexperienced government?
7-     Will the outside world view Edgemont’s “secession” from a less affluent and racially diverse larger community of Greenburgh, as elitist and less desirable?
8-     In the event of an emergency or series of untoward events, how will a proposed Edgemont Village, with a new and inexperienced government, very limited financial assets and no outside support survive crisis?
 
A strong and effective Police force keeps us safe, a DPW department with experienced and dedicated staff and a fleet of vehicles and modern equipment collect our trash, service and plow our roads and ensure our basic life safety. Our Parks and Rec. system is excellent and available and our administrative services are efficient and effective. Our Municipality and Government Work and have Worked for Decades!!
IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.
Michael Schwartz, Edgemont Resident

Edgemont Incorporation Committee Files Petitions

Residents of Poets Corner,

On March 1st, the Hartsdale Neighbors Association held an informational meeting regarding “What the Edgemont Incorporation means to the residents of Hartsdale and the rest of Unincorporated Greenburgh”. Several members of the PCCA Executive Board attended the meeting to hear what the Hartsdale Neighborhood Association had to say. Both Paul Feiner, representing the Town of Greenburgh, and members of the Edgemont Incorporation Committee (EIC) were on hand to give their viewpoints.

The following summarizes some of the factual points that were discussed during the meeting.

An explanation of how the incorporated (currently 6 villages including: Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings, Irvington, and Tarrytown) and the unincorporated areas of Greenburgh (currently includes Hartsdale, Greenville a.k.a. Edgemont, Fairview, and other areas) participate in the Town’s Tax Structure.
Edgemont has notified the Town that it intends to have a referendum on incorporation. This was formally acheived on February 27, 2017 when the EIC presented Supervisor Feiner with a 1,455 signature petition.
Should the referendum go through and Edgemont does incorporate, the Town Unincorporated Budget would be reduced by approximately $17.5 M. This represents approximately a 22.3% reduction in funding available for the remaining unincorporated areas of the Town.
Intuitively, this would lead to a reduction in services or an increase in taxes for the remaining unincorporated residents of the Town, or most likely some combination of both to off-set the $17.5 M reduction to the tax base.
Incorporation can be unilaterally accomplished by the Edgemont residents. The rest of the unincorporated residents (including Harsdale) do not vote and do not have veto power.
If Edgemont goes through with the referendum, a simple majority is necessary to effect incorporation.
The estimated timeline for all this to happen and take effect would be June 2018 at the earliest.
These were the salient points. What is not included is the rhetoric, political or otherwise, that is also taking place throughout the Town regarding this very sensitive topic..

The PCCA Executive Board will be organizing a General membership meeting some time in April to present the facts, answer questions,inform, and discuss the ramifications of the potential Edgemont Incorporation. Look for an invitation to be sent sometime in the beginning of April.

As a reminder, PCCA remains apolitical and will only take positions that will benefit the residents of Poets Corner.
Sincerely,
Nat J. Federici / Mona Fraitag
PCCA Co-Presidents

Hartsdale Fire District – Safe Haven Site

The Hartsdale Fire District is officially established as a Safe Haven Site. These sites allow parents to drop off babies, up to 30 days old, with no questions asked and without the threat of prosecution.

Safe Haven laws have been established and are designed to avoid situations where unwanted babies are abandoned and tragically left to die.

For more information please visit the National Safe Haven Alliance at: http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/.

Ruth Jacobs’s Memorial Celebration: Sunday January 15th 11:30am at the Greenburgh Public Library

Ruth Jacobs and her husband Howard lived in their home in Poets Corner since 1958. She pass away recently, but while they were here they were always very active with the Greenburgh Public Library.

A celebration of Ruth’s life is planned for January 15 at the Greenburgh Public Library. Below is a message from her sons.

Dear All,

We are writing to let you know that we have arranged for our Mom’s memorial celebration to take place after the holidays, on Sunday, January 15, 11:30am at the Greenburgh Public Library. Both Ruth and Howard had been very active with their local library, and wished that they could be remembered there; we are grateful that the library has been so accommodating.

Please join us for refreshments immediately following the memorial at the Jacobs House: 89 Longfellow Street in Hartsdale.

We hope that you can join us to celebrate a life well lived.

Kenneth and David Jacobs

OPERATION CANDY CANE…DEC 10

OPERATION CANDY CANE will take place on Saturday December 10, 2016, from 9:00am – 2:00pm.

The Hartsdale Professional Firefighters will spread Holiday Cheer by escorting Santa Claus and

his helpful and friendly elves around the Hartsdale Fire District in a Fire Engine handing out

Candy Canes to all attending children & adults. Printed below is a full list of all Stops & Times

and to make sure that all are at the right location awaiting Santa’s arrival, look out for our

new marker signs as well. Due to the busyness of Santa’s schedule, please allow for some

flexibility with our estimated arrival times. Also, due to safety concerns, we ask that all

children are at the designated locations approximately 10 minutes prior to arrival times to

avoid children running around and near the fire trucks. In the event of inclement weather,

this event will take place on Sunday December 11, 2016. For more information regarding

Operation Candy Cane, updates, cancelations and rain dates, or for more interesting

information about the Hartsdale Fire Department’s services, news, activities, or fire safety

and prevention please check out our website at hartsdalefire.org.

We want to wish everyone a safe and healthy Holiday Season…!

9:00 HARTSDALE TRAIN STATION

9:15 ROCKLEDGE CIRCLE / ROCKLEDGE ROAD

9:22 EAST HARTSDALE / CATERSON TERRACE

9:29 LAKEVIEW AVE / MAPLE STREET

9:36 WEBB FIELD PARKING LOT

9:43 CORNELL DR / PRINCETON DR

9:50 IFO 15 FIELDSTONE DR

9:57 BRIAR CLOSE / COLONY DR

10:04 IFO 125 N. WASHINGTON

10:11 75 WEST HARTSDALE, “THE HAMLET”

10:18 PINEWOOD RD / WILDWOOD RD

10:25 HOMEWOOD CT

10:32 WOOD PL / MAPLEWOOD RD

10:39 WOODS END RD / WOODS END LN

10:46 SHAW PL / SPENCER CT

10:53 STEVENSON AVE / POE ST

11:00 TENNYSON ST / HOLMES AVE

11:07 HOLMES AVE / BURNS ST

11:14 BARBARA LN / JEAN LN

11:21 CROSSWAY / DUNHAM RD

11:28 SHERBROOKE / BURKEWOOD RD

11:35 SOUTHERN RD / HOWARD PL

11:42 JOYCE RD / SINCLAIR PL

BREAK

12:45 TRADER JOE’S

1:00 RIDGE ROAD PARK PARKING LOT

1:10 MARION WOODS

1:30 300 SOUTH CENTRAL AVE

1:45 HARTSDALE TRAIN STATION/VILLAGE

Tax Watch: Hartsdale fire’s undisclosed thousands

Tax Watch columnist David McKay Wilson explores how a citizen activist, our very own President of the PCCA, Mona Fraitag, fought to understand how the Hartsdale fire company spent its ‘2% tax’ money.

Great article about a very important topic if you care about your tax dollars!

http://www.lohud.com/story/money/personal-finance/taxes/david-mckay-wilson/2016/09/14/taxwatch-hartsdale-funds/89917792/