FIRE COMMISSIONER ELECTIONS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8TH FROM 3PM-9PM ONLY
* NEW LOCATION *
300 W. HARTSDALE AVE
SOUTH OF THE FARM, BETWEEN SECOR RD & RIDGE RD
The Poets Corner Civic Association wishes to inform you of an opportunity to cast your vote, regardless of party affiliation, for the position of Fire Commissioner on Tuesday December 8th at the Hartsdale Fire Station on W. Hartsdale Ave. Any resident of Hartsdale who is registered to vote, is eligible to participate in this Election.
What is this election all about?
A five member Board of Commissioners governs and is the only oversight for the paid Hartsdale Fire District. The Fire Commission, alone, decides what taxes you pay to support the fire services for our community of Hartsdale. The Town does not provide funding for the fire district; it only collects the taxes for them. They are a separate taxing entity as is our school district.
Five years ago, a Town of Greenburgh Citizens’ Commission issued a report on the operations of our paid fire district as well as those of Fairview and Greenville. Their findings were:
1) Compensation per employee in the 3 Greenburgh Fire Districts is 32% higher than peers in other fire departments in Westchester County.
2) We pay approximately 19% of our taxes to the Town of Greenburgh, which has 550 workers, yet we pay 16% of our taxes to the Hartsdale Fire District, which has 40 workers.
No one would question the extremely high quality of service from the Greenburgh Fire Departments, but the above statistics are noteworthy.
What can be done?
There are two candidates on the ballot for the 5-year term commencing on January 1, 2016.
Guy Novo, is the challenger. He has 38 years of experience as a tax attorney. He has been a Hartsdale resident for over 34 years and is an adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Law. Guy is running for a position on the Fire Commission in hopes of reducing our tax burden while continuing the excellent level of service we currently receive.
Anthony Frasca is the incumbent. He has been on the commission for one year and led the firefighter contract negotiations – guaranteeing a 10% increase in salaries over a five-year period with zero (0) employee contributions for health benefits.
Let us know if you need additional information regarding this upcoming election, but most importantly, please exercise your right to vote. Note that voter turnout is historically low (less than 300 votes and sometimes only 40) so each vote really counts!
TUESDAY DECEMBER 8TH
FROM 3PM TILL 9PM
AT THE HARTSDALE FIRE HOUSE
SOUTH OF THE FARM, BETWEEN SECOR RD & RIDGE RD
A coyote was just sighted at the corner of Spencer and Shelley. Please take extra precautions with your children as well as your pets. The incident was reported to the police in a timely manner and there will be police cars patrolling the area. If anyone spots it, please call the non-emergency police number as soon as possible and let them know where the animal is headed. Thanks.
The Greenburgh Police non-emergency number is 914-989-1700.
Dr. Tahira Dupree Chase, Superintendent of Greenburgh Schools, is sponsoring an informal “Dessert” on November 19th at 6:30 PM. The event will take place in the Mansion. Residents who are interested in the progress that the Greenburgh School System is making, or have concerns and ideas about our schools, are encouraged to attend.
The Greenburgh Water Department will continue its maintenance program to operate and flush fire hydrants for the week beginning Thursday, November 12, 2015 thru Wednesday, November 25, 2015. This action is necessary to make sure the fire hydrants are in good working order in case of emergencies and to help flush sediment out of the distribution system.
Areas of Poets Corner affected include roads near Secor Road, Keats Ave., Longfellow St., Chaucer St., Spencer Court, Frost Lane, Stevenson Ave.
The hydrant flushing and operating action will take place during the day from 9:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. You should expect temporary periods of discolored water and lowered pressure resulting from this maintenance operation. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air and does not affect the safety of the water.
For further information, customers may contact the Greenburgh Water Department at 914-989-1900 or visit the Town website www.greenburghny.com.
The PCCA would like to thank Chief McNerney of the Greenburgh Police Department for speaking with residents at the annual PCCA meeting. As mentioned at the meeting, despite low crime rates, residents of Poets Corner should remain vigilant in locking car and residential doors and “leaving the light on” when away. Additionally, residents should be aware of an increase of “phone scams” that are occurring throughout the area. The official notices are below.
The police department also offers a free, in home, safety inspection. They will come to your home, at your convenience, and review with you everything that you can and should do to keep you and your home as safe as possible.
The Greenburgh Police Department has installed new 4-way stop signs at the intersection of Keats Avenue and Longfellow Street. Please be aware of this new change as you drive through the neighborhood.
Many people travel through this intersection daily, some at excessive speeds. The Poets Corner Civic Association recommended to Town Police Chief McNerney and the Traffic Officer of Greenburgh to install these stop signs as a preventative safety measure.
The measure was presented and approved on Wednesday, October 28th, by the Town Board.
As many members of the community may already know, the Town of Greenburgh is currently performing a reassessment of all real property within the Town. The Poets Corner Civic Association hosted Edye McCarthy, the Town Assessor of Greenburgh about the reassessment process at the PCCA Annual Membership Meeting on October 29, 2015.
The Town Board discussed the reassessment process taking place around town with Ms. McCarthy (link to video playback here: https://youtu.be/qQuxyLEn3MM). In March residents will receive preliminary info about their taxes from the company that conducted the reassessment. After you receive the letter in the mail you can do nothing if you agree with the results or schedule a meeting to challenge their findings.
Below you will find an explanation of your reassessment notice that will be received by residents in March 2016. For additional information please follow this link to the Tyler Technologies website.
From Paul Feiner:
The town is near completion of the Town-Wide revaluation-the first in about 60 years. All properties have been reassessed to 100% of their current market value. This has been a long arduous process over the last two years. The Assessor has attended over 50 public information meetings, she has been on television, radio, and Town Board Meetings. We have also provided updates on the town e website. I am hopeful that everyone is aware of this major undertaking for the Town of Greenburgh. We expect that everyone will now pay their fair share of the tax burden.
The Greenburgh Town Board discussed the reassessment process with Town Assessor Edye McCarthy yesterday at our work session. The video link of the entire discussion is below. Participating in the discussion with all the members of the Town Board was a representative of New York State.
So what happens now: each property owner will receive a “disclosure” notice in mid-March, 2016. This letter will show what your assessment and taxes were before the reassessment and what your assessment and projected taxes will be after the reassessment. If you are satisfied with your assessed value, you need do nothing further. If you are dissatisfied that your assessment is to high or to low, please contact Tyler Technologies (their contact information will be on the letter) to discuss your new value. You will have from receipt of the letter to the end of April to meet with our Contractor.
If you are still dissatisfied, after their determination, you have the right to file a formal assessment appeal with the Board of Assessment Review in June of 2016. At this time, there is no charge for the informal meeting with Tyler Technologies, nor is there a charge to file a formal assessment complaint. You can file the paperwork on your own, as there is no requirement to hire a representative.
Members of the Greenburgh Town Board (Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner, Ken Jones, and I) decided yesterday to reject the homestead option.. The Town Board asked New York State to do an analysis and all the Board members decided to reject Homestead- after receiving a report from NYS. Of the more than 1,000 jurisdictions in NYS that have reassessed properties only 48 have adopted homestead, according to the Assessor. Most of the Westchester communities that have reassessed also rejected homestead.
During a reassessment, a municipality has the choice of adopting what is known as the “Homestead Option”. Homestead is a tax policy option available to municipalities that implement a reassessment. It creates two classes, homestead (residential) and non-homestead (commercial properties and most condominiums and cooperatives). It also creates different tax rates for each of the classes. Typically the Non-Homestead tax rate is higher. The purpose of the Homestead is to prevent a dramatic shift in the tax burden to residential property owners in the event that the residential class increases its share of taxable value. There are many factors to take in to consideration prior to making this decision, such as but not limited to: what would happen to the residential class of property; what would happen to the condominiums/cooperatives, and what would happen to the commercial class of property.
At our Town Board work session on February 23rd our Assessor, Monitor and our State Representative, presented data to give us the ability to make an informed decision whether or not to opt in to the Homestead Option. The information supplied indicated that the aggregate tax shifts between the residential and commercial class of properties was a very modest increase of approximately 2% in the aggregate. However, if we were to adopt this provision, the commercial properties would pay substantially more in property taxes along with over 60% of the condominium owners paying over 30% more of the aggregate tax burden. This burden would be very difficult to bear for condominium property owners, and we were also concerned about the burden to our commercial owners, as we want to maintain the economic competitiveness that we currently have. We have many large commercial developments interested in coming to Greenburgh (which will assist in relief of the tax burden to our homeowners) and this may create an apprehension, not unwarranted.
For the reasons above, the Town Board unanimously decided against opting in to the Homestead Option.
The members of the Town Board -Diana Juettner, Ken Jones, Francis Sheehan, Kevin Morgan, Assessor Edye McCarthy and I are more than happy to meet with neighborhood groups in the coming months to discuss the reassessment process and to answer questions. If you have any other questions about the process please e mail me at email@example.com.
The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved a local law today enabling the town to procure natural gas and or electricity in aggregate on behalf of residential and small commercial energy customers in the town. We believe that this legislation will enable the town to help residents REDUCE their utility bills. Other local government in Westchester are joining forces and will participate in this exciting initiative which could reduce your Con Ed bills by hundreds of dollars.
Westchester is the first county in New York State that was authorized to have a community choice aggregation pilot program. The New York State Public Service Commission approved the implementation of this initiative in February that allows local governments to put out for bid the total amount of energy being purchased by local residents or small businesses. Please see press release below. We are working with Sustainable Westchester, a non profit organization comprised of local governments in Westchester County which sought approval of the demonstration program.
Every resident of Greenburgh is automatically signed up for the program unless they participate in an ESCO already. However- anyone can opt out if they don’t wish to participate. Before enacting the legislation the Town Board held 3 public hearings: on June 24, July 8 and August 19th.
Potential benefits: price stability for a fixed contract term. Lower prices. More favorable terms. Preference for cleaner power sources.