The PCCA asked each of the Greenburgh Town Board Candidates a series of questions that we felt were most pertinent to our community. Below are the responses from Ken Jones:
- What is your position on Edgemont Incorporation?
I have not heard a good reason for further incorporation. The primary concern of more control over land use decisions does not ring true: Edgemont residents are on the Planning Board, Zoning Board and Conservation Advisory Council. Edgemont residents were on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. When the proposed Comprehensive Plan suggested mixed use construction on Central Avenue in Edgemont, residents objected and mixed use development was scrapped town wide, including at Four Corners. Since at least the 1950s Edgemont has received favorable treatment from Greenburgh Town Boards.
- And, as a Town Board Member how would you address the impact of their incorporation to the rest of the Town if it were to happen?
Higher taxes and/or diminished services. This is the only answer when $17M is taken from the budget. This will also be the case for residents of Edgemont Village e.g. residents will not be able to contract for town services at the same price and will have to pay an added administrative fee, not to mention salaries and benefits for village government employees. Police, DPW, Parks and Community Resources will likely all suffer cutbacks in the remaining unincorporated area.
- In what ways can the Town Board more effectively work with both the School and Fire Districts?
These are districts independent of the town. We don’t exercise control over them. They are separate taxing authorities. Certainly we should work together to make sure residents receive the best services.
We could probably decrease costs and benefit from economies of scale across the three entities if we shared services and did bulk purchasing of items e.g. custodial services and paper goods . This would help keep taxes down.
- How would you propose to address the current Town need for a new Police Headquarters and Court House?
A committee composed of court and police staff, DPW staff, the Assessor and I are negotiating with real estate consulting firms who will identify likely locations for the new facility and advise on disposing of the old one. They will assist with the purchase and the sale. They will help to determine whether to build a new facility or to retrofit and/or add to an already existing one.
This is the first step in the process; meanwhile we have to continue keeping court and police employees safe, secure and as comfortable as possible in their existing situation.
- In your opinion, what is the most critical issue that the Town Board is currently facing that will most significantly impact the 526 households of the Poets Corner Residents?
Putting aside the spectre of incorporation, serious issues could be coming with the proposed developments of assisted living facilities at Metropolis Country Club and Maplewood Swim Club. These, combined with the culling of trees at Maria Regina and the proposed Woodlands consolidation mean the area around Poet’s Corner could face a significant increase in population density, traffic congestion and de-forestation.
Dobbs Ferry Road and West Hartsdale Avenue are narrow windy roads, already fairly dense with homes and businesses. Traffic is often backed up along both. Adding these types of facilities is sure to add to the peak hour traffic problems on both roads.
Any development along these thoroughfares will change our quality of life in a meaningful way, so thoughtful development is necessary. Existing density may make these sites inappropriate for assisted living facilities since they have to be large enough to contain enough units to turn a profit; this usually means the size of the ones already built in the town further down Dobbs Ferry Road and on White Plains Road.
Taking down acres of mature trees and building assisted living facilities the size and scope of these will permanently alter the character of these gateways to Poet’s Corner and thus our quality of life.