It has been an honor to serve as Mayor of the Village of Pelham Manor for the past two years, working with distinguished colleagues and our talented administration. Having returned to Pelham Manor to raise my family, I have a profound appreciation of our unique Village. I take the responsibilities and challenges associated with good governance seriously. The Village has made significant strides forward during my tenure, and it would be my pleasure to serve another term.
As Mayor, I have fostered a merit-based, inclusive approach to local government, nominating qualified residents with varied backgrounds to serve on Pelham Manor boards. I remain dedicated to promoting transparency and increasing communication with residents. In furtherance of these goals, the Pelham Manor Village Code is now available online, and each Trustee has a Village e-mail address, easily accessible through our website at www.pelhammanor.org. Additionally, the Village created a Facebook page, affording the public important access to information via social media. I also give a brief update on WVOX community radio, 1460 AM, every Thursday morning.
One of my chief objectives has been to promote fiscal responsibility while maintaining our high level of services. Through great discipline, the Village has remained New York State tax cap compliant during my term and continues to be debt free. We are in the process of preparing the tentative 2017-2018 budget, which will require us to present an increase of less than 1.39% to remain under the cap. It is our goal to do so. The Village is audited monthly, and in accordance with the New York State Comptroller’s recommendations, we have increased our fund balance.
Pelham Manor is fortunate to have some of the region’s most dedicated service professionals in our Police, Fire and DPW Departments. During the last two years, the Village successfully negotiated contracts with the Police and Fire Departments. Just after taking office in 2015, I actively participated in the selection of our Police Chief, ushering in a new era in that department. The Police and Fire Departments engage in advanced training on a regular basis and work cooperatively with outside service departments at all levels. During my time as Mayor, both departments have increased community outreach, hosting programs in our schools and utilizing electronic communication techniques such as Nixle, our police alert system. Both departments also recently hired new recruits.
As Mayor, I have embraced responsible revitalization and sustainability initiatives for Pelham Manor. Last summer, the Village partnered with generous local contractors and not for profit groups to secure aesthetic improvements to the historic Four Corners Police Booth and the adjacent park at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, the Board of Trustees and I have supported modest zoning refinements in the business districts to allow interested retailers to open for business in our Village. We have also increased the number of low impact uses allowed in Canal Road area, generating revenue with little drain on services. The Village manages a robust recycling program at Spring Road and constantly evaluates new programs to aid us in being good stewards of the environment.
Village service requires not only a time commitment, but also a working knowledge of complex issues. The current Board functions collaboratively and is a team of accomplished, dedicated volunteers. We have cultivated productive relationships with outside entities, including neighboring municipalities and Westchester County. I have worked tirelessly on behalf of our Village during my first term and would welcome the opportunity to serve a second term as Mayor.
I respectfully ask you to support me, along with my running mates, Trustee Matthew T. McLaughlin and Trustee Joseph C. Senerchia, on Tuesday, March 21 at the Pelham Manor Firehouse, 4 Penfield Place.