Public Hearing for Proposed Budget for Pelham Manor Set for April 8

By Joyce Farrell

At the Board of Trustees meeting of the Village of Pelham Manor on March 25, Deputy Mayor Breda Bennett spoke about the Westchester Officials Association meeting hosted by the Town of Pelham and held at Sergio’s Restaurant. Blanca Lopez, the Commissioner of the Planning Board, was the keynote speaker. She and members of her staff gave a comprehensive overview of Westchester County’s planning programs and initiatives, including stormwater management, to which they’re taking a regional approach, and all hazards planning.

Village Manager/Clerk Lindsey Luft reported that the storm on March 23 dropped 3.34 inches of rain in twenty-four hours. She then explained that the pipe obstruction in Watershed 1 that is mentioned in the Village-wide drainage infrastructure assessment involves a sanitary sewer pipe that goes through the stormwater pipe and conveys raw sewage from the Village of Pelham, the Village of Pelham Manor, and the City of New Rochelle to the County pump station. The obstruction is directly under Glover Field, which is school district property. The approach of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is that the property owner is responsible for the infrastructure of its property. Completely removing the problem would be a serious task, but the proposed project would minimize the effects. Since the area around Watershed 1 is the FEMA flood zone, however, even though the interference was completely removable, it would not be the fix-all to the flooding problem, which is why the Village is taking a regional approach, involving the DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers, and speaking with the School District to get a holistic look at the area. 

Speaking about Watershed 3, Manager Luft reported that NYC Parks is making headway and has had very good results from their study and analysis. Unfortunately, the Village did not receive the grant for which it applied to assist with Watershed 5 due to a technicality, but the Village is moving ahead with improvements for Watershed 5, and New Rochelle is thoroughly working on their outfall. 

Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey stated that DPW Foreman Michael DiBenedetto had attended a seminar about invasive species. Deputy Mayor Bennett informed the Board that it was about invasive species of plants and pests, was put on by Planting Westchester, and that the Village is looking forward to amping up its efforts on the invasives.

Police Chief Thomas Atkins reported that there were several incidents of shoplifting at ShopRite, many of which resulted in arrests. They also apprehended someone at CVS on whom there were several arrest warrants. Additionally, the Department’s most recent hire, Officer Julio Rivas, foiled a burglary attempt by an organized auto theft ring. 

The proposed budget for Pelham Manor, presented by Manager Luft, provides for a lot of reinvestment in the community and is tax-cap compliant. Manager Luft pointed out that about $1.8 million would be authorized for stormwater infrastructure. The public hearing date for the budget was set for the Board’s next meeting on April 8. Visit to listen to the full discussion about the budget or to all of the public commentary, which included complaints from residents about their flooding problems. 

Another topic during the public commentary concerned voting. One resident asked what the Village’s official policy on ballot harvesting is, and Manager Luft informed her that the Village follows NYS election law, and NYS does not regulate that. Village Attorney Albert 

Cornachio asserted that the Village always makes sure the elections are handled properly and fairly and asked her if she had seen Manager Luff’s statement, a letter to residents, about the problem with the voting machines provided by the Westchester County Board of Elections (WCBOE) to process the Absentee/Early Mail Ballots, which could not be done because the machines were not properly programmed. Once this was discovered and Manager Luft communicated with the WCBOE, she made sure that the Absentee/Early Mail Ballots were secured and sealed and transferred to the custody of the Pelham Manor Police Department (PMPD). There were no Absentee/Early Mail Ballots counted on the night of March 19, and Manger Luft provided an update to the community as soon as was practicable. 

After the WCBOE reprogrammed the machines the next day and advised Manager Luft of the time/location for casting the Absentee/Early Mail Ballots, she promptly notified the candidates and explained who was authorized to be present. The ballots remained in the custody of the PMPD until it was time for the packages to be opened and the ballots to be cast through the reprogrammed machines. All parties met and carried out the final procedures for casting the Absentee/Early Mail Ballots so authorized by the Pelham Manor Election Inspectors, and Manager Luft certified the final count and shared it with the public. Conversely, all of the ballots that were cast on March 19 were accepted by the voting machines as expected, and those numbers were finalized on the night of the election.


Results – General Village Election

Certified Results – General Village Election 2024 – From Village Clerk Lindsey M. Luft


Election for Two Trustee Positions

total votes cast 3695


Katherine L. Pringle: 896


Mark A. Cardwell: 827


Bridget A. Bennett: 999


Maurice Owen-Michaane: 973


There were zero write-in names cast.