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Issue Of The Week: Consolidation

Nyack, August 22 — As we approach the September Democratic Primary, we’ll hear from the two mayoral and two Village Board candidates on one topic each week. Mayor Richard Kavesh is running for re-election against Trustee Jen White. Incumbent Trustee Doug Foster and former Trustee Marie Lorenzini are running for two open seats on the Village Board. Last week, the four candidates commented on Nyack’s Downtown Businesses.

This Week’s Question: Given reduced revenue for the village as a result of the recession and the NYS two percent tax cap, should the Village of Nyack explore some form of consolidation with adjacent municipalities to reduce expenses?

Mayoral Candidate Jen White: I support consolidation, if it saves money for the taxpayer and improves village services. Our village of one square mile is actually the downtown for a much larger area. Upper Nyack, South Nyack and Grandview certainly take advantage of what the Village has to offer without contributing to our tax base.  Each neighboring community has its own DPW, its own Village Hall and in some cases its own police force.

I have met with Mayors and Trustees of South Nyack Piermont, Grandview, South Nyack and Upper Nyack and asked them to participate in a consolidation study.   They have agreed in principal to participate in this non binding study to see where we can share services and how much money we might save through consolidation.

I believe that savings will be substantial and services will in remain consistent if not improve, but my opinion doesn’t matter.  I would only give my official support to consolidation if the numbers and the facts add up. More…

Trustee Candidate Doug Foster:  I believe we must aggressively pursue a level of consolidation amongst the Nyacks.  This process can range from sharing public works functions to combining as a single village or town.  Consolidation can be a win-win for everyone by keeping taxes neutral or lower, creating a more robust downtown and maintaining current services.

The Village of Nyack’s undersized tax base has left us with a structural deficit.  Our staffing and bonding power is sized for a small village, not for a regional cultural and commercial center.  For many years, the Village has survived by deferring infrastructure maintenance and deficit spending, and we have only been able to stabilize the situation by refinancing our debt.

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If we want to plan and build a better future, we need staff to market our village and downtown, write grants, and promote new business and economic development.  And we need the bonding power to execute our plans.  The only solution is to increase our tax base.  More…

Responses to this topic were not received from Mayor Richard Kavesh or Trustee candidate Marie Lorenzini by press time. If either candidate submits an answer to this question, this page will be updated with their response.

 


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