Happy Thanksgiving! There are lots of initiatives that have taken place since last Thanksgiving to be thankful for. Here are some!
* Greenburgh approves site plan for Regeneron's potential 1,000,000 Sq Ft Expansion- the largest commercial expansion in recent town history. The town anticipates millions of dollars in additional revenue and great new jobs. We have become the bio tech capitol of the Hudson Region!
* Our town received a $250,000 grant to redesign Route 119 and to make the road more bicycle/pedestrian friendly.
* The Xposure after school program --student produced radio program - was nominated for two EMMY awards. How many other 10 and 11 year olds--anywhere- receive EMMY award nominations?
* The South County bike trail now connects to the North County bike trail - an initiative cyclists from around the region have been seeking for years! We lobbied the county to implement this initiative for years.
* The town received almost $5,000,000 from NYS for water infrastructure enhancements - the 2nd largest grant in the Hudson Valley from NYS!
* Our budgets and taxes come under the NYS tax cap. Unlike some other governments in the region we have never approved a budget that exceeds the tax cap.
* The town maintained our Aaa bond rating from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's - an accomplishment most town, school, village state, and federal governments have not achieved. The triple A bond rating enables the town to save hundreds of thousands of dollars when we borrow for infrastructure enhancements each year.
* Our proactive measures dealing with anticipated storms seem to be paying off. A major storm in Westchester this fall resulted in 6,000 people out of power in Westchester -only 22 people out of power in Greenburgh. Con Ed & the town have an active tree trimming program--we trim branches hanging over wires and remove trees that are dead that could impact power lines.
* We are following the lead of the village of Scarsdale and will be establishing a food recycling location at AF Veteran park. Turning food scraps into compost is good for the planet and could save the town significant dollars.
* We have been successful collecting back taxes owed and reduced the number of properties facing foreclosure from almost 500 a few years back to less than 55.
* The town, police department and Phelps hospital partnered on a pedestrian safety initiative. Thousands of free reflectors being distributed to pedestrians. Don't wear dark clothing.
* New sidewalks were built: on Benedict on the Tarrytown border and on Secor Road. We received a very large grant from NYS -$792,000 to build a new sidewalk on Central Ave from Marion to W Hartsdale Ave. Hopefully, that sidewalk will be built next year. New sidewalks being planned on Columbia Ave in Hartsdale, Juniper Hill in Fairview. We plan to replace an asphalt playground on Glendale Road with an asphalt sidewalk leading to the Greenville School. And -plan more sidewalks around the town.
* We created a curb making the library more accessible for the disabled. And redesigned the circle near the library to make it easier for cars to pick up and drop of library patrons. We plan to increase parking at the library and appropriated funds to make this happen.
* We replaced and upgraded water mains in Mayfair Acres--an important water infrastructure project and repainted more water tanks. Juniper Hill water tank was completed.
* We approved a lease with a private company to place a bubble at our tennis court at E Rumbrook park--providing residents with indoor tennis opportunities. The bubble opened today!
* We are making the town more efficient - 6200 new properties now receive garbage collection services from our new sanitation trucks (which use one employee, not three). Fewer worker compensation claims. We hope to expand recycling services in 2018--one day a week pickup for both paper and commingles.
* New affordable housing at the waterwheel property (foreclosed property which the town turned over to Ardsley) opens. 22 housing units.
* New parking lot at Taxter Ridge built at expense of developer --making it easier for hikers to take advantage of this spectacular hiking trail.
* Our intern program had a very successful year. Student interns interviewed many well known and not so well known leaders -including the writer of the best play on Broadway: TONY AWARD winner JT Rogers and Joe Queenan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Students host their own cable TV program.
* A new Town Judge was appointed - former Edgemont School Board member Bonnie Orden. Town Justices Walter Rivera and Arlene Gordon Oliver were appointed or elected to higher Judicial positions.
* The US Coast Guard listened to citizens and killed (at least temporarily) plans to park barges along the Hudson River.
* Woodlands High School students received $5.3 million in scholarships upon graduation. The town is working with the school district on an exciting technology initiative.
* The building department demolished unsafe buildings on Teramar Way and they took steps to demolish an unsafe home on McLean.
* The Greenburgh police department did a great job organizing terrific community outreach efforts: at Town Hall, at the scene of a crime and on Halloween.
* Fewer burglaries in the entire town of Greenburgh than in the village of Scarsdale (which is much smaller). Our burglaries are down, thanks to the excellent proactive work of our police department.
* NYS rebuilding the Payne Street bridge overlooking the Sprain Parkway
* We recognized the Atlantic Starr musicians from Fairview and renamed a street in their honor. At one point their music was number one world wide!
* We are implementing additional safety features -more blinking crosswalk lights near schools. A safety crosswalk off of Ravensdale, Jackson Ave and Route 9
* Thanks to the generosity of many, the Lois Bronz Children's Center received donations of backpacks for children whose families can't afford them. The community has been supportive of our partnership with the Dobbs Ferry food pantry--and frequently drops off food at the bin at Town Hall.
* Councilman Francis Sheehan, while he recovered from surgery, took advantage of modern technology by participating and voting at Town Board meetings from the comforts of his home---using Skype. I think that when members of Congress or the State Legislature can't attend a meeting of their legislatures that they should also participate by Skype.
* We replaced the roof at the Theodore Young Community Center. Patrons using our indoor pool now will benefit from more natural light!
* We're replacing the roof at the Manor House, Greenburgh Nature Center.
* A very successful motorcycle safety event across from Greenburgh Town Hall sponsored by the Greenburgh police department and motorcycle enthusiasts.
* Over 400 residents of Greenburgh now have installed solar panels to power their homes. We sponsored with Solarize Westchester an initiative to promote solar power.
* We have been closing down massage facilities in town involved in prostitution and illegal activities. A new law requires the licensing of massage establishments.
* The new hotel tax was implemented -enabling the town to shift some of our costs of operating government to hotel guests, not taxpayers.
* Greenburgh and the villages have eliminated duplication--separate assessors and now use one assessor.
Thank you for re-electing me as Greenburgh Town Supervisor. I begin my 27th year as Town Supervisor in January. Congratulations to Councilman Francis Sheehan and Councilwoman Diana Juettner for winning re-election and for working very hard during the year on all of the above initiatives. And, thank you to Town Councilmembers Ken Jones and Kevin Morgan for their dedication and great ideas. Town Clerk Judith Beville also won re-election and coordinates with Town Attorney Tim Lewis our terrific internship program. And, Receiver of Taxes Anne Povella also was re-elected this November. One of the reasons why our bond rating is so high is because people pay their taxes! Also- thank you to all the department heads and town employees who make our town such a great place to live. And to residents of the community who speak out and tell us what is needed to make Greenburgh a better place to live and work. We encourage volunteering - many residents are involved in citizen boards that meet monthly or more frequently. There work is also greatly appreciated.