Edgemont Incorporation in the NYTimes and edgemont2017.org updates
Edgemont in The Times.
The New York Times published an article online today (available here) on Edgemont’s incorporation movement. Appearing in print tomorrow, it captured the reasons for incorporating:
- The Town's failure to follow a governance process and its disregard of zoning laws. It highlighted the Town's granting of extreme variances for an assisted living facility in Edgemont, despite the law.
Our mere 8% voting power. With such a small slice of the electorate, we are limited in our ability to effect change through the democratic process.
The material differences between the village that dissolved last year (Mastic Beach, which the Times covered) and Edgemont. The article also highlighted the lengths to which the EIC and the community have gone to research financial feasibility to ensure we can afford excellent services.
- The financial feasibility of Edgemont as a self-governing entity. The reporter quoted a professor (who has followed the matter on his own) to opine on the economic prospects of our becoming a village. He said: “[Edgemont] will have the best financial shot. If you have a very large base for your property taxes, you don't need the tax rate to be very high to achieve what you want.” Sure enough, both the Town’s and the EIC’s experts previously came to the same conclusion. Anti-incorporation leader and Supervisor Paul Feiner offered an opposing quote saying that Edgemont taxes will go up and services will go down, but can’t justify his statements. It's the tax base, stupid.
- The Town's unethical behavior. The article noted that the Town used private investigators to dupe its constituents into signing affidavits rescinding their petition signatures.
The Times also provided some revealing explanations from Supervisor Feiner and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti:
The article reports that Supervisor Feiner was regretful about the PI incident: not for using the PIs in the first place, but for not having them practice before entering our homes with affidavits to rescind petition signatures!
Assemblyman Abinanti demonstrated his fundamental misunderstanding of the Village Law: he thinks incorporations should be based on service issues, not major policy disagreements with the government. He would do well to listen to his constituents, who want to incorporate because the Town has failed to follow the law and represent the will of the electorate. Abinanti has it backwards.
The Feiner-Abinanti one-two punch of creating voting obstacles and attempting to change laws demonstrates the real problem with democratic politics in Greenburgh: our own representatives care first and foremost about retaining power. Allowing a community to exercise its legal right to vote on its preferred form of self-governance is far down their list, if it's on the list at all.
Unsurprisingly, Feiner claims he knows the real reason we want incorporate: so we can avoid paying for Town services that Edgemont won't use. What's conveniently missing from Feiner's statements is that the existing six villages not only avoid paying for those very same services, but also that Feiner goes to great lengths to keep it that way. Further, to preserve his popularity with those voters, Feiner campaigns on the platform that only he can protect the great deal that villagers get for their few hundred dollars in Town taxes. That, in turn, all but ensures that the villagers (which represent a majority of Town voters) turn out for him on election day.
The Times points readers to edgemont2017.org which we’ve recently updated. Please follow that link and note the new pages on:
- "Why Incorporate"
- Parking at the Hartsdale train station
- News section
- Pool use
- Police and public safety
- EMS and ambulance
- Taxes and financials (with interactive videos)
- Questions and answers