March 16, 2005 Newsletter
March 16, 2005
To My Fellow Residents:
“Now is the winter of our discontent,” the opening line of Shakespeare’s Richard III, nicely sums up how we all must feel these days. After slipping through December (my last update) with only traces of snow, came the blizzard of mid-January and then a series of too many weekend and holiday mini-blizzards which ran roughshod on our allocated funds for snow removal.
On the plus side, our Highway and Parks Departments and other Village service personnel acted and reacted masterfully, keeping our roads clear. On the negative side, we got socked with overtime and the costs associated with replenishing our supply of costly salt. All told, the trade off was worth it. We had minimal damage to our infrastructure and, most importantly, our residents were safe and found traveling easily throughout the Village.
With that said, I now hope we can move on to the business of taking control over those things we want to accomplish. Over the next few weeks, your Board, both the current and the incoming one, will deal with several major issues, including the adoption of the 2005-2006 budget; passing legislation to give final approval authority to the Planning Board for a number of land use actions; staffing our Village’s Boards, Councils and Commissions with resident volunteers; tackling other quality of life issues, such as flood control, traffic flow on the King Street corridor, finalizing our Intermunicipal Agreements (IMA’s) with the County so that we can fund the King Street Athletic Fields project, and completing our Fire Protection Service contract with Port Chester, among other issues.
As I noted in the State of the Village Report (a copy of which is accessible on the website at www.ryebrook.org), your Board accomplished a great deal over the past year, but we still have much more work to do, as the above mentioned list outlines. What we still have to tackle (but like the snowy weather, over which we have little or no control) are items that were on our agenda but will have to be deleted. For example, the Board had requested that the Office of the State Comptroller provide us with SMART reviews for several matters for which we would like advice and counsel, such as establishing an appropriate fund balance for Rye Brook. However, in both a cost-cutting and a policy matter, the State has decided to cancel this “free service.” Obviously, budgetary concerns affect Albany as well! We will continue to address these policy matters with our Village Finance Committee.
Another matter that affects Rye Brook is the clean up (again) of the mercury spill on Hillandale Road. A preliminary report from the EPA has finally been produced and has been forwarded to the Regional Director for implementation. The powers that be are assessing the plan and will inform us of its planned actions. Hopefully, the remediation will not cause too much disruption for those residents directly affected and the overall work will not interfere with our own plans to commence construction of the Athletic Fields.
Finally, this is the time of transition from the current Board to a new complement. It is appropriate to again thank outgoing Trustess Dean Santon and Robert Harris for their tireless service to the Village. Dean is off to London to join Hilary, Jack and Steven, and Rob will stay in Rye Brook and has agreed to join the Mayor’s Task Force on the King Street Athletic Fields. At the same time, we welcome our newly elected Trustees, Paul Rosenberg and Michael Brown, to the Board. I am grateful that these two hard working young men will be devoting their talents and energies on behalf of the Rye Brook community.
I began this update with the opening lines from a Shakespeare play and I will close with the final words from Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind: “If winter comes can spring be far behind.” As a reminder, Major League Baseball’s season is just a few weeks away, and Rye Brook’s Little League season starts on April 9 with the traditional Opening Day Parade and a very special ceremony with a surprise guest at Pine Ridge Park. Check the website or call the Recreation Department for details. It should be a great way to kick off the season…and a better way to get rid of winter.
Lawrence A. Rand