To My Rye Brook Friends and Neighbors:As we begin a new year, I hope that you will take a moment or two to reflect upon the old, see what changes have been visited upon you and look ahead to another year that will bring new opportunities and, yes, challenges.
Over the past year, we, as a village, have dealt with both opportunities and challenges as well. Certainly, the unprecedented swings in weather (from violent wind storms to drenching rains to extreme heat) put a terrible strain on our infrastructure as we had to cope with an unusually high water table, flooded streets and downed trees, which, in turn, led to sporadic but all-to-frequent power outages. Yet, we prevailed, thanks to no small degree to the dedication and hard work of Rye Brook’s staff - - police, fire, EMS, highway department -- to name a few.
We also witnessed significant changes in the physical appearance of the Village – many homes and properties took on new looks as residents refreshed or rebuilt their homes in record numbers. To meet the demands of the accelerated pace of construction, your Board of Trustees enacted (and continues to enact) changes in our various codes. In enacting these changes we tried to strike the correct balance between an individual owner’s rights with the needs of the overall community. This is a critical formula if we are to keep our Village among the most desirable places to live and raise families in the New York metropolitan area. The volume of construction also kept our volunteer boards and commissions -- Planning, Zoning, Architecture, Environment, for example -- gainfully employed as well. We thank these boards and the people who have given their time and efforts to serve on them.
As you drive or walk through Rye Brook, you cannot help but be awestruck by the magnitude of change our village is experiencing: how that new addition to the house really makes a difference; how the once old and tired property has emerged, Phoenix-like, into a new and beautiful residence; and how many children of all ages (yes, this includes our valiant middle-aged flag footballers!) flock each day to our new stateoftheart athletic complex on King Street.
In brief, 2006 was a very busy year for Rye Brook, and the outlook for the coming year promises more of the same.
Looking ahead to 2007, the Board will not only deal with code revisions, but will also have to deal with long term issues. Thus, in the near term, the Trustees will continue to make adjustments to our existing codes in our effort to clarify and make life simpler for residents. But, we will also be concentrating on such “quality of life issues” as acquiring more green space. The donation of land for passive park land on the Bowman Avenue “Keyhole” property is one such example. Trying to untie the Gordian Knot known as the Ridge Street – King Street intersection at the Hutchinson River Parkway remains a frustrating challenge for us as well. We will continue to work cooperatively with Greenwich and jointly submit another concept to the State Department of Transportation to make this hazardous traffic juncture safer. And, yes, we intend to get improved cell phone service in Rye Brook as we work with the providers to actually provide service.
In terms of additional communication with residents, I urge you to regularly visit the village’s website (www.ryebrook.org) to learn more about the programs and services available to residents. For instance, you can sign up to have Village Board and Planning Board agendas sent directly to your computer. Or, you can also add, change or delete your contact phone numbers in the Reverse 911 Community Notification System database, which allows the Village to contact you by phone in an emergency. Please visit the website for more information on these and other programs.
These are just a few matters on your Board’s plate. Aside from the normal “challenges” that we will address before you receive my next letter, we plan to consider the 2007-2008 budget, our relationship with the Port Chester Public Library, site plan reviews of the “Keyhole” project, and, begin to review a site plan for the planned residential units to be built on Anderson Hill Road.
As for the “unplanned” challenges…well, we will face those issues as they arise. However, given the manner in which your Board and the Village staff has dealt with matters in the past, I am confident that we will be up to the task.
On behalf of my fellow Trustees, our Village Administration and the whole village staff, I wish you a happy, healthy and wonderful new year.