Until we make a genuine effort to engage residents, we will always have segments of our community that feel neglected. It’s time to stop talking and start taking action. Our community should feel that engagement with Town Board is accessible and easy. Five hour board meetings and a convoluted town website with disjointed notices are not the way to achieve this.
A More Accessible & Accountable Council for All
It's important that the town board represent the entire community. As I was deciding to run, one thing that struck me was that none of my friends knew anyone on the Town Board. We need a fresh and younger perspective on the board. I am a political outsider and my only goal is to do what is right for our town.
I have reviewed the voting patterns from the last 100 board meetings and was shocked that I could not find a single instance where either of my two opponents, Barry Reiter and Barbara DiGiacinto, have voted against Michael Schiliro. Voting in a pact will lead to poor outcomes for our community. This situation prevents open and honest board discussions that can help our town move forward. We deserve better than ‘Rubber Stamp’ representatives.
We cannot let the town stockpile massive amounts of highway debris and millings in environmentally sensitive areas. And we cannot allow water wells to be drilled under the Summit Club golf course that would feed the Windmill and Coman Hill water supplies. These are fundamentally bad risk/rewards and we should not even contemplate them.
After the approval of a pre-fabricated bathroom for the IBM fields four years ago, the project has yet to begin. I will speed up this current sluggish timeline for projects such as these. The board has a responsibility to create a sense of urgency and push relentlessly to get things done for the benefit of our residents.
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Anyone that has visited other towns can see how poor our playground and field facilities are in comparison. We need to address this issue in the short-term through better maintenance. In the long-term we should explore an artificial turf field and adding drainage. We should not have to drive to nearby towns to find acceptable playgrounds and playing fields.
Many of our neighbors have been victims of an overbearing building inspector, even with the most minor home projects. It should not take a year to get a permit to install a necessary generator, particularly when the town has granted large scale development projects with such ease. The residents are our town's customers and they should be treated as such.
Every comparable neighboring town has more frequent garbage/recycling pickup than North Castle. Other comparable towns either have twice a week garbage pickup or once per week recycling (for all types). Given what we pay in taxes, we should expect more. North Castle should not be 'worst in class' in quality of life. I will push for more frequent pickup.
Town Board is approving more than 240 new apartment and condo units in North Castle all being built within just a few short years and all with tax incentives. Developments like the Mariani rental apartments somehow received board approval in spite of significant resident opposition. We need to manage the timing of development to prevent negative impacts to housing prices. And the developments we approve need to pay full, fee-simple tax, our budget requires it.