The Town of Woodbury has much to be proud of over the past year While other municipalities saw double-digit hikes and mass layoffs, we put together a 2011 budget that increases taxes by about 2 percent and includes no layoffs. Additionally, audits of the town continue to help determine where we can further trim our waistline and save additional taxpayer dollars. The Central Valley Pond reopened as the Pool to much success and incredible attendance - the Pool saw nearly 26,000 people come through its gates while Earl Reservoir welcomed an additional 19,000. Kiryas Joel and Orange County were brought to court by the town and villages of Woodbury and Harriman over issues of inequality, unfairness and overreaching. Many of these cases, including the one looking to reopen the KJ Pipeline lawsuit that the county executive shamefully dropped, are still pending. A new garbage bid was negotiated and residents will see the long-awaited return of automated pickup starting in January. The police contract was completed, giving our town’s officers the fair pay and benefits they deserve. The town’s municipal buildings are being greened, saving energy and taxpayer dollars in the process. The first annual Woodbury Spring Cleaning Day was a smashing success with about one hundred local volunteers coming out to help keep our town a pristine one. Town Hall’s information technology underwent a face lift, providing for a more efficient and safe local government, all at no additional expense to the taxpayer. Communication with residents has improved with releases to the papers when board vacancies open and news is made and the creation of the Woodbury Bulletin Board (you can sign up at skoufisforwoodbury.com); since being elected, I’ve also offered constituent hours twice a month to be available to residents. While I’m very pleased with the work of 2010, there’s still a great deal that’s left to be done. Far too many residents are facing continual hardship in our community, in large part due to the economy, and we must look for ways to help however we can. People, especially seniors and recent graduates, simply cannot afford to live in Woodbury, another problem that should not be kicked down the road another year and must be addressed. Unfortunately, if history is any judge, we can once again expect little to no relief out of Goshen or Albany or Washington - it’s up to our own community to fight the good fight and deliver results. Finally, in addition to thanking all of our town’s employees and tireless volunteers, I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy holidays and new year. James Skoufis is a Woodbury Town councilman.
If history is any judge, we can once again expect little to no relief out of Goshen or Albany or Washington - it’s up to our own community to fight the good fight and deliver results.” Woodbury Town Councilman James Skoufis