It’s been a busy two years in Tuxedo Park

| 04 Jun 2023 | 03:46

    To the Editor:

    As you may know, the incumbent trustees Joshua Scherer and I are unopposed in the upcoming June 20 election. Nonetheless, I thought it worthwhile to share my views of the events and accomplishments of our past term as trustee.

    It has been a very busy two years in the Tuxedo Park administration. What has become clear is that the amount of work and spectrum of activities undertaken by the board and organized and managed by the mayor is considerable and varied. The executive function of mayor requires even more organization and time than does that of the trustees.

    Major issues that the trustees addressed in the past term have focused on taxes and budgets. Controlling costs is critical given that the infrastructure of the village is aging and could absorb a larger community (and correspondingly larger tax base.) To protect the value of the village, maintenance must continue despite a limited tax base. To implement and prioritize the necessary infrastructural repairs and maintenance needs confronted by the village, the administration must consider and evaluate a vast assortment of options. Valid yet competing interests must be weighed and an outcome beneficial to the village must be selected and effectively implemented.

    The administration has effectively implemented several solutions to ongoing problems confronting the community without having to raise the tax rate. I consider this a hugely beneficial achievement.

    Among the issues addressed in the last term was the treatment of milfoil in Tuxedo Lake. Residents expressed a variety of concerns about the methods of treatment and several options were considered. Ultimately a correct decision was made and successfully implemented. Milfoil appears to have been drastically reduced and will hopefully prove to be controlled while aquatic life is thriving and the lake water remains at its cleanest. Leadership on issues is central to efficiently dealing with our goals.

    The current administration has built a collegial board with diverse opinions that remain focused on management by objectives. Financially, we have managed costs without raising taxes. We have added a new structure for sewer billing that includes the town, negotiated a new police contract, eliminated milfoil in the lake, and invested in beautification of the Wee Wah Beach Club, including, clearing and laying a new footpath, reseeding lawns, and providing internet access. We have also initiated and implemented a strategy of reduction and elimination of ongoing costly, unproductive litigation. This has included the Madden suit, the Haidar litigation, the King-Duchin case, and various cases with the Police Benevolent Association.

    The administration has implemented an objective-oriented directive with the general goals of:

    1. Continuing to make the village government more owner/resident friendly and encouraging residents to increase investment in their properties.

    2. Continuing to seek methods of improving property values by enhancing services while controlling taxes. Property transactions have remained strong since the pandemic. In 2019, there were 11 transactions; in 2020, 24 transactions; in 2021, 26 transactions; and in 2022, 32 transactions. We hope to continue the trend as a desirable sought-after community in the post COVID return to city living.

    3. Continue to examine and address legislative inconsistencies in our focus on objectives. This includes examining the restrictive limitations on building materials to adopt potential alternatives that incorporate technological advances that adopt environmental and other efficiencies, adjusting legislated dock size to be consistent with legislated boat sizes, examining arbor management legislation in light of lot size, species, and historic neglect, and creating a mechanism for more efficient processing of home improvements, eliminating obstacles to categories of improvement with minimized onerous administrative rules.

    In the past few years, a number of new neighbors have moved into the Park. Welcome. We look forward to your being a part of our community and welcome your suggestions and input on questions and concerns that you may have — either in person or via email. Focusing on directed goals, the current board is working well. We may make mistakes, according to some residents, but mistakes can be addressed and corrected. Goals with prioritization and clarity are central to an efficient management of the village and the creation of a community.

    Paul Brooke

    Tuxedo Park