Councilman Ernie's NEW Feedback Blog

I will be introducing some subjects on this blog that I invite viewers to comment on. There is nothing "official" about this Blog. It reflects my own views and may also reflect the views of those who add comments which are very welcomed.It has been set up to give me some feedback on Town Topics and to provide an easy way for friends and constituents to let me know what's on their minds. Ernie Odierna, Councilman, Town of Mamaroneck

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mamaroneck Town Survey...Now What?

Now that we have the results of our Town Survey and have them posted on the Town Website, how do we make the best use of this information? We got in a little over 1,000 responses, about 5% of The Town population over 18 years of age, which is considered good enough to give us a 99% confidence level in our results. If everyone said "Do This" or "Don't Do That," things would be easy. Folks from different parts of The Town and people that have lived here for different lengths of time have differing views on what we should be doing as do people of differing ages.

For a Local Government, like The Town of Mamaroneck, it's always a balance between "Costs" and "Services." Most everyone wants The Town to work more efficiently and co-operate more with The Villages. That's like saying we love "Motherhood, Clean Air and Pure Water." Who is going to disagree? The devil, as a former Village Mayor was fond of saying, is in the details. Without an "in-depth" knowledge of potential savings and the possible negative impact on services, it's hard to make good decisions. That's what we, as The Town Council, need to do. Armed as we now are with our Survey Results plus over 1,700 individual comments, we need to distill this information the best we can and move forward.

I have long held the belief that Our Town is chock full of really smart and concerned citizens. I would urge them to thoughtfully look over the charts and results contained in The Survey and attempt to share with The Town Board their own suggestions and recommendations. We will, over the next 2 months, be conducting Budget Hearings for our 2013 Budget. The Survey Results of course also look toward the future and attempt to help us plan "long range" for where we should be and how to get there.

There are other important things going on in The Town that residents will be hearing more about in the coming months. We will be considering some Zoning Changes that would allow and encourage Residential Housing in our Business and Service-Business Districts. This is being done so that we might attract more Fair and Affordable Housing to The Un-Incorporated part of The Town of Mamaroneck.

I would urge our citizens to come to our Town Board Meetings (generally the first and third Wednesdays of the month) and let us hear their views. Now you are welcome to speak at the start of the meeting rather than have to wait till the end.

Thanks to Polly, from The Loop, who, at The October fest in Larchmont, encouraged me to continue with this Blog. It does require a certain amount of thought and effort but it's good for me and hopefully worthwhile to those that read it.

Town Councilman, Ernie Odierna

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Upon further thought and discussion I am thinking that perhaps, since the Schools in our district, do not let the students out for lunch unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, why not give our Street Crossing Guards the option of working for a reduced salary only mornings and at "release time" or doing Parking Enforcement duty for us for a few hours each day to maintain their full $71.00 per day salary. Probably not all of them would want or be able to take on this duty but it could be a win-win for all concerned. Worthy of further thought, I would think.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Here's a thought I've had about saving money regarding our School Crossing Guards. Many, if not all, of our schools do not permit their students to leave the school premises for lunch unless they are escorted by a parent or guardian yet we are paying the Crossing Guards $71.00 per day. Why not not let them just work the morning arrival and afternoon release times. We have 18 "guarded" crossings. If we could save $20 per guard per day, based on a 40 week school year, that would save us $72,000 per year. Something to think about.

Our website has our proposed budget info. plus we have a Meeting coming up on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 to hear Citizen Comments on the proposed budget. The sooner you can share your ideas or suggestions with us, the better chance we have to research the impact it might have and possibly include it in our plans for 2012.

Councilman Ernie


Thursday, November 10, 2011

After Election,...lots to do

Now that the election is over we are looking forward to a New Supervisor, Nancy Seligson, in The Town of Mamaroneck as well as a new Councilperson, Abby Katz. In addition, the Town Board will be selecting a new member to fill the vacancy left by Nancy becoming Supervisor.

I am hopeful that we will be able to make some positive improvements in the way The Town Board interacts with our citizens. We have lots of things on our plate at this time and can use all the input we can get.

First up is our BUDGET for 2012. We, along with our Town Administrator, Steve Altieri, Comptroller, Tony Siligati and the various Department heads have put in a considerable effort to keep us under Governor Cuomo's TAX CAP. We are very close but are still considering some Service Reductions, if not for this year, but in the future. We really want to hear from our constituents as to what is acceptable and what is too painful. We have requested that the alternatives we are considering be posted on The Town Website ( so that citizens can give us their input in a timely manner. Our next Town Board Meeting is THURSDAY, Nov.17th. We will be discussing the budget, mostly capital expenditures, in our work session between 6 and 8 pm and then, a brief summary during the televised portion of the meeting following. There is a scheduled Public Hearing on the budget set for WEDNESDAY, December, 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm. Final adoption is scheduled for the following Wednesday, Dec. 14th.

Re-Val is going forward and GAR Associates, our contractor, will be setting up Informational Sessions which should accommodate anyone with questions. Details and schedules should be up on our website in the next few days. Everyone should be getting a letter from GAR explaining the process within the week.

Sorry it's been so long since my last Blog Update. I'll try to be better, or at least more frequent, in my postings. Since The Patch and The Loop are around with up-to-date news and our local newspaper, The Sound and Town does such a good job of reporting, I have been remiss. I am hopeful that with our New Town Board we can do even better in keeping our citizens informed and involved.

Don't be bashful. Communicate! Your ideas and suggestions could possibly help us all. I'll post here most of what you send me. I "wince" however when I get stuff by "Anonymous." I much prefer to speak or correspond directly with someone. You can never tell if "Anonymous" is one person or several.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Regarding Re-Val, I am being advised that we will be able to have the roll ready for 2013 if we begin in September and that, at this time, is our hope. We would need to approve a contractor in August or very early in September, for them to start in September.

If I gave the impression that the public was to be invited to the bidders conference, that is an error. What I meant was that we would be welcoming comments and suggestions from everyone regarding the RFP. I expect, but do not yet know how or when we will be sharing the proposal responses with the public. Normally there is a Public, Televised, meeting in which the Town Board is presented with the results of a bid request, along with recommendations. Then we decide which firm to award the contract to. This is more complicated. Stay tuned. As we get further into the process I'll be sure to let everyone know what's happening and when their 2 cents can be put in.

Our "Work Sessions" are open and interested parties can always "sit-in" and observe.

I wouldn't hold my breath for the County doing any re-val. The County Exec. has already indicated publicly his opposition.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well it has finally gone out to potential bidders and it is posted on our Town Website, Look on the left side of the homepage, under "News & Notices."

There will be a prospective bidders conference and we will listen to all suggestions and comments. That goes for any of our citizens who care to comment as well. We'll be holding at least 7 meetings to hear comments and answer questions as the process moves along.

When or if we decide to proceed is a current topic of discussion among the Town Board. While we might have our responses back in August, we don't like to make major decisions when a good percentage of our constituents are still out of Town for Summer Vacations. We are already pretty much resigned to the fact that the tax roll of 2014 is likely to be the earliest possible time to implement any new tax roll. There are Town and Village of Mamaroneck elections coming up this fall and it would be nice to keep "politics" out of the "decision" process if at all possible.



Saturday, May 07, 2011

Moving right along, look for the Re-Val RFP (Request for Proposal) to be posted on the Town of Mamaroneck website the week of May 9th, 2011. We took some extra time discussing a "warranty" suggested by our Town Attorney to incentivise the contractor to do a good job. We
also decided to offer an amnesty to homeowners whose homes my have been "improved" but without appropriate permitting. This will be done in order to encourage as many homeowners as possible to admit the re-val teams into their homes, thus ensuring the most accurate valuations.

We are in the early stages of coming up with a "tire booting" program for scofflaws. Stay tuned.

The Town Democratic Party is starting to screen potential candidates for Town Supervisor and Councilperson who will be running in this fall's election. Interested candidates should contact the Chair of the Town Democratic Party, Roz Weinstein, (914) 834-7733 or Fred Baron, chair of the screening panel, (914) 834-0876

Lots of Memorial Day week events are planned including two parades and a few different services.

Wednesday, May 25th at 3:00pm Kemper Memorial Essay Contest in the lobby outside the multi-tiered classroom of Mamaroneck HS followed by a ceremony at the Richard Kemper Park Monument.

Thursday, May 26th 7:00pm Larchmont- Mamaroneck Memorial Day Parade.

Sunday, May 29th, 11:00am Monument Park on Myrtle Blvd. Sponsored by American Legion Post #347

Monday, May 30th, 9:00am, VFW Ceremony at Tompkins Park, Vill. of Mamaroneck

Monday, May 30th, 5:00pm Parade, Mamaroneck Post #90, from Mamaroneck Ave. School, down Mamaroneck Ave. ending at the Honor Roll on Prospect Ave. across from the American Legion Building.