A Ward System is Wrong for Our Town of North Castle | Armonk Real Estate

 

My Fellow Citizens of North Castle . . .

Pardon this lengthy e-mail but it is, in fact, extremely important!

This coming Thursday, November 13th, our town will be required to hold a special election, initiated and proposed by North White Plains resident Tony Futia, on the adoption of a Ward System. You will be asked to cast a yes or no vote on the following two propositions:

Proposition 1: Shall the ward system be established for the election of Councilmen or Councilwomen in the Town of North Castle?

Proposition 2: Shall the number of Councilmen or Councilwomen of the Town of North Castle be increased from four to six?

I urge you to VOTE NO to BOTH of these propositions and here is why I feel strongly about this . . .

  • Under the ward system you can only vote for one Town Board member and only from your local ward. Therefore, if you feel there are more qualified candidates outside of your district, you will NEVER have the opportunity to vote them into office. Conversely, if there are councilpersons outside of your ward who are performing poorly or who are compromising the town, you will NEVER have the opportunity to vote them out.
  • A ward system will encourage “political horse trading” and “pork.” Town Board members will team up with other members to form a majority to bring “pork” to their own districts at the expense of other districts.
  • Under the ward system a Town Board member is obliged only to their ward, not the town. They will focus on residents in their own ward to ensure re-election. Other Town Board members will do the same and, therefore, not be as concerned with issues in other districts. This will lead to self serving policies, continuous wrangling, and a division of our town. No longer will the greater good of our town be a top priority.
  • The ward districts will be drawn up by the Westchester County Board of Elections AFTER the election. Therefore you will not know your ward until after the election. Additionally, expanding the size of the Town Board to 6 (7 including the Supervisor) is unnecessary, will increase costs and will make it unwieldy.

I have had the privilege to live and work in our great town of North Castle for the past 17 years.

Many of you know me from my involvement with The Small Town Theatre Company where we produce summer evening concerts in our park, plays at The Hergenhan Center, and film festivals at Whippoorwill Hall. I have also had the privilege to volunteer time to various town organizations, committees, advisory boards, and task forces including The Art Show, the Cider and Donut Festival, the Road Races, the Frosty Winter Parade, the Communications Committee, the Historical Society, the Landmarks Preservation Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce.

I also take pride as an active participant to our democratic process by attending Town Hall Meetings to ensure that we have a town governed by honorable, capable, and trustworthy public servants.

It’s important to note that I have no self-serving interest in expressing my opinions as I have no financial or family relationship with any real estate developer, commercial property owner, or town employee. Nor am I seeking any political office now or in the future.

Last November you voted in a first class town board that is cohesive yet diverse – 2 republicans, 2 democrats, and 1 independent. You voted to bring back civility, courtesy, and respect. You were given the opportunity to vote for the most qualified candidates to represent the interests of ALL our residents. And, since last November, it has paid off economically, aesthetically, and professionally. Why would we want to change a system that works and allows you to “hire” the most competent candidates?

If you think our U.S. Congress is efficient and effective, then you will love the ward system – it is the same thing! North Castle is too small for such bureaucracy and only a handful of very large cities and towns throughout New York State (Yonkers, Hempstead, Poughkeepsie, etc.) adopted it. New Castle voters rejected such a proposal in 2011.

Click on the following link to locate the polling site for your November 13th vote: Special Town Election.

I thank you for your time to read this very important message and for your consideration.

Sam Morell

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