A MESSAGE FROM SUPERVISOR
WILLIAM R. WEAVER
I write to reassure you and to set the record straight.
From time to time we all receive email blasts and mailings advising us that North Castle is poised for financial disaster based on something done, planned or neglected. Many times the negative messages are delivered on camera at Town Board meetings.
Personal attacks, negativity, half-truths and innuendo are used to inflame and attract attention. You must carefully judge whom you follow.
Here is a sampling of what we have heard. Town government is out of control. The Town Board does not have a clue. Nothing gets done. For the taxes I pay, I should have ….
Town government is most definitely not out of control. We are very lucky to have excellent staff members who deliver quality support services. Our administrators are delivering those services with reduced funding and fewer employees. Take the time to come in and meet our caring, knowledgeable and experienced staff. I am extremely proud of our hard working, dedicated employees. You should be too.
The Town Board is most definitely not clueless. Board members have been elected to represent the views of all residents. Board members carefully consider their votes because their decisions affect the lives of both residents and businesses. As a further protection for residents and businesses, Town law prohibits a board member from acting independently of the others or outside of the board.
Civil debate about differences of opinion is a healthy hallmark of democracy in action. However, personal attacks, negativity, half-truths and innuendo are not.
Following are a few examples of what our employees are getting done.
Our roads were some of the best maintained roads all winter long. Our roads were open and passable during the snow storms and safe for us to travel. Many of you thought to send thank you notes to the men who worked all night on many nights for us.
Each spring we wait for the blacktop plants to open so that regular maintenance and repairs can be done using hot blacktop. Our plant opened Monday, April 11. The past two winters have been brutal and destructive to the roads. Road repairs required during the colder months are temporary repairs. Much road work needs to be done Town wide. We will all need to be patient while the work progresses.
I want to remind you that some of the roads in North Castle are controlled by the State Department of Transportation. We are working with NYS DOT employees to repair those roads, including NYS Routes 22, 128 and 120.
Public safety services are provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including every holiday. Our officers are always on the job and ready to help our residents. Officers respond to approximately 1,000 calls per month, including many serious incidents.
Recreation and Parks personnel manage an assortment of programs for all ages. They operate two community centers, one in Armonk and one in North White Plains. They maintain the various sports fields and parks. In addition to the programs offered all year, our Recreation and Parks personnel operate a full service summer day camp. Drop in at Hergenhan Recreation Center to greet our new Superintendent for Recreation, Susan Snyder. Give her a huge North Castle “Welcome!”
The North Castle Library maintains two branches: one in Armonk and one in North White Plains. In addition to the printed and electronic media, Library personnel offer educational programs and events several times a month and maintain public hours on weekends and some evenings.
Our Assessor is responsible for developing accurate and equitable property valuations. Our Comptroller’s office reviews and documents all financial matters for the Town, including receivables and payables, payroll and annual budget preparation. Justice Court meets every week, and our Judges hear small claims, civil, criminal and vehicle and traffic claims. Building Department personnel ensure that construction, environmental and architectural standards are observed to help safeguard property values and maintain health and safety standards. Our Town Planner provides advice regarding physical development of the Town, adherence to our Master Plan, Zoning standards and coordination of all the associated administrative details. The Office of the Town Clerk functions as the recording secretary for the Town Board, records management officer for the Town, registrar of vital statistics, communications officer including maintenance of the Town website and NCTV, license officer, human resources manager and liaison to the County Board of Elections.
Actually, much more than I have described above is getting done.
Litter is an on-going concern. It is easily managed if we place our waste and recyclables in the proper containers. North Castle holds a Town wide clean up day each year – for three reasons. The event is a reminder to ask your help in picking up the litter in your own neighborhood, to celebrate Earth Day, and to remind us that litter is an on-going concern. Please join in.
Town taxes are not out of control. In fact, 84% of the taxes property owners pay is controlled by the County and school district budgets.
The Town receives about 16% of the taxes property owners pay. The County receives about 17% and the school district receives about 67% of the taxes from North Castle property owners. Obviously, Town of North Castle taxes are not out of control.
The 2010 audit has just been completed. North Castle has received an unqualified opinion, the best audit opinion available. In addition, North Castle’s credit rating has been upgraded to Aa1 with a stable outlook. I am pleased that the 2011 budget includes a substantial increase to the fund balance, which will continue to favorably influence our credit rating.
If you have a question or a concern, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am available to speak with you on the telephone or to meet with you. I will be happy to see you early or late in the day or over a weekend to accommodate your schedule.
I encourage you to stand up and be heard. It is time to speak out about the good things in our community.
Our community is the best place on earth. We are blessed to live here.
Please volunteer and get involved in our community. There are many opportunities for positive contributions that include serving in our volunteer fire departments, emergency response groups, civic organizations, advisory committees, and library and recreation programs.
The time for anger and blaming each other for current economic struggles is behind us. It is time to work towards changing the future; we cannot change the past. It is time to join together as neighbors.
William R. Weaver, Supervisor