What's Ahead for Village Board (Other than the Budget)

by Judy Silberstein

(April 6, 2005) At the Village Board’s annual reorganization meeting on Monday, April 4, Trustees Anne McAndrews and Mike Wiener and Village Justice Thea Beaver, all elected unopposed on March 15, were expeditiously sworn into office as prelude to a packed agenda that included: the mayor’s “forward look” on the major issues the board is tackling; new board assignments; a presentation of the preliminary budget for 2005-2006; and, on a lighter note, requests by the organizers of the 2005 Pet Parade scheduled for May 7 (See: Pet Parade for details and registration forms).

Looking Ahead

In his forward look, Mayor Bialo gave a quick review of the background, current status and future steps for a number of major projects underway in Larchmont.

These include:

  • ZONING A three-phase revision of Larchmont’s zoning code, begun in 2001 (and focused largely on the so-called “bulky house” issue) has just concluded Phase II (mostly uncontroversial issues) and will begin Phase III, with many difficult issues that may take years to resolve. (See: "Bulky House" Zoning Changes.)

  • FLINT PARK The working group for the Flint Park expansion project has accepted designs for the nature area; ball field plans are at the 60% stage of completion and moving towards 90%. A fund-raising campaign is scheduled to begin in the next month or two. (See: Designs Jell for Flint Park)

  • STREETSCAPE Renovation of the streetscape on the Boston Post Road side of the Village is expected to recommence next week. Before cold weather set in at the end of last year, new sidewalks were set along one side of two blocks on Larchmont Avenue. (See: Proposed Streetscape Project)

  • VERIZON BOXES As of last week, Verizon and the village had agreed on new, more discrete locations for moving the large metal boxes that are now visible around the Village (See: New Verizon Boxes Appear on Old Poles: Wave of the Future - or Unsightly, Unsafe and Unpaid For?)

  • WEBSITE The Village website is undergoing a redesign supported by a state grant and should be ready for viewing and e-commerce on June 1. (See: New Directions Planned for Village Website)

  • FLOODING Engineers studying flooding in the Pine Brook area are hoping to have results in the near future. At this point the Army Corps of Engineers has indicated the flooding is a “worthy project” but too small for them to take on. Talks are continuing with Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office to see if federal help is possible. Significantly, there was no flooding on Pine Brook last week, despite the heavy rains that drenched the Sound Shore. (See: Pine Brook Floods Again)

  • PARKS & TREES This will be the third year in which at least 85 new steet trees will be added to the "urban forest." (See: "Big Dig" Adding Over 80 Trees to Village Streets) The Parks and Trees Committee is hoping to be able to share plans for Addison Park in the next month.

BUDGET: Of course the most immediate “forward look” issue on the board’s agenda is the 2005-2006 budget which must be passed by April 30. The board began a few weeks ago with a tentative budget (potential tax rate increase of 16.4%); and is now working with the preliminary budget (increase of 11.9%) and will continue in work sessions throughout the next weeks in order to find additional ways to raise revenues and cut expenses. (See separate article on the budget: Preliminary Larchmont Budget Hikes Tax Rate 11.6%; Board Still Whittling).

BOARD ASSIGNMENTS: With all the incumbents running unopposed in March, Mayor Bialo made few changes to board assignments. Liz Feld will continue as Deputy Mayor and Trustee Trustee Anne McAndrews will take on additional assignments as she teams with Trustee Feld as liaison to the three land-use boards and commissions and with Trustee Wiener as liaison to the neighborhood associations. .

Mayor Ken Bialo

  • Intergovernmental RElations
  • Joing Sanitation Commission
  • Flint Park Expansion
  • Police Department
  • Environmental
  • Open Space

Trustee Liz Feld

  • Deputy Mayor
  • Planning Commission
  • Board of Architectural Review
  • Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Long Island Sound Watershed Intermunicipal Council (LISWIC)
  • Chatsworth PTA
  • Parks & Trees Committee
  • Retain Merchants Assoc./Business Improvement District
  • Senior Citizens

Trustee Marlene Kolbert

  • Freshwater Wetlands Commission
  • Coastal Zone Managment Commission
  • Flint Park Conservancy
  • Town/Villages/Schools Committee
  • Alarm Review Panel
  • Ambulance Advisory Board
  • Committee on the Arts
  • Library
  • Taxis

Trustee Anne McAndrews

  • Beautification Committee
  • Tri-municipal Human Rights Commission
  • Assessor
  • Insurance
  • Post Office
  • Neon Signs Review
  • Court
  • Bills and Invoices
  • Transportation Developments
  • Planning Commission
    Zoning Board of APpeals
  • Board of Architectural REview
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • Grants Research

Trustee Mike Wiener

  • Fire Department
  • Ad Hoc Committee on Telecommunications & Technology
  • Water Department
  • Ad Hoc Facilities & Projects Maintenance Committee
  • Cable Board of Control
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Traffic Commission
  • Metro-North Renovations
  • Neighborhood Associations