Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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Larchmont Starts Implementing Consolidation Study Ideas

At their May 10 public meeting, the Larchmont Village Board pledged immediate action on the first two recommendations of the Tri-Municipal Report on Consolidation and Shared Services Task Force, which released its report in March.

Getting Started on Consolidation

The first recommendation from the consolidation report was to create a Larchmont/Town of Mamaroneck Joint Detective Task Force. Mayor Mandell stated that the Larchmont Police Department has already begun working to bring this about.

“Crime doesn’t observe boundaries,” said the mayor. “This will result in cost savings as well as improved services through valuable communication.”

The second item concerned closer cooperation between the Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck Fire Departments and a reduction in staff for Larchmont. The board has already decided not to hire a new chief and has reduced the number of firefighters from 16 to15 – which yielded a savings of around $300,000 in the 2010-2011 budget.

The two municipalities are also working on installing a dual pager system whereby both fire departments are simultaneously informed of each call. This will take about two months to complete. They are applying for grants to cover the $20,000 cost of the system. They are also beginning to share some equipment.

FEMA Money Coming for Munis & Manor Park, But Not Businesses

It may take several more months – and a lot of extra paper work – but Larchmont may get some federal and state compensation for the almost $300,000 in costs incurred in the March nor’easter. Manor Park may also be eligible to help with repairs estimated to cost $150,00-$200,000. However, Police Chief John Poleway reported that in his talks with representatives of FEMA and SEMA (federal and state emergency finance agencies) he has learned there will probably be no assistance available to businesses or homeowners who suffered damage in the storm.

Once eligibility has been determined, the recipient usually receives reimbursements as follows: 75% paid by FEMA, 12 1/2% by SEMA and the remaining 12 1/2% by the municipality.

“Hopefully we’ll receive some restitution from government,” Chief Poleway concluded.

Drop Dog Waste In Trash, Not Storm Sewer

Trustee Marlene Kolbert said that the most recent Storm Water report indicated a high level of fecal matter is going out into the Long Island Sound from Larchmont storm sewers. She said much of this is from dog waste. She urged residents to police themselves. Residents should refrain from tossing waste into the nearby sewers and instead take it home and place it in their garbage cans.

The board approved phase 2 of the water sampling which will cost $9,500. The consensus was that monitoring and maintaining the quality of the effluents is important to all residents of the area.

Larchmont Okays New Rec Ideas

New outdoor summer activities were announced by Kate Verni, head of the Recreation Committee. In partnership with the Grove Music School, Larchmont will launch a music event for children in Flint Park on Saturday, June 12 at 3:30.

The committee will also resurrect an adult round-robin tennis event on Friday, June 18, calling it the Tennis Scramble. That will be followed on Saturday, June 19 from 3:30-5 with a kid’s tennis event.

Ms. Verni also outlined an ambitious plan for an overnight campout involving parents and children in Flint Park. The board tabled this idea for further discussion since the risk of damaging the sprinkler system in the park would preclude driving tent spikes into the ground there.

Mark Your Calendars: Memorial Day & Beyond

1. Memorial Day Parade – 5/27 at 7:00 PM.

Other Memorial Day events:

  • 5/25 – Kemper Essay Contest Ceremony – 3:00 PM – Mamaroneck High School
  • New: 5/29 – Memorial Ceremony at Memorial Park – 11:00 AM (In case of rain moves to American Legion in Flint Park.)
  • 5/30 – Kemper Memorial Ceremony – 11:00 AM
  • 5/30 – Village of Mamaroneck Memorial Day Parade – 5 PM
  • 5/31 – Memorial Ceremony at Tompkins Square Park (near Applebee’s) – 9 AM

2. Chatsworth School Carnival – 5/23 – 12 Noon to 5 PM.

3. Leaf blower ban – June 1 to Sept. 30.

4. July 4th races in Flint Park – start at 10 AM

5. Concert series begins on July 4 – 7:15 PM. First concert is at Manor Park, with music by the Dixie Dandies. Other concerts will follow on Thursday nights in Flint Park for the month of July.

Next Village Board meeting – June 14.

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5 comments to Larchmont Starts Implementing Consolidation Study Ideas

  • TommyLarch

    The notion of “sharing” fire and some police services is nothing more than an act of political cowardice. While members of the VOL board say they want to reduce costs, they don’t want to cede any of their power and control. This is typical of the VOL board in making piecemeal, band-aid type fixes when a major overhaul is what is necessary.

    I can’t see how anybody can argue sharing these services is streamlining government. If anything, it is muddying the waters. This is not a volunteer/paid issue. This is a matter of common sense.

    If the Fire Departments are going to respond in tandem, then why not just make them one department? This idea or “acting” as one is absurd. While I don’t wish misfortune upon anyone, what will happen when something goes seriously wrong and someone dies? The finger pointing will be fierce. Who is ultimately in charge and accountable? The Chief from the neighboring jurisdiction? How convoluted is that?

    As for the “shared” detective idea, that is equally puzzling. Once again. I ask who is ultimately in charge when something goes wrong or an investigation is gaffed? The “plan” is for the Larchmont Chief to oversee the joint detectives. What will happen when the Town Chief has different investigative priorities? Will he not be able to utilize HIS OWN detectives to investigate matter in HIS jurisdiction? That is crazy. He will have lost the ability to control of his own employees. Town detectives will be beholden to two bosses but which boss is the real boss?

    If the VOL board were serious about saving money they would take the bold step of abolishing their PD and FD and having the Town provide those services. The Town could absorb only the necessary manpower needed to maintain services and excess the rest. There would be no contract reconciliation as suggested in the tri-municipal study as a major impediment. There would be MAJOR savings in personnel costs especially administrative costs while services would not lessen. The only thing that would change is the power and control the VOL board currently exercises over the PD and FD. Everybody wants their own personal fiefdom I recommend you read the comment made by Former Town Board Member Paul Winick on the Larchmont Gazette ( I wish he was still here.

    I’d argue the same could be done with merging the Mamaroneck and Rye Neck School Districts. Layer upon layer of administrative costs could be cut. School taxes are the real back breaker around here but that may be too much for the privileged class to swallow at one time.

  • JackMalone

    I think that a lot of Larchmont residents feel that dissolving the fire and police departments would be surrendering local services, and would lead to less protection from a far-away fire or police station. This is nonsense. People, we’re talking about the town here. The cops and firemen would be coming from such exotic locales as….WEAVER STREET and BOSTON POST ROAD. That’s right folks. We have seen the town, and they are (already, and always have been) us. As a village, we are surrounded by the Town of Mamaroneck. Unless we hop into our yachts and sail off into the sound, we have to go through the unincorporated area to go anywhere. If we are to really consider consolidation and do what the TommyLarch suggests, we could achieve considerable savings with very limited local impact. We’re not talking about Westchester County taking over. The cops wouldn’t be responding from Hawthorne and the firemen aren’t coming from Valhalla. You want real savings? Offer buyouts to the most senior (and probably highest paid) and have the remainder get absorbed by the town. Reduce personnel costs, eliminate management costs, streamline four local emergency agencies (police and fire, town and village) into two. Minus the smoke and mirrors of local political power jockeying, this answer to consolidation seems rather simple.

  • OhComeOn

    Jack, you know what’s funny, people don’t even notice the police or fire departments that much UNLESS they need them. And how many times a year do people need to request police or fire attention? Once? MAYBE twice? And yet, when it comes to relinquishing control, despite NOT having a better system, better answer or better alternative, VOL is hesitant to relinquish control properly. Think like one department, but remain as two? Anyone with any business experience really think that works? Ugh.

  • Fast Eddie

    Put full VOL/TOM consolidation up to a vote of the people in Larchmont. Guarantee you it fails.

    Aggregate – our tax bill of Town & Village is 20% or less of my total. If you want to save tax dollars, tackle the County and the School District – that’s where the $$$ is. And we’ve just seen how the voters respond to the school spending.

    Individuals always say it’s the politicians who prevent us from dramatic solutions – but frankly, it’s the mass of people who don’t want radical change. They want lower taxes, but they don’t want to change anything to get it.

  • Bemused

    @fast Eddie. I’ll take savings in 20% of my taxes rather than hopes for 80%. The right answer is tackle everything. Fire and Police should be county wide with some local oversight rights. The idea of local emergency services has to be one of the most archaic hangovers from the frontier spirit. Look around other countries. Single or at most regional police and firefighting forces with local oversight. If we had even a South Westchester force we could have decent career paths for officers, a real detective force, ability to shift coverage based on e.g. seasonal needs, etc. And just how many police do we need? Why do 1-2 Police cars need to be stationed on Weaver/US1 for a simple roadworks deviation which is well signaled and has utility employees also directing traffic. With a long period of sub-optoimal growth ahead of us, we really have to wake up and decide that we can do a lot more for ourselves and do not need nursemaid care.