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.



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VOL Settles Contract with Police

Larchmont’s Village Board and the union representing Larchmont’s police officers have come to an agreement on an employment contract. The previous contract with the Larchmont Police Benevolent Association (PBA) expired May 31, 2008.

Village Treasurer Denis Brucciani outlined the details on Monday, June 8, and both the board and the police expressed satisfaction with the outcome.  The board was somewhat less upbeat after Mr. Brucciani’s report on further financial affairs – including a drop in revenue from mortgage tax receipts.

Josh Mandell was sworn in as trustee to replace Jim Millstein, who has joined the US Treasury Department. Mr. Mandell assumes all of Mr. Millstein's responsibilities: liaison to the cable board of control, fire department, and committees on recreation, fields, budget and finance. Photo by Mimi Koren.

Josh Mandell was sworn in as trustee to replace Jim Millstein, who has joined the US Treasury Department. Mr. Mandell assumes all of Mr. Millstein's responsibilities: liaison to the cable board of control, fire department, and committees on recreation, fields, budget and finance. Photo by Mimi Koren.

Something for Both Sides in the New Police Contract

The new three-year contract balances a better pay package with a new employee contribution to health benefits.

The officers get a 4% salary increase each year; a $1500 per year wellness incentive payment to encourage fitness; and an annual longevity payment beginning in the fifth year as follows:  $1250 in years 5-9, $1375 in years 10-14, and $1500 in year 15 and beyond.

Photo by Mimi Koren.

Larchmont received an award from the Westchester Planning Federation for the Flint Park Improvement project. The award was for the park's thoughtful design. The project was cited as a model of public private partnership with funds coming from state, county, federal, and local governments as well as private sources. Photo by Mimi Koren.

All employees will be required to pay 25% of the cost of their medical coverage up to a cap of $3500 per year.   However, if they are covered by another family member’s health plan, they can elect to receive an annual opt-out payment instead.  For an individual, the payment to the employee would be $2500. Since the Village pays $7200 for this coverage, the taxpayers save $4700 with the opt-out.

For family coverage, the  opt-out payment would be $5000; the costs of coverage to the Village is $15,400, and the savings is $10,400.

After 13 years of service, an officer qualifies for 75% health care coverage upon retirement, an increase from 50%.

The Village also agreed to increase payment to the PBA for dental coverage: from $1025 to $1100 for 2008, to $1150 in 2009, and to $1200 for 2010.

One position was eliminated, bringing the number of police to 26. In addition, the chief will have more control over work schedules. This will enable the department to achieve efficiencies in both regular and overtime assignments, which should result in further savings.

Both Mayor Liz Feld and Police Chief John Poleway noted that the new pay package should help the department retain good officers. Larchmont has been steadily losing some of the best police to comparable villages in the county that offer better compensation. The chief felt the contract would help Larchmont maintain morale and performance at a high level.

Mayor Feld observed that the contract allows the Village to stay within the budget for the coming year.

Surplus Down A Bit

Mr. Brucciani estimates the Village will close its books this year, May 31, with an estimated surplus of $2,150,000, down from $2,346,000 last year.  He explained that Larchmont received a hit of $200,000 from two retirements, those of Police Chief Steve Rubeo and Fire Captain Tom Andersen.  Since employees may retire with short notice and are paid for unused vacation and sick leave, it’s impossible to plan for these sorts of payments, said Mr. Brucciani.

Also, revenues are down from both sales taxes and mortgage taxes.  As an example, Mr. Brucciani said the mortgage taxes since December were only $68,000, down 50% from the December six-month total, and down 32% from June of last year.

On a brighter note, Mr. Brucciani reported that there are unspent funds totaling $80,000 left from an EPA grant received a few years ago. Larchmont is required to spend this money, on a matching basis, for projects that will help the environment.  Rick Vetere, head of the Department of Public Works, has recommended the purchase of a new street sweeper; the current one is over ten years old.  An increase in street sweeping will prevent more debris from entering catch basins and flowing to Long Island Sound. Two bids came in and the board approved purchasing the new sweeper from Empire Municipal Equipment with its lower bid of $159,000.  The Village will contribute $79,000 to the $80,000 EPA grant money for this.

Lorenzen Renovation Moves Forward

The board took the next step forward in the Lorenzen Park redevelopment project by naming itself lead agency for purposes of an environmental review. The board then declared that there will be no negative environmental impact from the work at Lorenzen, which will improve draining and convert soccer fields into baseball fields. The negative declaration now goes to the Department of Environmental Consersvation, and plans for the park will proceed.

Josh Mandell was sworn in as trustee to replace Jim Millstein, who has joined the US Treasury Department. Mr. Mandell assumes all of Mr. Millstein’s responsibilities: liaison to the cable board of control, fire department, and committees on recreation, fields, budget and finance.

Save the Date

Bastille Day: Carolyn Dillworth, an owner of Auray Gourmet, and Polly Kreisman, editor of The Loop, received permission to cordon off one side of Gilder Street from 6-10 pm on Tuesday, July 14, for a Bastille Day celebration. They will pay for a police officer to direct traffic and allow patrons to enter and exit the Gilder Street lot. Other area merchants will participate in the event, and the community is invited to attend.

Junior Triathlon: Joyce Callahan and Maureen Le Blanc got permission from the board to close parts of Larchmont Avenue for the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation’s Junior Triathlon on October 3. Participants will swim at the Hommocks Pool, bike in the Manor, and run in Mamaroneck.


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12 comments to VOL Settles Contract with Police

  • 10538er

    I found it funny that the treasurer at the meeting requested a transfer of PD funds from overtime funds to new vehicle funds in order to buy 2 new vehicles this year that was passed unanimously.If the Police Chief knew he did not need those funds in the OT line, why were they granted or was the line puposely overinflated?? Will the PD just go over that line and explain it as necessary in Feb when they start reviewing lines for next years budget.
    I am also glad to see the VOL increase retirement healthcare benefits by 25% at retirement when every other municipality is trying to decrease them. Although it looks good in current time, it kills you in the back end.

  • GDP observer

    Another example of old-school thinking : \”Larchmont has been steadily losing some of the best police to comparable villages in the county that offer better compensation\”. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Many of these villages are struggling with unsustainable costs, and only in the pipe dreams of unions will this competitive situation continue for the next 25 years. In case Mayor Feld has not noticed, the global GDP will shrink this year by 3%, more even for the US. How does this jive with 4% annual guaranteed increases (with inflation at zero). Or maybe somebody did not understand the connection.

  • What?!

    It would have been considerate of the Village Mayor & Board of Trustees, Auray & the Loop to discuss the July 15th, Bastille Day scheduled event with the residents of Gilder & Addison Streets who will be effected by the noise and traffic. One police officer is not enough to guide traffic up the one-way of Addison St. and through Post Alley to get to the parking lot. Where was there any thought or planning on any of their parts? Gilder Street is not the proper location for an event this size. We have beautiful spaces such as Flint Park for events such as this. Auray said they wanted to engage the French community-what is wrong with having this at the French-American School? Chatsworth playground also offers plenty of space for this type and size of affair. Again a very inconsiderate decision on part of the Mayor & the Board of Trustees, Auray Gourmet & the Loop as none of the residents were pre-informed of this request being presented at the village board meeting. A letter was sent to Mayor Feld & the Board of Trustees with concerns of the residents and they have yet to reply.
    “Bastille Day: Carolyn Dillworth, an owner of Auray Gourmet, and Polly Kreisman, editor of The Loop, received permission to cordon off one side of Gilder Street from 6-10 pm on Tuesday, July 15, for a Bastille Day celebration. They will pay for a police officer to direct traffic and allow patrons to enter and exit the Gilder Street lot. Other area merchants will participate in the event, and the community is invited to attend.”

  • Anne McAndrews

    Just a quick response to the comment by 10538er, which reflects a misunderstanding of the Village Treasurer’s report on several items.

    The Village will be submitting a clarification to the Gazette as soon as possible.

    from Anne McAndrews, Village Trustee

  • 10538er

    Anne,
    Maybe I misunderstood his request, but he did ask for funds to be tranfered from the OT line to vehicle acquisition line. The amount was around 26K which effectively doubles the amount available for new vehicles.

  • Bastille Day is July 14, not 15 (has been since 1789).

    Hope you all can make our event, it should be great…

    Sincerely,
    Polly Kreisman
    Publisher, theLoop
    http://www.914theloop.com

  • Liz Feld

    RESPONSE FROM MAYOR LIZ FELD:

    A clarification and correction on a few of the items reported from the discussion of the Larchmont Police Contract at the June 8th Village Board meeting:

    The transfer of funds from the Police Overtime budget to the vehicle budget was due to the cancellation of officer training for a program the LPD will no longer participate in, as of July 2009. The amount transferred was for the purchase of one vehicle, not two. The unused balance will be kept in reserve.

    The $1500 payment for the wellness program was a one-time increase, added to the officers’ base salaries. The Police Chief is responsible for establishing the program with measurable goals for the department.

    As part of the overall compensation package, the Police Department will not replace a vacant position in its ranks. Through attrition in personnel, the Village will continue to manage and control costs. Historically, there have been 28 officers in the department. Now there are 26. Through effective leadership, management, and a change in schedule, the Police Chief is operating the department efficiently and effectively, with a reduced staff complement.

    It is the Village Board’s duty to manage the public safety of its residents at the most responsible cost to taxpayers. Some of these costs are beyond our control. New York State dictates the pension contributions required of the VIllage for all employees, including police and fire personnel. These costs have skyrocketed over the past seven years and will escalate further in 2010-2011. The Village Board recognizes that the burden on local taxpayers is unsustainable and we have advocated to our State Legislators for reform of the current system. In the meantime, we will continue to control local costs by operating our departments as efficiently as possible while still providing for the public safety of the community.

  • 10538er

    Mayor Feld,
    Thank you for the clarifications.

  • Anon E Mous

    Consolidation, another opportunity. Will we miss it?

    Seems that if the Village Board(s) and the Town Board recognize their ‘duty to manage the public safety of its residents at the most responsible cost to taxpayers’ consideration of the consolidation of police, fire and other safety services will be done speedily.

    Would the end of October be a reasonable deadline?

    Are we missing something here?

  • guys

    The wellness payment (which each and every officer will get, regardless of his or her girth or athleticity, because if not, their union will sue) is added to SALARY? meaning that: it will be pensionable, it will be taken into account in overall salary raises, etc. etc. Next year we will hear that a one-off pay increase for this or that purpose (reading, driving skills, GPS use, whatever) has been “added to the salary.” Is this reasonable husbandry of the tax dollars? Is this an example of a cost “beyond the board’s control”? Who will pay for all this when State revenues are down 36% YOY? The anti-spam word for this posting is “toast” – it is very appropriate.

  • Anon E Mous

    Hey ‘guys’, the TOM wants to compete. Unfortunate as that may be in this case. Check what the Journal News has to say:

    ‘Total payroll for the town’s top 50 earners was $5.5 million, or an average of $110,441.

    ‘Of the top earners, 32 were with the Police Department, which employed 59 people, nine were with the Fire Department, and two worked for the Highway Department. The other seven were scattered among administration, ambulance, assessor, building, comptroller, recreation and the town center offices.

    ‘Mamaroneck Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe said there were several reasons the Police Department spent so much on overtime.

    ‘ ‘If they’re working on something and have to stake out a house in the Bronx, it will cost money,’ she said. ‘Certain police functions you can’t let go.’

    Too many little governments, with too many ‘officials’, and too many uncontested elections = lack of management, lack of efficiency and higher taxes. And the anti-spam word for this posting is “stone” – it is also very appropriate. It is very hard to change those embedded government people; but let’s try anyway.