Calls for Consolidation of Services to Reduce Taxes
Three‐term Village of Mamaroneck Trustee Tom Murphy is announcing that he will seek the Democratic nomination for supervisor in the Town of Mamaroneck. The election will be held on November 3, 2009. As Town tax bills are arriving in residents’ mailboxes at the same time as federal and state tax returns are due, Murphy is calling for a fresh look at the issues facing the Town in difficult economic times. “The supervisor of the Town must be more than just the mayor of the unincorporated area. He, or she, must lead the Town Board to assume greater responsibility for decisions that will touch the lives of people in the entire Town,” he said.
The Town of Mamaroneck has a total population of almost 29,000 people, with the majority of residents living in either the Village of Larchmont or the Village of Mamaroneck. Except in the area that isn’t a part of either Village -the unincorporated area – essential services (police, fire, snow removal, road repair and, in the case of the Village of Mamaroneck, sanitation), are provided by the villages, not the Town. In addition to providing those essential services to the unincorporated area, the Town delivers some recreational services to all Town residents.
Murphy believes that consolidating services with the Villages and sharing costs with neighboring municipalities is critical to running more efficient local governments.
“While the three municipalities share some services, many residents think that the time has come for more comprehensive consolidation. All options should be on the table and discussed thoroughly to try and provide taxpayers with cheaper and more efficient local government,” he said. “The Town supervisor should be leading that effort. The supervisor should be concerned about the tax levy that affects not just the unincorporated area but also the Town’s village residents,” he continued.
It is expected that incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Seligson, a Village of Larchmont resident, and Councilman Ernie Odierna, who ran against Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe in 2007, will join Murphy on the ticket. They were joined by Councilman David Fishman in issuing a statement enthusiastically endorsing Murphy’s candidacy. “Tom will bring innovation to the Town Board and will reach across municipal boundaries and political party lines to trim costs, streamline services and have our three communities act more dependently and efficiently. He is an excellent candidate and will be a great supervisor. His energy and experience will be tremendous assets on the Town Board,” they said.
Murphy will be spending the coming months meeting with local elected officials, experts in municipal services and finance, municipal employees and volunteers, and citizens who want to help him study the issues raised by the need for consolidation in order to develop reasonable solutions. “The economic hardship that our community is enduring provides an impetus to change long standing and entrenched practices that have hindered innovation in the past. Hopefully we will use this challenge to create a more streamlined local government,” he said.
Murphy, who first served on the Mamaroneck Village Board for six months in 2001 as an appointee, ran for election in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and consistently received the highest votes among the six candidates in each of those elections. The father of three school‐age children, he is married to Leah Murphy, a lifelong resident. Both Tom and Leah have been active in the schools and the community since moving to Mamaroneck in 1990. Murphy, an elevator mechanic, serves as the Village’s liaison to the Cable TV Board of Control, the Mamaroneck Village Volunteer Fire Department and the Planning Board.