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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Officials Disagree on How to Study Consolidation

Consolidation of services across municipal lines is an old, recurring and often divisive topic in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Suddenly, however, elected officials from all three local municipalities are in agreement on consolidation – it should definitely be studied.

The problem: as of yet, there is no consensus on how to go about the study.

Mamaroneck Town Superivor Valerie O’Keeffe and her board have suggested forming a study committee comprised of one elected official not running for office in the current cycle and one citizen from each municipality. The chair would be “an experienced person” selected by her board.

In an April 23 letter to the mayors of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, Ms. O’Keeffe outlined the proposal and said, “I hope this meets with your approval so we can form the committee to study shared services as soon as possible.”

Approval was not forthcoming.

The two mayors and Mamaroneck Village Trustee Tom Murphy, who is making consolidation the centerpiece of his run for Town supervisor,  support applying for a grant to fund a consultant to lead the study.

Mayor Feld said, “There is a role for a local group, but it would be very unfortunate if the issues got lost in the heat of the [November] elections.” 

She suggested requesting funds through the New York State Local Efficiency program to “hire an independent, non-political consultant who would bring a fresh perspective.”

 ”Sure,” said Mayor Kathy Savolt, summarizing her response to the supervisor. “But let’s do it right.  I can say from experience that these types of analyses are not easy. ”

She also wanted to apply for a grant to hire someone “who’s done this before and can help us crunch the numbers – efficiently and quickly.”

Ms. Savolt also brought up the existential question for Mamaroneck Village: 40% of the village is outside the Town of Mamaroneck. The Rye Neck area is in the Town of Rye. Children attend the Rye Neck School district, rather than the Mamaroneck one.

“So it doesn’t always make sense for us to do something that the Town of Mamaroneck and Village of Larchmont might do,” she said.

Mr. Murphy issued a press release that recommended, among other things, making preparations to “submit a grant application as soon as the funding cycle begins.”

Town Board: Studying Options

 On Thursday, May 7, Ms. O’Keeffe said she and her board were “researching our options on what kinds of grants are available.”

A general efficiency planning grant would provide $27,000 for a tri-municipal effort. However, “it is problematic that any consultant could complete a tri-municipal study for that amount,” said Ms. O’Keeffe.  The board is looking into larger grants – some as large as a million dollars.

Meanwhile, said Ms. O’Keeffe, “There is no reason for us to wait on a grant or a consultant to get started.”  She said the Village of Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck had been informally discussing and studying consolidation for over 18 months.

A committee of citizens working with staff could get started “right this minute,” she said.

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4 comments to Officials Disagree on How to Study Consolidation


    This is the same old story. “Talking informally” The Mayor,The Supervisor, the entire Town Council and Village Board have beeen doing a dance and talking past one another for more then 18 months on this issue.Chances are if anything does get accomplished its more likely to occur between the TOM and the VOL and it is VERY CLEAR even at that with these two it will have to be a “shot gun wedding”.

  • P.J.

    Jim, scroll down a few stories to the Lorenzen article and Millstein hints about NRFD and the recent takeovers.Larchmont will be a major hub!!! He didnt come out and say but its always leaning that direction.

  • Larchmonter

    Merging the TOM and VOL is a discussion that is as old as I am. “Response times” for police and fire are often referred to as the main issues, but at the end of the day it sounds as though it is about control and accountability. It is hard enough at any level of government to get a response to a problem or an answer to a question – as the size of the bureaucracy grows, these problems get bigger. One of the things we all pay for by maintaining these individual municipalities is the opportunity to truly get to know our representatives and feel as though they live with our issues. When the village trustees or town board members are your neighbors, there is an inherent accountability that gets lost as we consolidate owth other or bigger municipalities.

    And, just as an aside, so may governmental programs are pushed through on the basis of cost saving that never really happens, I have my doubts about that part, too.

  • Richard Clifford

    The New York State Bar Association dedicated the entire issue of the Winter 2007 Winter 2007 Government, Law and Policy Journal to the topic, “Shared Municipal Services.”

    If the officials truly are struggling with the where and how to start their study of consolidation then I would encourage them to pick up a copy. A review of that journal might help understand the issues and the solutions.