1. Protect Town Funds & Taxpayers Through Oversight, Planning
Our current elected officials have taken a hands-off approach to fiscal oversight and planning within the Town, with millions of dollars in taxpayer funds lost and many residents facing tough economic choices due to an unexpected increase in their real estate taxes. When elected, our candidates will work to consistently monitor all Town funds, plan carefully for the future, and ensure that the residents are not hit with sharp and unexpected tax increases.
- The Town Board did not do the fiscal oversight that was required of them in managing Fire Department funding. Now the Department is short five million dollars due to theft and both taxpayers and the volunteer firefighters were left high and dry.
- The Town Board kicked the can down the road on property assessments, waiting nearly twenty years to re-assess the properties within the Town. Now many residents have seen significant jumps in real estate taxes, forcing many citizens to question if they can afford to remain in our Town.
2. Remove Patronage & Corruption From Local Government
We must stop wasting taxpayer funds by hiring government employees and vendors based on political patronage. This does not serve the public interest. When elected, our candidates will ensure that individuals and companies are hired by our elected officials based on their qualifications so they can effectively do the jobs our communities need done.
- Libby Pataki is one recent example of political patronage in Putnam County. After being appointed by County Executive Mary Odell as the Executive Director of the Putnam County Visitor’s Bureau, the former New York First Lady received $194,000.00 in taxpayer funds and proceeded to form Putnam Tourism Corp., which she used to provide herself with an additional payment of $110,000.00. Putnam County taxpayers received no apparent benefit from Ms. Pataki’s services.
3. Demand Responsible & Transparent Budgeting and Spending
High quality municipal services can be provided without continued increases in the budget if we elect candidates to provide better fiscal management and good business practices that could even lower town taxes for residents if projects are competitively bid with careful oversight. When elected, our candidates promise to improve business practices and review each line item of the Town Budget with the goal of providing the same or better municipal services while reducing taxes wherever possible.
- Under the Town’s current leadership, the Town Budget continues to grow year after year. In 2017 the Town of Carmel Total Operating Budget increased by over $1M in one year! Carmel and Mahopac taxpayers cannot afford to increase our Town Budget by over one million dollars each year, while basic infrastructure needs go unserved. We can do better.
4. Promote Sustainable Development
Sustainable development can achieve the shared goals of protecting water quality and wildlife, providing economic development and respecting historic properties. To maintain our quality of life, all proposed developments should adhere to the process set forth in the State Environmental Quality Review Act to ensure a thorough review of noise, traffic, well-water contamination, and other important factors before any municipal approvals are provided. When elected, our candidates will promise to uphold the Master Plan for development within the Town of Carmel, to openly evaluate all developments proposed before they are approved, and hold local developers accountable.
- The Baldwin Place development that is supported by the Town Board will include over 200 residential units that were not in the original review. As presented, this development will increase traffic congestion on Route 6 and noise while posing serious risks to the water supply. The current board did not adequately review the adverse impact this development would have on our residents. Several other unfinished projects present blights to our community which should not have been approved and have never been completed.
5. Increase Recreation Facilities With Proper Management of Town Parks
Every parent living in the Town of Carmel knows that our children do not have the necessary recreation facilities for a town of our size. Existing parks and other recreational resources have not been managed to meet their fullest potential and guarantee the taxpayers are getting a good deal. Once elected, our candidates pledge their support to the development and proper financial oversight of the parks and recreation facilities located within the Town of Carmel, ensure they adhere to the current Master Plan, and ensure transparency and accountability so that the residents of the Town of Carmel can see progress and know they are getting a good deal.
- While younger children and athletes benefit from town sports fields, there are children and adults with other interests. Teenagers and young adults in our community have limited access to after-school programs and evening activities that are known to deter crime and drug use. There are limited recreational opportunities for active seniors and adults looking for arts and cultural activities. With the proper leadership, our Town can offer prime facilities and parks for arts, cultural, theater, sports and other recreation activities for all our residents.