WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. August 21,2017:
After an 8-Year Total Eclipse of leadership on the Common Council in favor of procrastination, lipservice to residents, smiles without sincerity, and overly compliant with the city administration wishes , White Plains has the opportunity to infuse the Common Council horseshoe in city hall with some new blood, new perspective, should they wish to do so. Or at least stay with the same tired but comfortable and lovable team of plowhorses clip-clopping along.
On Tuesday, August 22, tomorrow at 7:30 at The Woman’s Club of White Plains, 305 Ridgeway an Election Forum sponsored by the Gedney Association, North Street Area Civic Association and the Rosedale Residential Association will be held featuring invited candidates who are competing in the September 12 Democratic Party Primary:
Invited are the Democratic Party official nominees: incumbent Mayor Thomas Roach, incumbent councilpersons John Kirkpatrick and John Martin and first time runner for Council, Justin Brasch.
Also invited are the challengers to these official nominations, Mayor hopeful, present Common Councilmember, Milagros Lecuona, who is also nominated by the Republican Party to run in November on the Republican slate, so she will face the Mayor anyway regardless of the primary result. Then there are the three council challengers, Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver and Saad Siddiqui who are aiming to wrest the Democratic Party line from the the two incumbents Kirkpatrick and Martin, and the newcomer Justin Brasch.
The Primary was declared “go” last week when Judge Lawrence Ecker validated the disputed petitions of Milagros Lecuona, Mr. Goldman, Mr. Kraver, and Mr. Siddiqui. The Democratic candidates declined to appeal the Judge’s decision.So here we are.
At the beginning of this Democratic Primary Candidates’ Forum, being characterized by some in the Democratic Party as an anti-French American School of New York inspired effort, WPCNR would like to suggest a few questions that the moderator of the debate, Allen Flissler, President of the North Street Area Civic Association, might consider which would be a complete departure of these forums from forums of the past.
WPCNR suggests ask those who would be Mayor or Councilperson, what they would do (if elected), how hard can they work; would they listen, who would they listen to? what they would seek to achieve on specific issues? Why is the city in need of your leadership?
And Incumbents: Would you begin to pay attention? Would they stand on principle and what is right? There’s more to leadership than earnestness, mindful compassion and a smile. (As a politician, the first thing you learn to do is put on a smile, you’re never completely dressed without it it’s so essential to seducing people’s confidence in you.)
Along these thoughts:
Continue current pace of multi-apartment, mixed use complexes or declare moratorium.
Require performance bond when a project is improved.
Reverse long Common Council habit of renewing site plans for years instead of removing approval.
Transit District Construction: What Should Be Built on Battle Hill? How Big Should New Metro North Station Be—What does Metro North Want?
Should there be a moratorium on Payments In Lieu of Taxes for developers applying for new projects?
Do you support a no tax increase policy similar to the Astorino policy of the last 8 years?
The White Plains City sales tax receipts are down 5% in the last three years. Taking inflation into account, that should be at least even, but instead are a good 10% below what they should be. What will you do to reverse this trend? Should we wait and hope the new developments save the economy? (That is 6 years away.) Or start fixing things to attract people to White Plains again—if so, what?
Are you in favor of the city’s bicycling and pedestrian friendly downtown, traffic flow redirections going forward? Is mass transit needed to a greater degree?
FOR incumbents are you confident the city is infrastructurally ready for our increased population in the downtown? What needs to be addressed?
For those who would be taking office for the first time: What are the infrastructure issues you feel, based on your knowledge that are not being addressed by the present administration?
ILLEGAL, OVERCROWDED HOUSING
What would you do about cleaning up illegal overcrowded housing in the city?
The school district will be most impacted by the 5,000 new apartments coming into town. If 10% of the new apartment dwellers coming to down in the next 6 years bring new children into those apartments this would equal 500 new students in the White Plains Schools in the next 6 to 7 years, requiring at least one new elementary school to accommodate the input. If 20% bring new children, you would need two new schools.
This potential tax impact due to new construction upwards of $100 Million has to be thought about. Do you defend the present growth in residential? Do you feel city should use its bonding power to contribute to new school expansion.
Just trying to be of help.