WPCNR News and Comment. By John F. Bailey. March 4, 2015:
Mayor Thomas Roach will deliver his “annual” State of the City Address to the Rotary Club of White Plains next Tuesday, March 10.
It will be the second State of the City the Mayor has delivered to the Rotary Membership.
Among the topics the Mayor might be expected to address to the membership would be:
1. The state of future developments already approved in the city.
2. Property vacancies in the downtown and efforts to fill them.
3. State of the city economy; the plans to attract more investment in the city.
4. Status of the Winbrook “Revitalization,” and availability of financing for the continued development of a new Windbrook (the first building is now going up).
5. The revision of cabaret conditions of operation.
6. The timetable and status of a Common Council decision on the French American School of New York proposal for the former Ridgeway Country Club.
7. City approach to negotiations with all city union contracts which expire in June.
8. Analysis of city vulnerability to new tax refunds sought by business owners in the town due to the soft economy the last four years.
9. The city real estate market uptrend in prices while the assessment role grew by less than 1%;
10, Details on the new Westchester Avenue mall, hotel, and apartment complex introduced last week.
11. Status of the survey the city was funded $1 Million by the state to review possibilities for development of the White Plains Metro North Railroad Station. Perhaps his thoughts of what should go there besides the station.
12. Efforts of the areas Mass Transit Task Force to determine where a new Bus Rapid Transit hub would be in the White Plains area.
13. Status of zoning: Is White Plains entered into an era of “Flex-zoning?”
14. Efforts to preserve and promote development on Westmoreland Avenue.
15. The White Plains City approach to the Governor’s Tax Cap–What must the city do to allow White Plains Citizens to receive Governor Cuomo’s tax rebates if cities hold budgets under the property tax cap allowed increase? Is this possible? Can the City budget be cut?
16. Revision of the City Comprehensive Plan Timetable.
17. The Secret Ingredients of Commissioner of Public Works Joseph Nicoletti’s “Nicoletti-tini” the magic cocktail that has kept White Plains moving during snow and ice storms all winter?
18. Parking Policy: Is it Working or Driving Consumers Away?
19. What does the BID Survey of the Down Business District Say about the Downtown?
Anyway, if I were the Mayor I would attempt to address these issues with the Club and repeat his State of the City at the next Common Council meeting because solving them all will definitely lead to an improved State of the City and renewed confidence in the citizens.
Perhaps the Mayor will visit every Neighborhood Association and deliver his State of the City, too, that would help get the message out how well the city is doing.
Or better yet, perhaps the Mayor’s public relations team can video the speech and post it on the city website for all to see.