Last week, Hugh Schwartz wrote [“Good neighbors should ‘be neighborly and stick to the facts,’” July 5] the EIC “has made it clear they do not want to purchase any of these [town] services at the price they are paying now.” That statement is misleading.
It implies the EIC has policy-making powers. We do not. Only a future governing body can make such decisions on behalf of Edgemont. The EIC’s role, as a citizens’ group, is to analyze potential options, estimate the associated costs and inform the electorate.
To that end, we have presented the public with a multitude of village financial scenarios, all of which have resided on our website for years. They include contracting for major services with the town of Greenburgh at our approximate current tax contribution; securing services from other providers (e.g. Westchester County police) and providing services directly.
The scenarios in which Edgemont doesn’t contract with the town show that some major services are available elsewhere at a lower cost. But despite Mr. Schwartz’s statement, nowhere in our analyses do we assume the town will change its operations and lower its costs to Edgemont.
We have also shown that the town could substantially mitigate the revenue impact of incorporation by offering services to Edgemont Village via contract. Indeed, intergovernmental cooperation is just one of many financial levers this AAA-rated town of 90,000 residents can pull if Edgemont’s 7,500 residents were to vote to self-govern. Others include implementing long-recommended efficiency improvements (several Greenburgh departments operate expensively relative to their peers); charging townwide services to the entire town, rather than just the unincorporated area; and utilizing significant accumulated fund balances, which Mr. Feiner regularly does to smooth tax impacts when it benefits him politically.
Also, according to LoHud, the town will receive $2.2 million of additional sales taxes in 2020 resulting from the recently passed county sales tax rate increase.
With the help of the professional mediator arranged by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, we are hopeful the town, and other opponents of incorporation, will offer realistic, data-driven analyses of future Greenburgh finances rather than doom-and-gloom statements.
Edgemont Incorporation Committee