An Open Letter to our New Mayor and Trustees | July 1, 2007
With the election season behind us, it is clear that the Village has a new Mayor and a new Trustee, but the election results also show that our residents are divided. The purpose of this letter is to ask all of us to try in the coming weeks to put aside the rancor surrounding this election, while our elected officials try to resolve the many important issues our Village faces in a more consensual manner. Once elected, our officials represent all of us.

For our elected officials to work effectively together, we need Mayor Stebbins to seek consensus with all of the Trustees on the various issues the Village must resolve, while avoiding unproductive confrontation. We are confident that Houston will be a leader steeped in humility and that he has the ability to foster conciliation by working with the Trustees to find the middle ground. Our elected officials care greatly about the Village, and they must strive to find constructive paths to go down together, while respecting each other’s points of view. The problems caused by division may be resolved by a Board that works together for the benefit of the Village.

The Mayor and Trustees have a full carryover agenda to work through. First and foremost is the need to work with the DEC in resolving the lawsuit now hanging over the Village relating to the Tuxedo Lake dam. In addition, there are two lawsuits relating to the Club dock expansion and the Sterling Place development. We have two labor contracts [DPW and Police] that need resolution as soon as possible, while working out a new garbage collection contract. We also need to finalize definitive rules governing the PB and the BAR, so residents can get about the business of rebuilding their homes with minimal bureaucratic disruptions. We need a long term plan for tackling infrastructure issues.

Once the Board has completed these outstanding and unfinished items, the Stebbins administration will be able to move forward with plans for future improvements to Village governance. Considering that all of our officials are unpaid volunteers, we as residents are asking these good people to give a great deal of their time, energy, and knowledge to address these multiple needs.

If we all can make a concerted effort to reduce the level of contention going forward, we will make the Trustees’ and Mayor’s jobs that much easier to accomplish. Inferring that a particular government is open and another is not, or that a shroud of secrecy has surrounded prior administrations, is creating an issue where none exists and is perpetuating a problem we don’t need to have. Elected officials can disagree with each other without being disagreeable, and without one being cast as “honest” and the other, by inference “dishonest”. We have a talented team of officials in place that is capable of accomplishing a great deal if we, as residents, can start to mend fences rather than building walls.

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