Questions For The Town Board Candidates | November 1, 2007
TPFYI posed the following questions to the four candidates vying for the two open seats on the Town Board - Andy Siegel, Jean Ruffino. Tom Darling and Gary Phelps - and the candidate for Supervisor, Peter Dolan. As each candidate responds, we will post their responses.
  1. What is your position on the 102 waivers that Tuxedo Reserve is seeking to modify their Special Permit for 100(?) homes in Phase One of their 1200(?) unit development?
  2. What is your position on the role of the Architectural Review Board, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board (?) in developing and implementing the Town's Master Plan?
  3. What do you see as the main threats to the environment in Tuxedo and how will you protect the environment in Tuxedo?
  4. Although the Town Board has no direct control over the continuing escalation in school taxes, what are your views on school taxes and what do you see as a potential solution?


  1. Twenty-seven of the waiver request have either been closed or denied.  Of the 75 remaining, 28 belong to the Planning Board, 18 belong to the Highway Dept. and the balance of 25 go to the Town Board.  Please understand these waivers do not change the size, unit number (increase) or scope of the project.  Most are of the nature of onsite solutions to situations that could not be foreseen when concept approval was granted.  So far (from my Planning Board seat) all waiver requests have been closely looked at by our advisors and board for validity and betterment of the project.  I would continue the same practice as a Town Board member.
  2. The Planning Board with their excellent consultants should have a large and important part in the framing of the Master Plan.  The input from other boards would always be welcomed.
  3. Work to ensure all projects large and small are built with the least amount of disturbance to wetland and wildlife, that run off is contained or controlled and buildings are clustered where possible for the smallest footprint.
  4. THE TOWN BOARD DOES NOT DETERMINE THE SCHOOL TAXES.  I would survey the residents involved to find if they would want to bring their children back to Tuxedo School, which may help alleviate the tax burden.  BUT, NEW YORK STATE has final say, NOT Tuxedo Town Board.

  1. By and large, many of these waivers are not within the purview of the Town Board. However, the ones that do come before the Town Board will be given careful consideration and thorough review by the Members of the Board and by other professionals that we rely on to assist with this process.
  2. Each of these Boards play an important and unique role as we draft and eventually implement the new Town Master Plan. As these Boards are comprised of intelligent, concerned and insightful individuals, I am confident that their joint efforts will produce a detailed and relevant plan that will enhance the quality of life of our Town for many years to come.
  3. Think that the environmental issues that we face in Tuxedo are similar to the ones that most Americans face - air, water and the protection of our natural resources such as mountains, wetlands and forests. In terms of protecting the environment, I think everyone's contribution makes a difference. Personally, I will encourage people to employ voluntary and cooperative approaches to the environment. Activities such as recycling and responsible energy consumption are simple things that we can all participate in. On the Town level, I will make sure that we pay close attention to our sewer treatment facilities and storm water controls and that we also explore Town-wide conservation efforts.
  4. As we all know, the Town Board has no direct control over the matter of school taxes. However, I would be open helping the School Board and other relevant governing agencies to search for new and viable methods of addressing school taxes.

  1. It is my  understanding that all of the waiver requests are for small on site problems and do not effect the overall impact of the development. They are common to a development of this scale and are being dealt with by the appropriate agencies. 
  2. Each of these boards has a specific role. The ARB and the ZBA really don't deal with the master plan as to its formation officially. The people on these boards should be a resource at the disposal of the planning board and the town board members, if they feel they need their input. 
  3. I would make sure all SEQR guidelines are followed, and that none of our towns natural beauty or resources were unduly compromised.
  4. I would look into the possibility of the re-integration of Monroe Woodburry students into tuxedo school district.


  1. Initially red flags are raised – 102 waivers to modify the first 100 homes?  This just re-enforces my thoughts that the Tuxedo Reserve development must be very carefully monitored by the Town Board.  It is my understanding that all waiver requests are checked and double checked by advisors and the Planning Board before the request comes before the Town Board.  Town Board must be sure they ask as many questions as needed of the advisors and Planning Board as to have a clear understanding of each request before waivers are granted.
  2. Each board has a very important role in the Master Plan.  These boards consist of intelligent and caring people who have Tuxedo’s best and brightest future in mind.  These boards must put aside personality differences and remember to work together to make sure that the Master Plan is implemented as intended by the Town Board.
  3. I think the main threats to the environment are development and pollution.  Town Board needs to ensure that development leaves the smallest possible imprint on our natural bionetwork.  I absolutely believe in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Town Board could look into internal practices to ensure that all departments are devoted to a reduce, reuse, recycle program.
  4. Although I am extremely concerned with the escalation in the school taxes, at this time I honestly do not know what the solution is.  As the mother of a young child, of course I want the very best possible education available in our public schools.  My husband and I have every intention of sending our son to GGM, so we have a vested interest in it remaining outstanding.  That said, we wrote our school tax check the end of September just like all of our neighbors and complained accordingly.  Perhaps Town Board could help the School Board search for practical solutions to help alleviate the tax burden.

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