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VILLAGE GOVERNMENT
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Recent Village News
Board of Trustees
Planning Board
Board of Architectural Review
Board of Zoning Appeals

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Incumbent Sues Challenger And Village Clerk Over 24 Absentee Ballots In Mayoral Election

Click here to read the legal document.

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Preliminary Election Results

PRELIMINARY ELECTION RESULTS:

Mayor:
IT'S A TIE
Mary Jo Guinchard -182
David McFadden - 182

Trustee:
Paul Gluck - 239
Alan McHugh - 231
Claudio Guazzoni - 136
Gregg Carder - 90

Village Justice:
David Hasin - 199
Mark Citrin - 141

There were 24 challenged, unopened absentee ballots. These will be delivered to Goshen on 6/21 for further determination.

Congratulations Paul Gluck, Alan McHugh and David Hasin!

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The Candidates for Village Office Talk About Code Enforcement

TPFYI asked the candidates for Village election the following question with regard to the Village Code.  Below please find their unedited responses in the order that they were received.

Do you feel there are adequate provisions within the Village Code to govern those residents who chose to undertake unauthorized construction or property altering projects?  In your view, does the Village Code need to have more stringent enforcement mechanisms built into it for these situations?  Why or why not?    

Claudio Guazzoni:

Local Village Laws
For all Villages in Orange County, there are NY State Village Laws out of Albany, there are Orange County Laws, Rules and Regulations out of Goshen, and then there are Local Village Laws.  Tuxedo Park Local Village Laws are subordinate to the Laws, Rules, and Regulations out of Albany and Goshen.  This means that Local Village Laws cannot conflict with Albany/Goshen, nor can they make Albany/Goshen less restrictive.

However, Local Village Laws are allowed to deal with areas not addressed by Albany/Goshen, and Local Village Laws are allowed to increase the restrictiveness of the Rules and Regulations imposed by Albany/Goshen.

The five Trustees comprise the Legislative Branch of Village Government… it is the job of the Trustees to write new Local Laws, to remove or revise old Local Laws currently on the books, and finally to act as general ombudsmen charged with overseeing all Village operations.

In my opinion, the Village Local Laws are already far too many, written in a scattered format over time, and at least a couple of them are actually contradictory.  Before layering more Local Laws onto each other in a hap-hazard manner, I would suggest someone with a lot of energy, and a whole lot of patience, to simplify and streamline the current set of Village Laws… and especially to look for contradictions.

I firmly believe that even more important than actual Local Laws, is a badly needed “Declaration of Unbiased Enforcement” of the Local Laws by our Village Boards, our Village Code Enforcers, our Village Building Inspectors, and our Village Tax Assessors.  It is very unfortunate that this past decade’s history of Tuxedo Park has been marred by accusations of Selective Enforcement, Capricious Prosecution, and Targeted Persecution.

Important to me, however, is how Local Laws, and their impartial application, affect the value of Tuxedo Park Real Estate.  The direction of real-estate prices in any small village is directly proportional to the Management of the Village.  Even in rising national and regional real-estate markets, a mis-managed small town will have no strong bidders for its properties.  Two years ago we inherited a Village which had more than 70 properties for sale, and no buyers.  In a manner of 2 years, 32 houses sold and those selling Residents were able to take their money out and “move south,” and do so at some very attractive prices.  In fact, right now, there are only 28 houses on the market, with only a small handful of them listed under $1mm.

Furthermore, Orange County and Tuxedo Town, where the largest percentage of our taxes go, are both clamouring to raise our Real-Estate taxes… by a lot… so I’m asking myself, who is best suited to fight this battle for you…?

Hire the best “mechanic” for the job
When I’m going to vote, I am going to think clearly and remove all my emotions from the process… oftentimes the person who is best suited for the job is similar in qualities to my accountant or to my mechanic, not necessarily someone I would have dinner with every night of the week… but nonetheless someone who is competent… and someone who will get the job done for me.

As Deputy Mayor of Tuxedo Park, I serve our Community 20-25 hours per week, every week… I show up to all meetings… I return phone calls and emails immediately… I do not run from controversy… people who know me, like me… people who don’t know me, have called me aggressive, bellicose, forceful, hard-hitting.

Two years ago, when I was first elected as Trustee, I had a general idea of what I was getting into, having lived in the Park, having had many special friendships, and having served on the BAR.

However, I was not really prepared for the passion and commitment I would feel for the job.  The tasks we face are often complicated, not only the big ones like the Dam and the Front Gate, but also the host of day-to-day issues that regularly come up.  I have discovered an intense desire to get these challenges done right, as close to perfection as I can.

Maybe, once in a while, my Swiss heritage comes out, and at times, I might even have gone a bit overboard.  For the past 2 years, being a Trustee has brought forth my passion, and also stretched my capabilities to their fullest.  I am fully committed to doing this job to the best of my ability going forward.

Thank-you for having read this to its end.

I am kindly asking for your vote on June 20th.

Gregg Carder:

The Village Code and its enforcement provisions are appropriately maintained, kept current and fair by established State, County, and Village legislative procedures. In the Village, these procedures are executed by the Trustees, and include the administration, writing, revising, and removal of local codes.

What is required, going forward, is equal, unbiased, impartial, and strict enforcement of the Village codes. As a Trustee, I will do my best to insure that our codes are impartially enforced, and that no selective enforcement or selective prosecutions occur.

Mary Jo Guinchard:

There are always improvements/updates that can be made to the Village Code and one of the primary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees is to propose and debate these potential revisions to our Village Code in public meetings and to go through the public hearing process for these laws. 

At this time, provisions exist within our Village Code to govern those residents that choose to undertake unauthorized construction and property altering projects. Also, the Village Code clearly identifies those persons with specific positions in the Village that are tasked with enforcing our Village Code. Most importantly, enforcement of our Village Code should be applied in an equitable and consistent manner.

In my second term as Mayor, I look forward to continuing to work with Village residents and the Village Board to improve the efficiency and consistency of the Village Code.

Thank you for reading and thank you to TPFYI for providing this forum for the candidates.

Please call me at (713) 501-9960 (cell), email me at mayormaryjo@gmail.com or come see me in person at my home at 194 East Lake Road anytime to discuss any topic. 

I ask for your vote on June 20th. 

Regards, 

Mary Jo Guinchard, Mayor

Paul Gluck:

Residents of our community enjoy the stunning natural beauty, landscape design and excellence in architecture that is so special, it merits our Village being  listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   

To support that listing, and the reasons for it,  we’ve agreed by way of our local law to have a review process for most projects affecting exterior appearance.  Our Village Code says:

All projects involving new construction, exterior alteration, demolition, excavation, site work, accessory structures or any other activity that alters the property's appearance shall require a Building Permit and must come before the Board of Architectural Review.

Substantial violations, per the Code,  can be dealt with by the issuance of stop work orders, or seeking monetary fines or penalties in court.  There is no shortage of tools in the Code to halt or address unauthorized projects.   At times, there can be a shortage of will.   In the few cases where it is necessary to do so,  the Village should not refrain from using the tools available.

Those instances should be relatively few.   Most of our residents prefer to be law abiding, and will seek to do the right thing, even more so when they see a process that is not obstructive.   Many projects are deemed minor enough so as not to require a building permit.  Others can and should be handled expeditiously, with a  minimum of delay.  Inadvertent violations can, and have been,  handled informally, without imposing the heavy hand of fines, penalties or court appearances.   Voluntary compliance is enhanced by a process that is fair and not overly cumbersome.  

The point person in the review process is the Building Inspector.  The Building Inspector is usually the resident’s  first contact, and assists the applicant and if it becomes necessary for them to be involved, the relevant Village Board.  The recent  removal of our Building Inspector, fairness aside, leaves our residents, the Village and its Boards without an important source of institutional knowledge and support.  The quality of the process is being negatively impacted, and that is not helpful to encouraging voluntary consultation at the early stages when potential (and expensive) problems can best be avoided.

Where enforcement is necessary, a locally based, locally knowledgeable  Building Inspector is critical.   Who is “making the rounds”?    Major external construction is currently being done without a building permit or BAR approval.   We have the local law and need someone responsible for enforcement.

As your trustee, I will work to remedy this error,  ensure that unauthorized projects are dealt with appropriately, and that our residents have a fair, open and expedient project approval process, free from political influence.

A thank you to TPFYI for hosting this series of questions.   Thank you to all for reading.
I respectfully ask for vote on June 20.

David McFadden:

Are our Village laws (Building Codes) written with enforcement in mind?

They are written with enforcement in mind. The questions really are do the laws provide the teeth that the enforcement personnel and Boards need, and is the enforcement even-handed.  My view is that the laws apply to everyone equally. They should not change from one Mayor to another. Frankly, the current Mayor has not provided clear oversight to our enforcement arm.

But like all regulations they can be overly burdensome and have unintended consequences.

This is true and the responsibility falls on the Village Board. We must review the Codes to determine if they should be revised and updated.

As property owners do we have due process under our Village Laws?

We have due process for the applicant to mitigate objections and rulings deemed unacceptable to the applicant. There is an appeal process available to the applicant that includes the Inspector, the BAR, PB, BZA BOT.  The final due process is adjudicated in our Village court. Both residents and the Village have opportunities to appeal unsatisfactory decisions in the state and federal court system.

Are our Village Laws clearly written and available?

I was the first Mayor to post our Village Codes online on the Village Website 12 years ago so they are available. To a lawyer they may seem clear but to a lay person they may not. I would add procedural information to our Design Guidelines on how to navigate the bureaucracy of our Codes.

Are our enforcement bodies and Village Court equipped to adjudicate disputes of Village Laws?

In general, yes, but I would work closer with our Boards and Judge to define the tools and procedures of mitigation to help applicants stay on course and complete their projects in a fair and timely manner.

As Mayor, I passed three laws to improve the building application process

My goal was to shorten the length of time it took to receive permission to start your construction project. This included new home construction, additions, and exterior remodeling.

Law No. 1

The first law created a separate and independent Planning Board and Board of Architecture Review. At the time, we had one Board – the Board of Architecture Review. The single Board had the legal authority of a Planning Board.

The five BAR members wore too many hats, and separating out the duties of the new 5-seat BAR and new 5-seat Planning Board made it possible to reduce the time to get through the approval process. During my term, the time to approve a house dropped to three months. The Board’s ability to maintain the quality of construction materials and design improved as well. Another benefit of two separate and distinct Boards was their ability to spend their time on their core responsibilities. The BAR focused mainly on aesthetic issues and the PB focused mainly onsite approval and environmental impact by designating itself as the lead agency in the SEQR determination process.

Law No. 2

I also passed a second law to speed up the approval process. I required that we hire an architectural professional who had experience writing design guidelines for historic communities. Having design guidelines provide a roadmap for the owner, the architect and the contractor to consider in advance of their application, thus aligning expectations with the BAR and PB before the first dollar is spent and before the architect puts first pen to paper. A simple example is to design windows with true divided lights or the BAR will reject the design.

Law No. 3

The third law I passed was term limits so that more people could participate in the process and volunteer their time helping their neighbors in the application process. The law says that a single appointee can serve two consecutive terms only and cannot be reappointed to the same board without a two-year wait.

There are additional ways to improve our application process and make it fair and consistent for each applicant. All my ideas are common sense. For example, if the application is for a new driveway or paint color or replacing a window you should not have to attend monthly BAR Meetings. You should be able to go to the village office and get an approval in minutes.

In the past 10 years the approval process functioned well for most applicants. It is clear however, that the recent disassembling of the BAR has slowed the process.

I believe there is always room for improvement in our application and enforcement process and am open to input from the community on how to move make more improvements.

MAC

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Candidates for Village Office Talk About Police Protection

TPFYI asked the Candidates for Village Election for their thoughts on Police protection in the Village. Below are their unedited responses in the order received.

Are you satisfied with the Police protection we now have? Why or why not?   

Claudio Guazzoni:

Police Protection in the Village

My Mom and Dad are 84 and 85 years old, and I have a child who just turned 6.

My Parents are often at the house alone, with my child.

My mum-in-law also lives with us; she is 77 years old and walks around Tuxedo Lake on a daily basis, often dodging and side-stepping speeding vehicles.

It is for my own folks, and folks like them, that Village Security is one of my Primary Directives.

This is not your Grandfather’s Orange County

I moved into the Park in 1999, and Orange County has greatly changed since then.
Ganglands… crime, drugs, robberies, drive-by shootouts… Orange & Rockland County gangs, invading from crime-ridden towns… My chief concern here is to secure the Physical Perimeter of the Village from outside incursion.

As this article is Google-searchable on the Internet, I cannot go into too much detail. However, this past year alone, we have had a handful of unfortunate cases… Police Security, fully-armed and trained, has doubled from when I took office two years ago… with the result that the Park has never been this safe beforehand.

My Background

One of the Companies I once owned was a firm which specialised in Physical and Perimeter Security (sold to a Defense Contractor in 2007). Headquartered out of the Rocky Mountains, our primary job was to design and build SCIF’s for the US Govt Department of Defence (DoD). SCIF’s are Super-Secured, Compartimented underground bunkers where protected communications can take place and where classified work can be synthesised in a compartimented manner. Furthermore, the physical area around these SCIF’s had to be fully-secured on all 6 sides.

My firm’s secondary job was to design and build Perimeter Security for US Embassies and multi-nationals operating in hostile geographies of the world.

I know how to build a Fortress that looks like a Fortress… and I also know how to build a Fortress that looks and feels transparent and unseen.

It’s all up to what the Residents want

The amount and type of Security is really up to what the Residents want and desire. Speaking for my own family, my elderly parents wish to feel safe at home… while I like to think that my 6-year old son is secure, however, in a manner which allows him to feel free and not constricted. My goal is to increase Village Perimeter Security, on all sides, in a manner that is robust, but transparent and not overbearing to its Residents.
Technology

Technology exists today which would allow the Village to provide the safe feeling that people desire, all the while being fully transparent, and not at all overbearing. For instance, I have argued for the purchase of ALPR’s (Automatic License Plate Readers). ALPR’s are small, cigar-sized cameras which can simultaneously capture dozens of truck and car license plates, and compare the data captured to a central data-base, allowing us to know if the vehicle involved is “of concern” for any reason.

ALPR’s located at the Main and South Gates could automatically open the gates for Residents when the vehicle is recognised as “friendly”, eliminating the need for yearly nuisance of TP car tag replacement. Furthermore, ALPR’s can keep track of non-residents and contractors, ensuring that at the end of the day, those that came into the Park for non-residential reasons have indeed exited.

For the past 2 years I have argued for the purchase of ALPR’s. But unfortunately, I have been blocked by my opponents on the Board from purchasing such technology claiming that it is a needless luxury.

My friends and neighbors, I do not consider Our Park’s Safety a needless luxury. The good news is that, some 3 months ago we have been successful, through our Grant Writer, to obtain NY State funding for the purchase of such ALPR’s, and after 2 long years of disputing, this project is moving forward.

I will fight for Your Safety

As Deputy Mayor of Tuxedo Park, I serve our Community 20-25 hours per week, every week.

When it comes to negotiating Your Safety with the outside world, I am very tough and uncompromising … when it comes to my family, friends, and neighbors in Tuxedo Park…

I’m a real cupcake…!

I am asking for your vote on June 20th.

I am a life-long fighter who gets the job done for you…!

David McFadden:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This is an exciting point in the campaign – the home stretch (I cannot wait until it is over – you too?).

Many of you have made up your minds. If you are an undecided voter, and you would like to discuss my positions (as well as dispel the rumors my opponents are spreading) please email me at mac4tux@gmail.com with your phone number and I will call you.

To simplify things, I list the most significant Pros and Cons below:

Pros:

1. Our officers have better equipment under the new Chief.
2. Our Chief is serious about our security and improved readiness.
3. We are better prepared for natural and man-made disasters under the new Chief. Our Board and Chief have written a disaster plan in cooperation with the Town and Orange County.

Cons:

1. The Gate is left open sometimes during the day and at night because only one officer (not the required two Officers) is present. The South Gate has been left unsecured because of the unmanned front gate situation.
2. There is a high turnover of personnel for multiple reasons – causing difficulty for residents to recognize our Officers and vice versa.
3. We have not realized the promised “savings” resulting from the Mayor’s firing all the Traffic Guards. Overtime costs for the police have erased any savings. The level of “service” and “sense of place” has diminished without the Traffic Guards.
4. Car, taxi and limousine services used by residents have been denied access to the Park more than once, even when a resident is the passenger.
5. All one must do is say is “I’m visiting a resident” and you are let through the gates. In addition, when the gate is up and the booth unmanned then anyone can pass without any security check.

Solution:

Rebuild the Booth and rehire former or new Traffic Guards. Furthermore, I will appoint a Board of Trustee Liaison that watch overtime expenses and approves them in advance. I will also require the Police Liaison to report monthly to the full Board of Trustees. This does not happen with our current Mayor appointed Police Liaison Trustee Moon because the Mayor does not require it.

In Closing:

I know you are tired of the negative and personal nature of campaigning that my opponent and her right had man- Trustee Guazzoni have deployed against me. I have broad shoulders; however, I ask my opponents to stop this. It is hurting and dividing our community. Think of the new residents for example who are seeing a Village Election for the first time. Some of them commented to me that they wonder if they made a mistake moving here. One can hide behind a veneer of politeness and hospitality, but one’s true character is tested when you willingly resort to attacking your neighbors.

If I am elected, I promise to reunite the community so we can all enjoy the assorted reasons we chose to live in the gated community of Tuxedo Park.

Thank you.

MAC

*According to the Orange County Board of Elections, if you have turned in mailed your absentee ballot to the Village Clerk, Debbie Matthews, and it is received on or before Monday, June 19, and then, for whatever reason, you change your mind, you can request a “do over” ballot and submit it to the Village Office.  Your original ballot will be destroyed by the Village Clerk.

Voting Day:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017, with polls open between the hours of seven o’clock in the morning and nine o’clock in the evening. Located at Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY.

Absentee Ballot Request Form – Deadline:

This application form (Request an Absentee Ballot Form) must either be personally delivered to your village clerk’s office not later than the day before the election if the absentee ballot is being picked up by you or your designee, or received by the village clerk’s office not less than seven days prior to the date of the election if the ballot is to be mailed to you. The ballot itself must be received by the village clerk’s office not later than the close of the polls on the date of the election. Click this link for 'Request an Absentee Ballot Form.

Gregg Carder:

Yes, I am satisfied with the current police force and its new chief. Following the removal of the former, corrupt police chief by the Guinchard administration during its first two years on the job, the current force is professional, well led, and accountable to Mayor Guinchard, an asset to the Village.

I would like to sincerely apologize to all regarding my inaccurate response to question #4.  Embarrassingly, I completely got my facts wrong.  The recently-retired police chief retired with the highest honors, and my deepest apology goes out to him.

Respectfully,

Gregg Carder

Mary Jo Guinchard:

During my current two-year term as Mayor, the Village Board hired a new Police Chief (our former full-time Police Chief, Kenneth Sanford retired during my current term and now continues to work for the Village Police as a part-time Police Officer), Alessio (“Alex”) Melchiorre. Chief Melchiorre retired as Police Chief from the Village of Monroe Police Department after many years of service beginning as a Police Officer in 1977, Police Sargent in 1986, Administrative Sargent in 1990, Lieutenant in 2000 and Police Chief in 2013 until he joined our Village Police Department as Police Chief in July/2016. We are fortunate to have an experienced Police Chief such as Chief Melchiorre running the Village Police Department and he is well-respected by the Police Officers serving on our force, across Orange County and in our neighboring counties.

The Village is required to have 4 full-time Police Officers (including the Police Chief) by law. Typically, the Village Police Chief does not “patrol”. The remaining 3 full- time Police Officers form the current PBA (Village police union). It should be noted that Police Officer Jim Ascione, previously one of the 3 full-time Police Officers, recently retired as a full-time Police Officer, but similar to former Chief Sanford, Officer Ascione is currently employed by the Village as a part-time Police Officer (Chief Melchiorre is currently in the process of interviewing full-time Police Officers to replace Officer Ascione). The two current full-time Police Officers are Detective (now Provisional Sargent) Michael Taback and Officer Dan Sutherland (also President of the PBA). The Village Board recently approved Detective Michael Taback’s promotion to Sargent (providing he achieves the required minimum score on the Police Sargent’s exam). These 3 full-time Police Officers are required to work 40-hour weeks and they have priorities with respect to selection of shifts based on seniority. If they work more than 40 hours a week, then these officers are entitled to overtime pay. For any hours that are not worked by full-time Police Officers, the Village Police Department has the ability to hire part-time Police Officers (effectively reducing/or potentially eliminating overtime). Currently, the Village Police Department has 17 part-time Police Officers (and the Village Board is currently authorized to have a roster of up to 24 part-time Police Officers) in addition to the 3 full-time Police Officers and full-time Police Chief. Full-time Police Officers receive fully loaded benefits (health insurance, retirement benefits, etc.) whereas part-time Police Officers receive an hourly wage (limited to up to 20 hours per week) and no benefits (many of our part-time Police Officers are retired Police Officers from New York City and other towns/municipalities with a great variety of backgrounds and experience such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYC Internal Affairs Division, Squad Supervisors, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, etc.).

During my current term, the Village Board voted 4-0 to abolish the position of Civilian Traffic Guard. There were three full-time Civilian Traffic Guards (and these three full-time Civilian Traffic Guards were previously part of the PBA police union, even though they were not Police) and there were also part-time Civilian Traffic Guards. Denise Spaltoff, one of the three previously employed full-time Civilian Traffic Guards, continues to provide excellent service to the Village as a full-time employee in her new capacity as a Deputy Village Clerk/Treasurer under Civil Service. The Civilian Traffic Guards, both full-time and part-time, were not hired to be Police Officers, they were not armed, nor did they have any Police training for the most part. Barring any unforeseen scheduling issues (which may arise from time to time), the Village now has Police protection by at least two trained Police Officers for every hour of every day of every year going forward. The Village accomplishes this coverage with 3 full-time Police Officers and with a cadre of (right now, up to 24 authorized) part-time Police Officers. From a Police protection standpoint, the answer to the above question is that the Village has approximately double the amount of armed Police Officer protection/coverage that it had previously.

The destruction of the Police Booth at the Main Entrance had an unintended consequence. The existence of the Police Booth allowed Village residents, their guests and non-residents to have a face-to-face, person-to-person dialogue with the person occupying the Police Booth. Many Village residents had formed good personal relationships with the Civilian Traffic Guards that manned the Police Booth. As already approved by my current Village Board, the Police Booth will be re- built in my second term as Mayor with up-to-date technology and as soon as possible, helping to restore the direct, personal dialogue and interaction between the Police Officer occupying the Police Booth and Village residents, their guests and non-residents. I have had the great pleasure to get to know each and every full-time and part-time Police Officer and they are very personable and I am confident that we will return to the familiar warmth of the face-to-face interaction with the excellent Police Officers that will be manning the Police Booth at the Main Entrance.

The Village Board has provided further improvements to the Police Department during my current term as Mayor. These include adding two new 4-wheel drive Police SUVs (including one with number “957” honoring deceased Police Officer Jason D. Conklin’s Police badge number who died in a Police vehicle accident while on duty in the Village on August 21, 1997), rounding our Police vehicles out to two all-wheel drive Police SUVs and one front-wheel drive Police Cruiser enabling the Village to rotate its Police vehicles to improve their useful life, completely replacing the South Gate gates mechanisms and controls, applied for and received grants for computers for police vehicles, police equipment, medical supplies, emergency shelter equipment (including a fully-equipped emergency trailer maintained by Red Cross), weapons, police protective gear and more, totally renovated the Police “Keep” building (including a safe, temperature-controlled environment, bullet-proof glass/doors, weapons locker, evidence holding lockers, processing room, full amenities, etc.) at the Main Entrance with redundancy of controls for the Main Entrance Gate and South Gate in the event that the Village faces a situation where the Police Booth is again unexpectedly incapacitated (or for any other reason), and more.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to call or text me at 713-501-9960 (cell), or email me at mayormaryjo@gmail.com, or stop by to visit me at my home at 194 East Lake Road at anytime to discuss any topic.

Regards,
Mary Jo Guinchard, Mayor

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Candidates for Village Election Talk About The Importance of Town/Village Relations

TPFYI presented the Candidates for Village Election with the following question.
Below please find their unedited answers in the order they were received.

How do you see the Village Board's role in a Town/Village working relationship?  

David McFadden:

 Thank you for asking such an important question. As a sitting Trustee and former Mayor, I believe I can bring a unique perspective to this discussion. Respectfully, it is my belief that this is a low priority for my opponent (in the same way the booth project is a low priority). I base this belief on my experience with our current Town/Village Trustee Liaison. He is well-intentioned but the current Mayor does not hold him accountable.
My solution is to double-down. At his discretion, I would reappoint former Deputy Mayor and current Trustee candidate Paul Gluck. Paul served as the Town/Village Trustee Liaison from July 2014 to July 2016.  He has an excellent track record including attending Town Council meetings and consistently reporting back to the Board. The current Town/Village Trustee Liaison does not do that. 

In direct answer to your question, there are many examples where a strong Town/Village working relationship has proven important. When I was Mayor the number one issue was Tuxedo Farms (formerly Tuxedo Reserve). At that time, our former Mayor and BAR/PB Chairman (the “Village”), in coordination with the Town, successfully negotiated concessions from the developer, Related Companies. The agreement drastically reduced the number, type, and location of the proposed dwellings. In addition, the Village secured what is known as the “donut” a ring of forever green land circling the Park acting as a buffer from Tuxedo Farms.  The Town/Village working relationship shared SEQR reviews, traffic studies, impacts on the public school, the infrastructure, and much more.

The Mayor that followed me, kept the Town informed of our plans for the repair of our earthen dam on Tuxedo Lake (a dam breach would be devastating for the Town). On a personal note, I was a member of the original Town Architecture Review Board and hold fond memories of my working relationship with the Town. 

Furthermore, the Village has always worked closely with the Town on matters of our eco system, our reservoir and lakes, and our water and sewer departments. The Village water and sewer departments has customers in Town, both commercial and residential.
Of immediate concern is the Pilgrim Pipeline, which I oppose; and the reining in of Tuxedo Farms applications to ease the Smart Code. This will be another top priority for my Board.

In the recent past, we were successful in having changes made to the “Mulch Pile” on Town property on Long Meadow Road. We had toxic runoff from the mulch pile entering our feeder streams. This is one more reason to support increasing the budget annually to protect our reservoir and lakes.

The Town/Village working relationship touches on other areas as well. They include:

  • First Responders – Police, Fire Department and Emergency personnel
  • Village DPW and Town DPW
  • Natural and Man-made disaster coordination
  • Dam safety
  • Liaison with TTCC
  • Liaison with WWBC
  • Land Easements

Some do not know the Town and Village boundaries intermingle resulting in houses in the Village built on Town property. On an aside, this complicates how we charge Town and Village residents for sewer and water services. This is something we will address
I have a history of working with the Town. When the WWBC Board asked the Village Board to expand their geographical boundaries to acquire new members, as a private citizen helped raise private funds to see the WWBC through challenging times.

I hope this discussion impresses upon you that my dedication to a Town/Village working relationship is strong. In fact, I believe it is so important that the working relationship does not slip from one administration to the next. If you do, then you can appreciate the effort we will make to layer in long-term procedures about how to manage the Town/Village working relationship, so that we do not start from scratch with the election of new Town and Village officials.

In closing, my comments, which includes critique of my opponent, is based in fact and is not personal. My opponent works very hard and that should be noted. Simply, she and I have different approaches and priorities.

If you share my view that change would be beneficial and would facilitate a means to an end of bringing our divided community back together. I respectfully ask for your vote.
Thank you for reading my response.

MAC

According to the Orange County Board of Elections, if you have turned in mailed your absentee ballot to the Village Clerk, Debbie Matthews, and it is received on or before Monday, June 19, and then, for whatever reason, you change your mind, you can request a “do over” ballot and submit it to the Village Office.  Your original ballot will be destroyed by the Village Clerk. 

Claudio Guazzoni:

Background information –
Let me begin by giving you a brief description of the staging in the Political World surrounding our Village.  The Tuxedo Park Village Board of Trustees is composed by five Trustees, of which one is Mayor.

The five Trustees comprise the Legislative Branch of Village Government… it is the job of the Trustees to write new Local Laws, to remove or revise old Local Laws currently on the books, and finally to act as general ombudsmen charged with overseeing all Village operations.  Trustees are precluded from any Operational Responsibilities, such as giving direction or orders to Municipal Employees, hiring or firing or reprimanding personnel, or any other charge that is reserved for the Mayor.

The Mayor’s Office comprises the Executive Branch of Village Government… in NY State, it is a very powerful position which controls most (if not all) of the Operational Aspects of a Village.  All Village employees report to the Mayor, and the Mayor alone is allowed to give charges to Municipal Employees.  The Police Department, the Public Works Department, the Employees at Village Hall… they all report directly to the Mayor.

In NY State Village Law, the position of the Mayor is extremely powerful.

However, there is one task that Village Trustees are encouraged to do in NY State… and that is to establish contacts and formulate relationships with the outside Political World.

Our political world… it’s not just “the town” -

Albany – capital of NY State
Goshen – capital of Orange County
Tuxedo Town(ship) –surrounds us on all 4 sides

It is very important to establish strong relations not only with Tuxedo Township, but with Goshen and Albany as well.  As Deputy Mayor and Trustee, over the past 2 years, I have realised the importance of these 3 political hubs, and how much assistance they can provide to alleviate the issues that face our Village.  So, Mayor Guinchard and I were very active in the establishment of robust relationships and durable friendships in all of the above 3 spheres of influence.

Our “points of pain” from the outside world –

Our small Village way of life is coming under assault from all 4 sides.

  • Tuxedo Reserve aka Tuxedo Farms – 1200 new residences; recently made “more affordable” by an application for Vinyl Siding;  so, how many of the 1200 residences will end up being multi-family…?
  • Tuxedo Union Free School District - a whole book of analysis is needed here
  • Tuxedo Ridge- ski area closed, big parking lot holds some valuable “flat land” for multi-housing… dangerous in the wrong hands
  • Orange County – Pilgrim Pipeline; petroleum & refined products; a critical shock to the Village, to the Town, and to the County
  • Orange County – the expansion of monolithic de facto “tax free residential zones”
  • Orange County – Lego-land; and the non-equitable distribution of County Sales Tax
  • Albany – pressure and mandates to meld Villages into their surrounding Townships
  • Orange & Rockland Counties – Ganglands;  crime, drugs, robberies, drive-by shootouts from Orange & Rockland County gangs invading from crime-ridden towns
  • Tuxedo Park Village – securing the physical perimeter of the Village from outside incursion

The Town(ship) and The Village -
Presently there are some 2500 residents in the Township (ex-Village) and 550 residents in the Village.  The Village provides a large percentage of the taxes collected by the Township.  Depending on your assessment, the Village takes 20-30% of your aggregate Real-Estate Tax bill with the remaining 70-80% collected by the Town for expenses of the Town, School, County, etc.

In Town, we are severely under-represented on all of the Township Boards.  Gratitude to Michele Lindsay, who just got appointed to Deputy Town Supervisor, and who also is our sole Village representative on the Town Board (5 persons).  The Town Architectural Review Board (5 persons), The Town Planning Board (7 persons), and the Town Zoning Board of Appeals (5 persons) all have NO representatives from the Village (btw, the Town BAR has one vacancy).

Appreciation also goes also to Meg Vaught and Nancy Bourke, the sole Village representatives on the School Board of Education (7 persons).

So, out of an aggregate of 29 very influential Town Board positions, our Village is represented in only 3 of those positions (and Kudos to Michele and to Meg and to Nancy).

There seems to be a lot of energy in this Village, especially around election time.  Energy is valuable.  Let us all see if we can try to harness some of this energy and use it year-round, by convincing energetic people to judiciously serve as Village Representatives on Town Boards.

I am a hard-working guy who gets the job done for you…!

As Deputy Mayor of Tuxedo Park, I serve our Community 20-25 hours per week, every week… People who know me, like me… people who don’t know me, have called me aggressive, bellicose, forceful, hard-hitting.

When it comes to negotiating and cost-cutting with the world outside, I am very uncompromising … when it comes to my family, friends, and neighbors in Tuxedo Park…

I’m a real cupcake.

I am asking for your vote on June 20th.

I am a hard-working guy who gets the job done for you…!

Paul Gluck:

Tuxedo Park and the Town have vested interests in each others success.   Our quality of life would be  enhanced by a Town with more  commercial and retail resources.  A stronger, more economically stable Town would help Village  property values and broadening the tax base would have a beneficial effect on the taxes we all pay.  In most cases, what is good for the Town will be good for the Village.  Both the  Village and Town Boards need  to be understand the issues and forces affecting the other and look for ways to offer mutual support.  Our respective Boards can do much to set the tone for community involvement.

In the municipal context, mutual support is to some extent being mandated.   The winds from Albany calling for municipal consolidation and sharing services are approaching gale force.   It is clear that the mandate will continue to be  for  increasing consolidation or suffer a loss or reduction in funding.  This is not necessarily all bad.   The Town and the Village already work  together sharing equipment and supporting each other in a variety of ways.     The Village Board needs to continue to look at, and  ensure that our municipal departments continue to look at, areas for potential cost savings through sharing resources.

At the same time,  our Village has its own  needs and characteristics, which have historically been viewed as  best served by maintaining our own service units.   It is important that the Village Board not dilute our uniqueness as a Village or quality of service to our residents in pursuing mandated or other  consolidation or cost sharing measures.

Gregg Carder:

The working relationship between Village and Town must be properly managed so that both entities can work together in a cooperative and mutually beneficial way. Citing the accomplishments of Mayor Guinchard’s administration over the past two years, it is keenly positioned to effectively handle this relationship moving forward. I, as a newly elected Trustee, will contribute my independence, honesty, open-mindedness, and tenacity in the resolution of critical issues that affect both Village and Town, such as:

  • A potential Village request to the Town for an easement allowing us to move the new police booth somewhat closer to Rt. 17, over the Town boarder, thus facilitating easier access to Village grounds for larger vehicles,
  • And mitigating the effect of the Pilgrim Pipeline and Tuxedo Farms on our community. 

Mary Jo Guinchard:

It is essential for the Village Board of Trustees to maintain a harmonious and respectful relationship with the Town Board and with Town residents that are not Village residents. At the same time, the Village Board must act as the voice for the Village as a whole with respect to matters affecting the Village that come before the Town Board.

As your Mayor, I have had a frank, open dialogue with Mike Ross, the Town Supervisor. At the beginning of each fiscal year, I recommend the appointment of one of our Village Trustees as the Village liaison to the Town Board (my recommendation must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Village Board). The Village Trustee liaison to the Town Board is tasked with attending Town Board meetings and keeping the Village Board apprised of any issues before the Town Board that may have an impact on the Village.

During this past two-year term as Mayor, there have been significant issues involving both the Village and Town. Some of these are inter-related. For example, the financial closing of Tuxedo Farms occurred during my current term. There were significant negotiations between various parties to the closing including the Orange County Land Trust, The Tuxedo Club, The Town of Tuxedo, The Village of Tuxedo Park, Tuxedo Farms (Related Companies), Tuxedo Park Associates, etc. During this negotiation, the Village of Tuxedo Park was able to avoid, barring any unforeseen circumstances, having any portion of the Pilgrim Pipeline routed through any Village property. Our collective goal as a Village and as a Town should be to not have the Pilgrim Pipeline built at all for environmental and many other reasons. The Tuxedo Farms closing was the culmination of much work done by Village residents to protect/secure the Village with respect to the impact of the Tuxedo Farms development, and the result with respect to Pilgrim Pipeline was also due to hard work by the Advisory Committee. Also during my current term, our Village Board first passed a resolution opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline and then we adopted a local law (Local Law No. 1 of the year 2016) prohibiting petroleum transmission pipeline construction as a use anywhere in the Village of Tuxedo Park.

As a Village Board, we should also encourage Village residents to run for Town Board and School Board positions and we should back these individuals by getting the vote out. One such individual on the Town Board is Michele Lindsay, a Village resident and the newly appointed Deputy Supervisor, with whom the Village Board has a very good working relationship. We also have two hardworking Village residents who serve on the Tuxedo Union Free School District Board, Nancy Bourke and Meg Vaught. There are also other Town Board appointed positions that Village residents could get involved with and I encourage our residents to reach out to the Town Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor if they are interested in getting involved. Many dedicated Village residents have also been long term volunteers with the Library, Ambulance Corps, and the Fire Department.

The Village Police Department has a Mutual Aid Agreement with the Town of Tuxedo Police Department along with other police departments. Additionally, the Village DPW and the Town DPW also have a good working relationship.

As a Village Board, we set the example for how we, as individuals and as a Board, interact with Town residents that are not Village residents. The historical Village relationship with the Hamlet and East Village should also be continued with the Wee Wah Beach Club and the Fishing Club. This long-term tradition has been enjoyed by many generations.

And finally, patronage of Town of Tuxedo businesses, including the Farmers’ Market and Chamber of Commerce, are important to both the Village and the Town. The long term success of these businesses has a positive impact on both the Village and the Town.

Please call me with any questions at 713-501-9960 or email me at mayormaryjo@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading and I ask for your vote on June 20th.

Regards,

Mary Jo Guinchard, Mayor

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Candidates For Village Election Talk about the Booth

TPFYI asked the Candidates for Village Mayor and Trustee the following question:

It has been almost two years since the Police Booth at the Front Entrance of the Village was destroyed.  Two community surveys have shown that the majority of residents would like to see a manned booth rebuilt, and a public architectural process was begun earlier this year, yet it seems to have stalled and funding for the project was not a part of the 2017/2018 budget as it was presented to the public in April.  What is your view on rebuilding building the booth and what would be your ideal timeline for this project?

Here are there un-edited answers in the order they were received:

Paul Gluck:

In February and March  of 2016, the Village, recognizing the significance of the Booth  and Entrance configuration,  held a series of public discussions around framed around a number of alternative designs.   In an ongoing, robust public process, the community  affirmed the importance of the Entrance configuration, with the clear preference being for a manned booth that provides  for direct personal interaction.  The public was assured of a continuing, open, participatory process.

Today, more than a year later and after much work, the plan is murky.  The Village resident most closely involved in the project believes the design is fatally flawed.  The Village employee most closely involved has been dismissed.  Although the files are technically available in  the Village office, there has been no public presentation of the current design or discussion of the extent to which the ongoing comments of the BAR and community have been taken into account.  Cost estimates are all over the place. Other questions and issues abound.   

To move forward, we need to develop a common understanding, shared in a comprehensive,  documented manner,  of where this project stands.  I believe this is possible and it is the responsibility of your government to provide.     As much as I would like to see a manned Booth restored tomorrow, we need to be reasonably confident  in design, costs and funding.  It is only then that your government, with appropriate professional and community input,  can meet its obligation to develop and deliver  an architecturally sound, functional, Booth worthy of the Entrance to our Village and meeting the needs of our residents. 

Claudio Guazzoni:

Let’s Build This Thing…!
Rebuilding a Police Booth at the front entrance which is both technologically correct and aesthetically pleasing is one of my top priorities.

Personally, I am incredibly frustrated that this whole process has taken so long. For heaven’s sake, we are building a little more than a tool shed on a concrete slab… NOT the Taj Mahal…!

Background – Sept 5th 2015

One night in early September 2015, a DWI driver ploughed her car head-first into the booth, nearly killing the Gate Guard who was in it, working the night shift. What was left of the Booth was immediately demolished and removed the day after. Over the next 12 months the BOT was being pulled in 5 different directions regarding the Booth, and unfortunately could agree on very little.

It was only this past August, 9 months ago, that I suggested a BOT sanctioned survey of all Village Residents as to which style booth was most desirable. Upon approval of the entire board, I immediately designed and administered the survey myself, on the part of the BOT.

The results were the following:

1 - Current no-booth - 89 votes - 32.5% 2 - Build "un-manned" booth - 42 votes - 15.3% 3 - Re-build "manned" booth - 143 votes - 52.2% Total votes = 274

Overwhelming demand for a “Manned Booth” was immediately apparent. An architect was commissioned to design the appropriate booth, which he did to an acceptable aesthetic level.

New Booth = New Regulations

New Booth then was found to have to comply with NY State regulations and Police Union rules.

Protection against ramming at a certain velocity + anti ballistic properties
Anti-ramming - Poured concrete slab, needs to be 4ft deep and 16ft long to properly absorb any future impact and protect occupant with 2 bollards, one in the front and one in the rear. Also poured concrete needs to cure correctly for 28 consecutive days in 55+ degree weather.

Anti-ballistic - Building a box out of 4” bullet-proof polycarbonate is not overly, but it will cut 4 inches off from each side from an already tight interior… unable to expand exterior as the roadway passage is already tight for trucks.

Simple solution – so, let’s build this thing…!

As we are not building the Taj Mahal, the solution is not overly complicated. In the morning, dig a trench 4ft deep, 4ft wide and 16ft long… at noontime, drop into the trench a pre-made box of rebars configurated as specified to reinforce the concrete… at 2pm have the concrete truck come around and pour concrete into trench… use the rest of the day to vibrate all of the air bubbles out of cement and to ensure even spread… oh, and before going home at night, cover up trench with large metal plates so cars do not fall in… allow concrete to cure in a dark and moist environment… after 1 week of cure, concrete has 70% strength… and after 4 weeks 100%.

After the 4 week cure period, remove metal plates and attach the New Booth, which has been previously pre-fabricated off site to high-tech specification.
Like I said… not the Taj Mahal.

Paying for Booth – We’ve got the funds

We got the funds… People who know me, like me… people who don’t know me, have called me aggressive, bellicose, forceful, hard-hitting.

It is indeed true that I can tap into certain elements of my personality when I need to be persuasive. For instance, over the past 2 years, Mayor Mary Jo and myself have opened up and renegotiated each and every contract from each and every service provider to the Village (with a lot of help from Trustee John Moon, who joined the BOT 12 months ago).
And in negotiating the contracts we demanded of each that a better deal be given to the Village. In this manner, over 2 years, we managed to put some $700k into our previously depleted savings accounts.

Paying for the booth is not a difficult task… $61k is in a segregated fund restricted to Main Gates use… $5k comes from the already approved allocation in the 2017-18 Village Budget… and some $120k can come from our freshly renewed Village savings account… all without harming our S&P credit rating one iota.

So, all-in-all, we have a total amount of over $185k+ to play with… we can be as frugal as we wish… or we can build the Taj Mahal of Booths… in a nutshell, anything the Residents desire.

Please show your support on June 20th

When it comes to negotiating and cost-cutting, I am very uncompromising … when it comes to my family, friends, and neighbors… I’m a real cupcake.

I am asking for your vote on June 20th… and please remember that I am a life-long fighter who gets the job done for you…!

Gregg Carder:

In fact, the funding for the rebuilding of the Police Booth is currently available in a segregated donation account within the 2017-2018 budget, a small withdrawal from savings, and through the limited use of other budgeted moneys.

The search for an appropriate contractor to complete the project has been a delaying factor.  A search for an “in-house” project manager is proceeding.

With the designation of an “in-house” project manager, the rebuilding should proceed in a timely manner.

Mary Jo Guinchard:

Rebuilding the Police Booth (“Booth”) at the Main Entrance has been a key priority for me, but over the last few months the Dam (Wee Wah & Pond No. 3) Rehabilitation Project took priority. With the Dam Rehabilitation Project now underway, I can fully focus again on the Booth rebuild. From my perspective, I needed to divert my focus to the ~$4 million Dam Rehabilitation project as the ground-breaking for that project was quickly approaching. The first Dam Rehabilitation project construction meeting, led by Mike Quinn (CHA), took place this week (attending were Patrick Hines, the contractor, DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss, myself, and others). The relocation of the Village sewer line near the Wee Wah Dam is almost complete, trucks will be beginning to arrive on site next week, and the rehabilitation of the two (2) dams will officially be underway.

As stated, rebuilding the Booth at the Main Entrance has been and remains a key priority for me and my anticipated timeline for this project would be to complete the rebuilding of the Booth (staying as close as possible to the design and engineering plan which is already approved by my current Board of Trustees, making any adjustments as may be required) within 3-6 months of my re-election as Mayor.

On Saturday, September 5, 2015, at approximately 3:30am, I received a call from the Police regarding a car crash involving the destruction of the Booth at the Main Entrance of Tuxedo Park. I immediately went to the scene and called in all Village personnel who needed to be at the scene in order to orchestrate the upcoming hours and days, especially since the accident occurred on a Labor Day weekend. At the time of impact, the driver was driving on the wrong side of the road and, as we later learned, was intoxicated. Thankfully, both the person inside the Booth and the driver were not injured. The Booth itself was totaled. This marked the second time that the Booth at the Main Entrance was destroyed. The first time, a Village plow truck hit the Booth during a snow storm, overturning it with the occupant inside. Again, thankfully, the occupant of the Booth and driver were not seriously injured.

The 24/7 Main Entrance and South Gate operations were totally compromised and needed to be up and running asap. The “Keep” was the only logical place to move these operations, as all of the wiring (i.e. communications and electrical) for both entrances to the Village initiated from the Keep. Unfortunately, the Keep, being the logical place to get systems up and running, had not been occupied for many years.

Key points regarding the Sept. 5, 2015 Booth accident:

• Proceeds from insurance claims and all donations (restricted or not restricted) to the Village do not form part of any of the Village of Tuxedo Park General Fund Budget; they are part of the General Fund Account, as confirmed by our Village Clerk, Debbie Matthews, per instructions by both our former Auditor, Jeff Frega, and our current Auditor, Cooper Arias.

• The Village insurance policy insured the Booth structure for $29,654, and there was also coverage for loss of contents, as well as reimbursement of employee salaries (DPW/police) for accident related activities, and other related expenses.

• The aggregate insurance claim proceeds to date are $145,685 which represent the loss at $151,778 less the depreciation of $5,092 and also less the applicable $1,000 deductible. The insurance is awaiting the final invoices for consideration of the depreciation holdback, $5,092. I have been and still am in constant communication with the insurance company regarding this claim.

• The Village’s insurance company fronted the funds for the accident claim and then went to the driver’s insurance company to recover what the driver’s insurance policy maximum coverage allowed. Most of the money from the insurance claim regarding the Booth accident was paid by the driver’s car insurance. The claim paid by the drivers insurance consisted of the Booth insured amount, contents loss coverage, employee labor costs at time of accident during cleanup, and for some of the remediation of the issues with the Keep being that our department, in an emergency, had to be up and running immediately. The Village insurance company still is holding a small amount to be funded to the Village at completion of the Booth as stated above.

• The other source of proceeds for bringing the Keep to full operational capability and to provide a safe environment for our employees and any leftover funds for the Police buildings came from a gracious donation of $360,908 from Michael Bruno.

• Recap: Insurance $145,685 + Bruno donation $360,908 + $5,092 depreciation holdback of Village insurance = $511,685

• Total spent to date on the Keep = $427,551 (Note: This amount also includes the new mechanisms/gate arms installed at the South Gate for $10,000.)

• Total spent to date on Village employees in regards to accident cleanup = $17,549

• Remaining funds available including depreciation holdback = $66,585 (Technically speaking, the $10,000 that we used for the replacement of the mechanisms at the South Gate should form part of the remaining funding for the Booth.)

• It should be noted that for fiscal year 2017-2018, the Board of Trustees did not add more money to the Village budget to increase the amount of funds available to rebuild the Booth unless the Board would have elected to go through the process (including a public hearing) to exceed the Tax Cap. This did not occur as the Board, in one of the first public budget workshops, had the collective goal to stay under or at the Tax Cap. Due to the issuance by the Village this year of the ~$4 million municipal bond for the Dam Rehabilitation project (and including the rebuilding/reengineering of Clubhouse Road and Continental Road), we were literally just meeting (but not exceeding) the Tax Cap as mandated by NY State when including the interest due for this to be newly-issued municipal bond.

The safety of our employees in the Keep, the operation of the entrances (Main Entrance and South Gate) of the Village, the safety of our community, were our priority and then the actual rebuilding and the cost of the Booth became the next focus. The process to rebuild the Booth was also happening at the same time as the Dam Rehabilitation project. The architect whose design was selected to rebuild the Booth estimated the project as designed would cost approximately $95,000. It was I who asked the architect if we could achieve a lower cost to approximately $75,000 without compromising the design.

A lot of time has transpired between the accident and today. We have not wasted time, but have been cautious that we get this right as this is the historical entrance to our Village and it is imperative that the new Booth be built to withstand a significant vehicular impact for employee safety. The Village surveys illustrated the importance of face to face contact between Police Officers, residents, guests of residents, and non- residents. The re-engineered Booth, as currently approved by the Board, will aesthetically match the two historically significant buildings at the Main Entrance, but will be reinforced and will contain bullet-proof glass. The roof will be cedar shingles (to match the Keep). The project has been before the BAR and a member of the BAR has been designated as the liaison for this project.

The most recently destroyed Booth was a simple structure made out of wood with shingles on the outside walls. The glass in the Booth was not tempered nor bullet-proof. This was a very small air-conditioned and heated structure made to accommodate a single person. A makeshift sliding window was difficult to operate. The newly redesigned Booth is a great improvement, but will necessarily be approximately the same size as the exterior dimensions of the original Booth in order to continue to allow all sizes of vehicles/trucks to safely pass on either side of the Booth through the Main Entrance. As I stated previously, the Booth design may need to be adjusted slightly in order to provide safe/proper clearance for all types of vehicles/trucks.

As stated earlier, an unintended (but ultimately positive) consequence of the accidental destruction of the Booth was that the Village needed to relocate the occupant of the Booth (and both the controls for operating the Main Gate and South Gate) to another building until the Booth was rebuilt immediately after the accident. As an interim measure, immediately after the accident, we moved the location of the occupant and controls to the Keep (building on the north side of the Main Entrance, the original location of the Police in 1886, and used for many decades). The DPW also demolished the original Booth structure on that day.

Unfortunately, the historical Keep building was in a very dilapidated state as it had not been occupied (winterized, no heat) for many years. There were massive mold issues throughout the building and when it rained, water was literally seeping through the building’s (stone) walls. We immediately began to address these issues including bringing in environmental specialists to advise the Village on the air quality and other conditions in the Keep building. However, the day we were preparing to meet with the environmental specialists to discuss the air quality of the Keep, the NYS Labor Board showed up because one of the Village employees complained to the NYS Labor Board about the conditions in the Keep. The NYS Labor Board was pleased to know that we already were meeting the same day with environmentalists to inspect the facility.

Between the insurance proceeds and Mr. Bruno’s donation, during my two-year term as Mayor, the Keep was fully renovated as a result. This is a time-consuming process, but we now have a complete, fully functioning, temperature-controlled, operational Keep police building as a result (and which is a critical part of the architectural history and integrity of the Village).

The Village Board of Trustees surveyed Village residents twice, and ultimately the decision was made and approved by our Board to re-build a manned Booth. The Village RFP (Request for Proposal) for the construction of the Booth bid opening took place on March 1, 2017. Unfortunately the Village received only one bid from one contractor for an extraordinary amount ($400,000 before Prevailing Wage). The process for submitting an RFP as a Village takes time, as we have to publish the request well in advance. The Village has learned from the RFP for this Booth project, that its small size coupled with its prominence at the Main Entrance and the Prevailing Wage requirement, makes it difficult to attract competitive contractors. We may need to submit an RFP to subcontract the various portions of the Booth project instead.

If the project costs more than what we have allocated, then the Board will try to find room elsewhere in the budget to make up the difference, or tweaking the Booth design to be more cost efficient while maintaining the historical integrity of the Main Entrance. Also, as a side note, in my recent discussions with the Village’s insurance representative (and our insurance agent) regarding this claim, I brought up that the Booth structure replacement insurance coverage appeared to not include Prevailing Wage (as mandated by NY State) and the insurance company stated that they would likely cover this added state-mandated labor expense requirement.

It is important to state again, the Board prioritized the rehabilitation project of the dams over the Booth in the last few months in order for our dam engineer (CHA) to complete the RFP (Request for Proposal) for the construction of the dams and to obtain Board approvals for final selection/hiring of the contractor and for the issuance of the approximately $4 million in municipal bonds issued by the Village of Tuxedo Park (the largest bond issuance in Village history) for the dams (and which bonds also include
funds for the rebuilding/re-engineering of Clubhouse and Continental roads). The urgency for the dams rehabilitation (the Village was out of NYDEC compliance) was driven by seasonal concerns, since we had to (1) fell trees surrounding the dams (the Village had to negotiate these agreements with every Village resident with property adjacent to the two dams) and (2) substantially lower the water levels on the Wee Wah Lake and Pond No. 3 in order to do the Dam Rehabilitation project (our goal was to limit the necessary extreme lowering of water levels for one spring/summer/fall/winter season beginning with spring 2017). The projected time to restore the Wee Wah Lake and Pond No. 3 to their original water levels is expected to be Spring/Summer 2018.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this summary. If you have any further questions regarding the Booth or any other project or topic, please call me at 713-501- 9960 or email me at mayormaryjo@gmail.com. I am available, as always, 24/7, and I ask for your vote for re-election as Mayor on June 20th.
Regards, Mary Jo Guinchard, Mayor

Alan McHugh:

 I, like the majority of the residents of the Village, want the police booth rebuilt.  Apart from the duration of time it has taken to come up with a solution (we are coming up on two years since the booth was hit), what has been most shocking to me are the enormous variations in the estimates to rebuild the booth: from $75k at the low end to $397k at the high end.  The architect estimated it would cost $75k to $100k to rebuild the booth (Q4'16), but when the Village put the project out to bid, we received only one bid and it came in at $397k (Q1'17).  Depending on whom you talk to, the reason for this fourfold difference is due either to the use of differing wage assumptions or to the lack of formal bid drawings and documents.  Perhaps it is due to both.

In the March 8, 2017 Special BOT meeting, the only bid we received was rejected outright.  Without any bids to support their decision, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni, and Trustee Moon voted to construct the booth for $80k.  Alan Yassky, a Village resident who has tried to shepherd this project forward, was tasked with meeting with the architect (April 4th) and getting this project completed.  However, at the May 17 BOT meeting, Mr. Yassky informed the BOT and residents in attendance that this project would cost in excess of $150k.  He also informed all present that the current design was in his opinion fatally flawed as the width of the booth precluded safe passage of trucks. 

To recap, we have a project with a price tag of somewhere between $150k and $400k (but  no explanation for the wide disparity), with no construction drawings, and with architectural drawings that may not provide sufficient clearance for vehicles to enter the Village.  Once these problems have been addressed, either the designs will have to be modified (smaller footprint of the booth, assuming that is possible), the booth moved back within the gates, or the rebuilding of the booth will need to be abandoned in favor of having the guards/police officers (staffing is another issue that needs to be addressed) monitor the gates from within the Keep but with added state-of-the-art audio-video technology.  Irrespective of which solution the Village ultimately adopts, revised architectural drawings as well as construction drawings will need to be submitted to the Board of Architectural review and the public.  After that, the Village should put the project out for a second bidding process.

But this discussion raises a key question, which is how to pay to rebuild the booth when the Village is currently undertaking the largest capital expenditure in the Village's history.  The capital projects in the pipeline include the Wee Wah dam rebuild, the Clubhouse Road rebuild, and the potential for major repairs on the water towers.  The dam alone is estimated to cost $3.7m, with the possibility of a cost overrun of 8% (a very slim margin in my opinion but one the engineering firm claims to be comfortable with).  Of the proceeds received for rebuilding the booth, only $71,500 remains ($146k in insurance proceeds plus a donation of $361k, minus $417k to renovate the Keep).    The Village's surplus currently stands at just under $400k, which is approximately 10% of the Village's annual budget.  Thus, how we will pay for the booth rebuild is a question that cannot be ignored, particularly when the answer is not readily apparent.

David McFadden:

First, I would like to thank TPFYI for hosting this question and answer forum. It is an honor to participate.

The management of the booth project has been subpar. Two years ago, Deputy Mayor Kilduff and Trustee Guazzoni preferred a technology-based solution over rebuilding the booth. While well-intentioned, a kiosk with a two-way video screen never resonated with much of the public.  In my opinion, not involving the public sooner delayed the project.
The Mayor is aware of my professional background, but nevertheless locked me out of the process. My suggestions were often cut off mid-sentence or ignored by both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

At a presentation to the Board, our architect said his design could be built for under $95,000.00. I expressed my doubts. The actual bid was close to $395,000.00. The lack of sophisticated bid documents and the failure to incorporate Prevailing Wage Requirements explain the high bid.

The trend of underestimating costs for the booth and East Village water main projects, explains my reluctance to approve bonds without any formal bids.

The Mayor’s explanation of the high bid was the lack contractors in the Hudson Valley who would be willing to do small projects. Therefore, she made the decision to “bring the project in-house”. To implement her decision, she asked Mr. Yassky to GC.  Deputy Mayor Guazzoni and Trustee Moon voted with the Mayor to proceed on that basis. I voted against it.

The Mayor, all but guaranteed the cost would not exceed $80,000.00 and four weeks to complete. She touted this decision as a huge savings for the taxpayers.

After reviewing the designs with the architect and others, Mr. Yassky reported back to the Board that the cost would exceed $150,000.00 and require several months to complete. He also pointed out that the design lacked the clearance for trucks to pass.

As we speak today, the whole project must start from scratch.

An ideal timeline? With a change in leadership and a little luck, we could have a new booth operational before next winter. The one caveat is, of course, finding the funding. The Wee Wah Dam and Clubhouse Road projects take priority. Monthly budget reports would be helpful and should be routine moving forward.

As a lone Trustee (Alan McHugh can speak for himself), it is nearly impossible to impact the agenda. The voting bloc of Mayor Guinchard, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni and Trustee Moon is formidable.  As an example, neither Claudio or John have voted against Mary Jo – even one single time.

If you believe as I do that a board of five independent members is an improvement, join me and vote for change on Election Day, Tuesday, June 20th.  I promise to listen to everyone’s ideas.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Let’s go in-depth on the issues. My office hours are Noon – 4 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 61 Turtle Point Road. No appointment necessary. Come as you are.

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Mayoral and Trustee Candidates Sound Off On The Village Lakes

There are many important issues currently facing the Village of Tuxedo Park and residents should know where the Mayoral and Trustee Candidates stand before casting their votes.  In the weeks leading up to the election, TPFYI will pose one issue-based question per week to the candidates.  The responses to these questions will then be posted (in the order they are received) to our site for residents to consider.

This week, TPFYI asked the candidates the following question:

What plans do you have to deal with the deteriorating condition of our lakes? 

Mayoral Candidates

Mary Jo Guinchard:

Our three Village lakes, Tuxedo Lake, Pond #3 and Wee Wah Lake, are our most precious resource in terms of defining the overall character of the Village of Tuxedo Park and providing the source of potable/drinking water to both the Village and to residents and businesses in the Hamlet and East Village areas in the Town of Tuxedo.

Our lakes represent a delicate ecosystem which needs care and nurturing by all of our residents. The bi-annual stocking of our lake with fish is important to maintain a balanced ecosystem and a dedicated volunteer has been involved for many years in this effort assisting both the Village and the Tuxedo Club with this endeavor. His efforts are greatly appreciated by the community and various Village residents have provided donations throughout the years for this re-stocking effort.

Currently, we are experiencing a major threat to the balance of our lakes ecosystem in the form of an invasive plant species, the Eurasian Milfoil. Eurasian Milfoil grows in the shallower part of all of our lakes and is easily susceptible to breaking into smaller pieces that then float to other areas of the lakes where they re-establish themselves. As a Village (both before and during my terms as Trustee and Mayor), we have hired divers to “pull” the Eurasian Milfoil to prevent it from spreading further. This is an expensive endeavor, but until this point we have preferred to use this method of controlling the spread of the Eurasian Milfoil instead of using other methods (such as using an herbicide). More importantly, any Eurasian Milfoil management method must not lead to the destruction of our native non-invasive plant life within our lakes. During my term as Mayor, we installed a turbidity barrier at the south end of Tuxedo Lake to help prevent any further spread of Eurasian Milfoil from that shallow area. We also installed a screen at the Tuxedo Lake Dam to help capture Eurasian Milfoil fragments before they are transmitted to the other lakes. This screen is maintained periodically by our DPW. 

The Eurasian Milfoil is still spreading despite our “pulling” efforts. We have hired a biologist (Solitude Lake Management) to evaluate our lakes which includes reviewing our historical data. Solitude Lake Management will provide us with monthly reports, spend time evaluating the best possible method for controlling the Eurasian Milfoil, and help to maintain an overall balanced lakes ecosystem. Ultimately, our Village will have to select and execute the preferred method to effectively control or potentially eradicate the Eurasian Milfoil as recommended by Solitude Lake Management. The historical data has been gathered for many years by a dedicated group of Village resident volunteers. For this upcoming fiscal year, the Village will assist with this important Village water data collection effort using two of our Village DPW employees (both which are also residents of the Village) and these employees have completed the special training course with respect to how to properly collect these water samples. The systematic collection of the Village water samples (which is then sent out for analysis to a certified laboratory) by volunteers is part of a NYS program called CSLAP (Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program). Continuing this water sampling using the proper CSLAP techniques and continuing to build a history of our lake water is critical to identifying the best possible management of our lakes. To be part of the CSLAP program, the Village must have volunteers who will participate in the program and go for training. As a Village board, we should encourage such community involvement.

Occasionally, our lakes will also experience an algae “bloom” which will turn the water to an opaque greenish-blue color. The DPW sends samples of our water during these blooms to Solitude Lake Management for analysis. Historically, we have treated/prevented these algae blooms with copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is approved by the NYDEC and we have been applying copper sulfate to Tuxedo Lake primarily for many years. Solitude Lake Management will continue to evaluate and recommend to the Village a cost effective substitute for copper sulfate, if available, that is approved by the NYDEC regarding algae "bloom".

It is incumbent on all of us to take great care to not contaminate our lakes. In NYS, the use of phosphate based fertilizers is forbidden (nor can these types of fertilizers be sold in NYS). I also expect to work with the Board and with the DPW to endeavor to employ materials that are applied to our roads during the winter which both allow for safe transit by our residents during snow and ice storms, but which minimize contamination of our lakes to the maximum extent through best management practices.

Lastly, similar to the Tree Advisory Board/Tree City USA and Trails Committee, we are in the process of re-establishing the Lakes Committee. Along with the Board, the Lakes Committee will be the stewards of our lakes.

Regards,
Mary Jo

David McFadden:

Friends,

I believe that the Board has taken steps to protect the Tuxedo Lake, Pond No. 3, and the Wee Wah.

Perhaps the most pressing problem is the Milfoil, a widely distributed and highly invasive aquatic plant that is present in all three lakes. Trustee Alan McHugh is your Lakes Trustee responsible for the day-to-day management of the lakes, and is aggressively exploring means to eradicate the Milfoil. He has advocated an increase in the budget to deal with this problem and come up with the best solution from the numerous methods that the experts have presented to the Board and to the public at Village meetings.  The hiring of consultant SOLitude Lake Management will provide the Board and our community with critical analysis of our lakes. However, there are budgetary limitations. This is where I split from our current Mayor. We need a change in our attitude and commitment to Lake Management, including increasing its budget annually so we can effectively solve the Milfoil and algae problems in the lakes, which is essential for the future of our drinking water.

Last year was the worst algae we have seen in several years. We have rules in place that address the use of fertilizers that contain nutrients that feed the algae, but enforcement is lagging. I will make this a priority. Not only is algae malodorous and unsightly, it has a negative affect on home showings, the Wee Wah Beach, Fish and Boat Clubs, and the Village Boat Club. We should never underestimate the importance of our “quality of life” issues. One solution is to re empower our volunteer Lake Wardens, which in the past have been our Paul Revere’s.

Next comes the repair and reclassification of the Pond No: 3 dam, and reconstruction of the Wee Wah dam. This effort was spearheaded by the Board, the Finance Committee, and the Village Engineer. They conducted the field surveys, studies, engineering, design, bidding process, and the DEC permit process, with help from Alan Yassky and our former Building Inspector. Providing the other piece of the puzzle, The Finance Committee and our Bond Attorney explained the Bond process to the Board. Our volunteers and professionals deserve the credit.

The next Mayor will be knee deep in construction projects that affect our lakes, and construction management experience is mandatory. When I look at the current Board members and candidates, I believe my background is the most qualified to meet these challenges. Thank you for taking the time to read my answer.
I respectfully ask for your vote on June 20th.

MAC

Trustee Candidates

Claudio Guazzoni:

­­­In 1850, before the 3 dams were built, Tuxedo Lake was much thinner, and the Upper and Lower Wee Wah’s were merely parts of a brook, with the Corduroy Continental Road running along the clear stream.  It took thousands of years for the water in Tuxedo Lake to clarify itself, and I like to think that a human in a canoe back then could clearly see to the 80ft bottom of the Lake.  These Lakes are very precious to me.

To ensure the long-term health of our Lakes, I would do the following:

1.  Put our Lakes in the care of someone who can communicate in a timely manner - Our Village Lakes are a real living and breathing organism... and as with all living creatures, they need a lot TLC on a daily basis.

The Lakes need to be placed into the hands of a Trustee who really cares, someone who has the time and is willing to work each and every day on their numerous an­­d evolving problems.

I think that once we placed the lakes in the hands of someone capable, someone responsible, someone who doesn’t go MIA, someone who is actually capable of returning a phone call… we will immediately begin to see positive results.

2.  Ensure correct mixture of fish - Over the long term, nature is self-correcting… we have had 3-4 fish studies in the past 50 years, and it seems that, the number of varieties of fish in our Lakes is decreasing over time.  This is in large part due to the artificial introduction into the Lakes of a very aggressive species called German Carp.  It seems that in the early 1900’s some of the German Carp introduced into the Lakes for the pleasure of fishermen was not sterilised properly (by radiation) and began to aggressively reproduce, multiply, and viciously eliminate other species.

Furthermore, the waste products of German Carp alters the pH of the Lake water considerably, contributing to the annual algae blooms.  Currently, each year a very specific mixture of varieties of young fish are introduced into the Lakes by the hundreds to combat this issue.

3.  Slow down the chemicals -  Since the 1950’s, when chemicals first became in vogue, the Lakes have been the casualty of all chemical application throughout Tuxedo Park.  Because of the topography, when a chemical is applied at the top of a mountain, or when salt is applied to the winter roads, it washes downward, and eventually it ends up in the Lakes. 

We need to better educate ourselves that, in this case, less might be better than more.

4.  Milfoil – Milfoil is an invasive weed, and like anyone who has a flower or vegetable garden, they know that invasive weeds need to be dealt with on a daily basis, not once a month.  Furthermore, The Village has on retainer some very smart lake consultants (Solitude Lake Management).  I would follow their advice and stop second-guessing them… they are the experts.  I truly believe that, if the Milfoil issue were placed in the hands of a reliable Trustee, a year from now we would no-longer be talking about Milfoil.

5.  CSLAP – The NY State Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program that is managed by the DEC.  The program is an excellent example of a successful volunteer monitoring program.  A Trustee charged with running the program should be leading  the TP Resident Volunteers in a proactive manner, and not engage them in frustrating nonsense.

A few simple and common-sensical ideas… combined with a lot of regular and daily hard work.

Gregg Carder:

 As a Trustee of the Village, I hope to have a major influence on the health of our lakes. I have the time, the tenacity, the thoroughness of work ethic, and the deep interest in helping to move forward the removable of Milfoil in our lakes.

I am available every early afternoon, following my day at Home Depot, to pursue this work. I will regularly update the Mayor and Trustees regarding the progress I am making and on any issues that need to be brought to their attention.

I also want to pursue the education available on CSLAP to further this effort.

Paul Gluck:

It is the natural beauty of our Lakes, nestled among the surrounding cliffs, that make our community so unique – and underpin our property values.  We cannot afford their  progressive deterioration, environmentally or financially.

Historically, management of our Lakes lacks consistency and follow through.  In part this is because management is in the hands of a board of trustees that changes frequently, lacks institutional memory and is  subject to political winds and competing priorities  for attention.    I endorse Trustee McHugh's recent suggestion that each month there be a written report, available to the public,  of  Lake health data.  It's as least as important to see these indicators as the number of untagged vehicles going through the Gate.   I suggest there also be a quarterly or semi annual assessment of the data by our Lakes Management consultant, with perhaps some oversight by a resident Lakes Committee.  Too easily, out of sight is out of mind.

Do we need a comprehensive Lakes Management Plan?  Yes, and luckily we have one.  In 2008, the Village commissioned Princeton Hydro to collect and analyze detailed data on our Lakes and develop a detailed Management Plan.   Many of the suggested action items in the Princeton Hydro Report have not been acted on and have not waned in importance from when they were recommended almost a  decade ago:   For example:  

            -encourage vegetative barriers around Tuxedo Lake sufficient to reduce run off and discourage Canadian Geese,

            -adopt other Canadian Geese management methods (each goose produces 3 lbs. of waste a day in or adjacent to a Lake!),

            -identify, assess and consider remediation of other areas of storm water run-off,

            -look at winter road salt alternatives.

With respect to Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM),  which was not a problem in 2008,  the Village appears to be taking aggressive action to meet this menace.  This is a long-term project; we need to be patient, but attentive.   I support the emphasis  on controlling  further spread  by expanding the scope of EWM pulling, the change in our pulling vendor  and  methodology applied, and installing fragmentation barriers.  We need  to continue work with our Lakes Manager/Biologist to develop particularized  long term solutions  for each of our Lakes, each of which is different  in terms of challenges. 

Most importantly, we have to be willing to make an ongoing commitment to living and healthy Lakes.   In the last budget season,  I, with others, lobbied to increase the Lakes Management Budget from prior levels and to ensure there was funding for projects beyond EWM maintenance.  Looking forward, if elected as Trustee, I will work with the other Trustees, our professional consultants and  the community to ensure our budgeted funds  are expended prudently and  on an informed basis, so  these precious natural  resources can continue to be enjoyed today and for generations to come.

Alan McHugh:

Our lakes are the jewels of the Park and are currently under assault.  Eurasian Milfoil ("EM") is the most notable threat, but there are a host of other issues that also need to be addressed:  geese, soil erosion, phosphorus/salt, and storm-water management.

For the last two years as Trustee, I have been in charge of lakes management.  In this role, I have determined the best allocation of scarce resources, worked with CSLAP volunteers, negotiated with vendors, vetted possible solutions, determined funding levels, and reported to the BOT.

What became readily apparent to me as I began this work was the lack of a coherent and cohesive plan for protecting our lakes.  Hiring a professional manager and creating a living lakes document became a matter of paramount importance to me.

To help frame this issue, between the years 2003 and 2016, the Village spent $335,000 on the lake management.  This sum is a combination of lake studies, testing, mapping, chemical treatments, stocking of fish, and physical EM removal.  In 2015, when the mayor, deputy mayor, and I were elected, the Village was in dire financial straits, in part because the surplus was at a record low and the State had put the Village on credit watch.  Recognizing this, we tabled several lake studies and all funds were allocated toward EM removal.  However, our subsequent improved financial condition as well as the progressive deterioration of the lake environment allowed us to increase this year's budget 100%.  For FY 2017/2018, we have allocated $100,000 to lake management.

What has the Village been doing?

1.  We installed a fragment curtain at the South end of Tuxedo Lake.  This barrier has a two-fold purpose:  one, it helps to control EM fragments floating down the lake and seeding; two, it eliminates boat traffic from disturbing an area of the lake where EM is at its greatest.

2.  The DPW manufactured and installed a screen (fragment barrier) at the Tuxedo Lake dam.

3.  We hired a new vendor for EM pulling and collection.  Our new vendor AE diving uses a proprietary technology (vacuum harvesting) to pull EM.  The vacuum harvesting helps reduce fragmentation.

4.  We will deploy barrier mats on Pond #3 once the installation of the release valve has been installed on the dam.  This is part of the Wee-Wah Dam renovation project.

5.  We will continue to participate in CSLAP.  This a very cost-effective way to monitor the lakes.

6.  We hired Solitude Lake Management.  Professional advice is needed for the health and maintenance of our lakes.  Solitude has been tasked with the following:

               1.  Prepare monthly reports to the BOT;
               2.  Delve into the CSLAP data and water department data to identify problematic trends;
               3.  Highlight best practices with regard to lake management; and
               4.  Create a living document of our lakes.

Irrespective of who is in office, the community can rest assured that the health of the lakes is in professional hands.

7.  We doubled year-over-year funding of the lakes.

8.  We significantly reduced water levels of the Wee-Wah in the hope that lower water levels would kill the EM by freezing it during the Winter months.  Unfortunately, we had a rather mild winter.  This remains an option for future years, however.

Alan NC McHugh
mob 845-325-8492
Sent from my iPad

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Meet The Candidates For Village Justice

In an effort to help residents get a better idea of who the candidates for Village Justice are and why they have chosen to run, TPFYI presented each Candidate with the following questionnaire.   Here are their unedited responses in the order they were received.

VILLAGE JUSTICE CANDIDATE: MARC CITRIN

Candidate: MARC D. CITRIN
Vocation: Trial Attorney for 35 years, representing clients in personal injury, criminal  and other matters. Presently in solo practice with an office in White Plains, New York.
Government Experience

Acting Justice, Village of Tuxedo Park-July 2016-present.
Acting Justice, Village of Montebello (Rockland County) 2012-2017.
Trustee, Village of Montebello (Rockland County) 2005-2012.
Volunteer Arbitrator, NYC Civil Court, Bronx County 1993-present.
US Naval Reserve JAG Corps 1983-1993  Honorably Discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Why are You running for Village Justice? I believe strongly in public service. As a village justice since 2012, I have had the opportunity to use my 35 years of experience as a trial lawyer to fairly and expeditiously adjudicate a variety of cases. I am always mindful of the significance of each case, and the decision that I render, to the involved parties. I hope to continue to serve my community as the Village Justice.
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government? A judge must fairly, impartially and equally apply the law to all persons who appear in the courtroom. A judge must also provide every person who appears in court, with or without counsel, the opportunity to fully present their case. I believe that I possess the judicial demeanor, knowledge of the law as well as the patience and understanding to fullfill these solemn responsibilities.
Candid Statement

I am an experienced village judge and the only candidate who resides in the Village of Tuxedo Park. I am immediately available for late night and weekend criminal arraignments, as well as other judical actions that require immediate attention.

In addition, as a resident of Tuxedo Park, I have come to appreciate the unique and historical aspects of our community. I greatly admire the tradition of pro bono publico (volunteer)service by both the elected and appointed members of the village boards. As such, if I am elected, I will not accept the $4,800 salary that is currently paid to the Village Justice.

With respect to the future of the village court, if I am elected, the starting time for the monthly court sessions will be changed from 5pm to 7pm, to allow commuters and others sufficient time to appear in court after working hours. In addition, as is now common in most justice courts, I will request that the Mayor and Village Board appoint a volunteer village prosecutor to handle all traffic violation cases, so that village police officers will no longer be required to participate in “plea bargaining” with defendants whom they have ticketed.

Last, I believe that there could be no higher honor than to be elected by my fellow village residents to serve as the Village Justice of Tuxedo Park.

Thank you to TPFYI for the opportunity to provide this candidate’s statement

VILLAGE JUSTICE CANDIDATE: DAVID HASIN

Candidate: David V. Hasin
Vocation: Municipal Justice and Attorney at Law
Government Experience

Village Justice - Village of Tuxedo Park, NY
Town Justice - Town of Woodbury, NY

Why are You running for Village Justice? I have been a municipal judge in Southern Orange County for well over a decade. I have been a village justice in Tuxedo Park for the past year and have done much to improve & streamline the courts procedures.
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government? As a town and village justice, I have presided over countless trials and hearings. I have taken testimony from witnessed and have decided hundreds of motions. I have gained invaluable experience in the municipal court grant process.
Candid Statement

The village of Tuxedo Park court has grown over the past year and will likely continue becoming a much busier court than it's been in the quiet past. Circumstances require an experienced justice to oversee the courts ever-increasing caseload.

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Meet the Candidates for Village Mayor and Trustee

In an effort to help residents get a better idea of who the candidates for Mayor and Village Trustee are, why they have chosen to run and what their priorities will be if elected, TPFYI presented each Candidate with the following questionnaire.   We will post their unedited responses in the order they are received.

Mayoral Candidates:

David McFadden

Mary Jo Guinchard

Trustee Candidates:

Claudio Guazzoni

Gregg Carder

Paul Gluck

Alan McHugh (Mr. McHugh expressed interest in participating but has not submitted his questionnaire as of 5.23.17)


MAYORAL CANDIDATE: DAVID MCFADDEN

Candidate:
  • For Village of Tuxedo Park Mayor, Term 2017-2019.
  • If elected Mayor I will appoint Mr. Allen Barnett as my trustee replacement. Allen has lived in the Park since 1998 and is married to JoAnn Hanson. They have 3 sons, the youngest, Cameron, attended the Park School. I want to thank the shortlist of people that volunteered to serve with me. I was honored that they even considered joining me. Each of them would make a terrific Trustee and I hope they consider running next year.
Vocation:
  • Founder/CEO, Consulting For Architects, Inc. 1984-Present
  • Interior Design/Build Practitioner, New York, NY. 1981-1984
  • On the Board of CareerPoint Staffing (Robin’s company). 2010-2012
Years of Residency in the Village
  • Our family has lived full-time in the Village for twenty-two years.
  • Our sons attended the Tuxedo Park School, George Grant Mason School, and Don Bosco Prep.
  • Robin and I have been married twenty-nine years.
Government Experience
  • Village of Tuxedo Park Mayor.       2005-2007
  • Village of Tuxedo Park Trustee.     2016-Present
Volunteer Work in the Village or Town of Tuxedo
  • I have enjoyed many years as an elected and appointed official and as a volunteer
  • Member of St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo Episcopal Church. 1995 o Grounds Committee. 2002 o Usher. 2003-2004
  • Village of Tuxedo Park Racetrack Improvement Committee (Member). 2003 Town of Tuxedo Architecture Review Board (Original Member). 2004-2005
  • Village of Tuxedo Park Mayor. 2005-2007
  • Public Engagement of Village Matters as a Private Citizen. 2007-2015 • Author of The Sunshine Report 2007-present
  • Committee of Fiscally Prudent Residents (Founding Member). 2016
  • Current Village of Tuxedo Park Trustee.
Why are You running for Mayor?
  • To give back to the community I love.
  • To be a thoughtful temporary guardian of the community.
  • To improve the future of the community for our children and grandchildren.
  • To view community expenses through the prisim of fiscal prudency.
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government?
  • Personal growth and experience.
  • New leadership.
  • Inclusive govermence and problem solving.
What are the three most important issues currently facing the Village?
  • We need to elect a Board that will deliver on the successful completion of our three major infrastructure projects.
  • We need to elect a Board that will deliver a long-term plan to protect our local ecosystem of animal and aquatic life, aquifers, forests, lakes, meadows, and negative impact of adjacent developments, reservoir, SEQRA, streams, and water sheds. With the same dedication, we must plan for investments in our Village facilities and properties portfolio, which is comprised of Village owned buildings, gates, disaster equipment, DPW & Police automobiles and equipment and safety inventory, racetrack landscaping, railings, roads, signage, street lights, and sewer and water processing plants.
  • We need to elect a Board that values the well-being of its career employees serving in our administrative, security and public services departments. The board’s responsibility is to provide our employees with training and a conducive working environment with today’s furniture, fixtures, and equipment to insure success. That includes implementing modern human resources best practices to create a culture of success.
  • Electing a Board that listens to the citizens.

MAYORAL CANDIDATE: MARY JO GUINCHARD

Candidate:

Mary Jo Guinchard

Vocation:

Current Mayor of the Village of Tuxedo Park, member of Actors Equity Association since 1980, member of SAG/AFTRA since 1982

Years of Residency in the Village

17 years as continuous home-owner in Tuxedo Park (1999-current), permanent resident (1999-2006, 2009-current)

Government Experience

Current Mayor of the Village of Tuxedo Park (2-year term, fiscal years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017) and Trustee of the Village of Tuxedo Park (2-year term, fiscal years 2013/2014, 2014/2015)

Volunteer Work in the Village or Town of Tuxedo

Cantor/Soloist, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church (10+years); Soloist, Memorial Day Celebration (various years); Member, The Tuxedo Park Garden Club (2015-present); Co-founder, Hurricane Irene Relief Fund Committee (2011); Member, Financial Committee (2006)

Why are You running for Mayor?

For me, being Mayor is a job not a title. The job commitment is 40-60 hours per week without pay, nothing less. I love doing it, have the time, am dedicated and am available 24/7. I look forward to working with our newly-elected and existing Trustees.

I am re-running for Mayor to continue to upgrade our critical aging Village infrastructure, to preserve our pristine lakes and natural environment, to ensure we have safe drinking water, to preserve our historical integrity, and to maintain fiscal responsibility and controls. The various projects I will continue to work on include (but are not limited to):

  • re-building the Booth at the Main Entrance
  • working with biologists from Solitude regarding our lakes and dealing with the Eurasian Milfoil invasive species
  • completing the Wee Wah Dam and Pond Number 3 Dam Rehabilitation projects (projects already underway, construction/engineering contracts signed and municipal bond issuance process is currently underway)
  • completing the re-building/engineering of Clubhouse and Continental road projects
  • refurbishing or replacing 2 or 3 of the Village water tanks using existing (already issued) water-infrastructure related municipal bonds
  • continuing to work with the DPW to identify and repair leaks in the Village aging water mains reducing the expense of unnecessarily treating (and reducing the expense of) large amounts of treated water leaving the system
  • repairing/upgrading the East Village water main
  • continuing with the repair of our sewage lines in various basins within the Village
  • working with donors (to the Village of Tuxedo Park) for specific purposes within the Village (i.e. trails maintenance, renewal of the native “racetrack” property, renovation of the historic “Keep” building at the Main Entrance, etc.)
  • pursuing/receiving more grants for non-road related purposes such as emergency preparedness, police equipment, dam projects ($100k in dam-related grants already approved), and various other purposes
  • installing micro cell phone towers to improve cell phone reception in the Village (project currently being negotiated with Verizon and want to pursue with ATT; sites being explored are Village water tanks and other Village infrastructure)
  • improving/upgrading overall service for the Village residents in terms of security, the Village code
  • maintaining/improving overall road maintenance (including the reduction in use of materials that are harmful to our lakes)
  • educating all on the eradication of the use of phosphate-based fertilizers (NYS law)
  • supporting the establishment of committees such as the Tree Advisory Board/Tree City USA, the Financial Committee, the Advisory Committee (focus at this time on Pilgrim Pipeline), the Lakes Committee and more
  • continuing to prevent the Pilgrim Pipeline from having any direct or indirect impact on the Village
  • continuing to ensure that the Tuxedo Farms development in the Town of Tuxedo does not provide security or other risks to the Village
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government?

Results, experience, hard work, organizational skills, leadership, listening, and I directly respond to Village residents and my fellow Trustees (or anyone for that matter) within a very short time frame

What are the three most important issues currently facing the Village?

Aging Village infrastructure/main entrance Booth, lakes/environmental management, managing risk (security, financial/taxes, etc.)


TRUSTEE CANDIDATE: CLAUDIO GUAZZONI

Candidate:

Claudio Guazzoni

Vocation:

Hedge Fund Manager – investor in technology and biopharma

Years of Residency in the Village

I moved to the Village in 1999, 18 years ago.

Government Experience

2015-2017 Deputy Mayor & Village Trustee
2006-8 Served on the Village Board of Architectural Review (BAR)

Volunteer Work in the Village or Town of Tuxedo

2008-14 Served 6 years on the Vestry of The Church of St Mary’s in Tuxedo Park
1999-present Currently serve as Minister of the Euchrist & Layreader at St Mary’s
2004-6 Tuxedo Park Library – served on Board of Directors

Why are You running Village Trustee?

I am running for Village Trustee for the following reasons:

  • To preserve and maintain our unique “Village way-of-life”
  • To control Village expenses to slow property tax hikes
  • To continue the progress made on the list of infrastructure repair
  • To restore the long-term health of our ailing lakes
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government?

I shall bring to the Village Government the following attributes:

  • - Financial Prudence and Budgetary Oversight
  • Deep political connections in the Town and especially in Orange county
  • Innate ability to mitigate disagreements, before they become full-blown lawsuits
  • In summary, to govern with Common Sense…!
What are the three most important issues currently facing the Village?

In my opinion, the three most important issues currently facing the Village are the following:

  • Financial encroachment from outside of the Village (ever-increasing School taxes; ie, escalating Orange County taxes are 54% of our tax bill)
  • Correctly bringing to successful completion current infrastructure projects:
  • o Dam, with it’s historically correct high water level of 496 feet
  • o Ensuring that the Main Gates are rebuilt in a historically correct and esthetically pleasing manner
  • o Ensuring Verizon Wireless cell towers are properly installed and mobile phone coverage is at 100% of Village residents, other carriers to follow suit
  • Constantly safeguarding the life-long investment that is your home, setting up the proper conditions and Best Village Management Practices, so that your home can gain in value each year

TRUSTEE CANDIDATE: GREGG CARDER

Candidate:

Gregg M. Carder

Vocation:
  • 21 years with Smith Barney/Citigroup as an AVP software engineer
  • 8 years as a Real Estate Salesperson in Orange County
  • Decades as Pro singer in NYC, especially 30 years in the Choir of St. Thomas Church, 5th & 53rd
  • Currently a Merchandizing Associate at Home Depot, Mahwah, NJ
Years of Residency in the Village

Since summer 2008

Government Experience

None yet, but many years of corporate administrative experience under my belt

Volunteer Work in the Village or Town of Tuxedo
  • Member Village Trails Committee
  • Several years of participation in the Saturday morning Soup Kitchen at St. Thomas Church
Why are You running Village Trustee?
  • To bring a new and impartial voice to Village administration
  • Able to commit the time required to advocate and work towards solutions to Village issues
  • Deep concern about the environmental health of the Village
  • To enable all members of our wonderful community to have an equal voice regardless of social standing or status
What attributes will You bring to the Village Government?
  • Honesty
  • Impartiality
  • Open mindedness and acceptance of all Village residents
  • Tenacity and thoroughness
  • Excellent Communication skills
What are the three most important issues currently facing the Village?
  • Ensure impartiality in the application and enforcement of Village laws and assessments, and ending selective enforcement and capricious prosecutions
  • Lack of term limits for Building Inspector/Code enforcer and Tax Assessor positions and the rotation of individuals fulfilling these roles
  • The health of our three lakes and the successful resolution of the Milfoil problem
  • The proper restoration of the Weewah dam

TRUSTEE CANDIDATE: PAUL GLUCK

Candidate:

Paul Gluck

Vocation:

Attorney (retired), Principal in Employment Services Firm

Years of Residency in the Village

My wife, Ellen, and I have resided in  Tuxedo Park since the summer of 2008.

Government Experience

Village Trustee,  2014 -2016

Deputy Mayor,   2015-2016
Volunteer Work in the Village or Town of Tuxedo

Trails Committee,  Formation to Date

Secretary (2012-2014), Village Boat Club 
Why are You running Village Trustee?

Having served with both the current Mayor and her predecessor, I believe I was a positive force on the Board and feel good about accomplishments I contributed to that will  have a long term impact on quality of life within the Village.  We  continue to face  many challenges and  it is my hope to once again offer my service and perspective in support of good policy and common sense decisions.

What attributes will You bring to the Village Government?

Good judgment, independence,  integrity,  the ability to listen and the commitment to act reasonably,  fairly and on an informed basis, the belief that government should  be as non-intrusive as possible, and a desire to preserve the characteristics of our Village that make it so unique.

What are the three most important issues currently facing the Village?

The health of our Lakes and continuing to build an  active, professionally advised, Lakes Management Program. 

Fiscal  prudence, ensuring our tax dollars are spent wisely and effectively and our surplus is maintained at an adequate level.

In meeting the issues and challenges we face, always seeking to  preserve  the unique character of Tuxedo Park and all that make it such a  wonderful place to live.

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Candidates for Village Election 2017

The Village election will take place on Tuesday, June 20 at the Village Office from 7am-9pm.  The election will fill the position of Mayor, currently held by MaryJo Guinchard as well as two Trustee seats, which are currently held by Alan McHugh and Claudio Guazzoni.

The following candidates have submitted nominating positions for the position of Mayor:

MaryJo Guinchard – Apple Party

David McFadden – Taxes-Infrastructure-Services Party

The Following Candidates have submitted nominating positions for the position of Trustee:

Alan McHugh – Labrador Party
Claudio Guazzoni – Evergreen Party
Paul Gluck – Tall Tree Party
Gregg Carder – 3 Lakes Party

Additionally, candidate Marc Citrin (Park Bench Party) will challenge encumbant David Hasin for the position of Village Justice.

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