In a final newsletter to his constituents, outgoing Dobbs Ferry Mayor Bob McLoughlin looks back–with satisfaction:
This will be my final newsletter. I’m honored and humbled that the good people of Dobbs Ferry chose me to serve and represent them as Mayor to solve problems collaboratively to improve the quality of life in our Village. Our vision for the Village contained common sense ideas backed with historical data and an understanding of how the Village functions. This included six major areas including; resident safety, financial strength, infrastructure improvements, manageable development, open communications and fun. We have achieved so much together in these six major areas:
- The Village was awarded last month with the “AAAs Gold Star Safety Award” thanks to our Dobbs Ferry Police Department. We improved resident safety by implementing roadway engineering changes, enhancing educational programs and by increasing our Police Force, creating a Traffic Unit to increase enforcement. We’ve worked collaboratively with our School Superintendent, Traffic Committee, PTSA, state, county and town officials to implement a school zone in front of the High School lowering the speed limit on Broadway from 30 mph to 20 mph and also lowering the speed limit on Ashford Avenue from 30 mph to 25 mph. We implemented a rapid alert system, thanks to our School Superintendent and Police Chief, for all schools public and private, including daycare facilities within the Village to help secure the safety of our children. We have also upgraded our Police Department and Fire Department safety equipment, including new Fire Department vehicles. Presently we are seeking State support to re-engineer the Broadway Corridor through our Route 9 initiative.
- We continued to improve the financial strength of the Village and have kept our village taxes flat while at the same time rebuilding our infrastructure. This is in large part due to our previous administrations, Mayor Hartley Connett, Deputy Mayor Vic Golio and Board of Trustees, and actions and efforts to increase Village revenue through revitalization of the downtown and the Rivertown Square Marketplace. Moody’s Investors Inc. continued to affirm the Village’s credit rating of Aa2 and our fund balance or rainy day fund is at the highest level. We were the first Village to support our County Executive’s plan to increase revenues and shared technology services, yielding additional revenue to the Village of $600,000 per year. We renegotiated our agreement with Rivertown Square to capture additional funds to complete improvements. We have never been as financially strong as a Village and should remain so in the years to come thanks to our Village Treasurer and staff and to the Citizens Budget Committee. Financial strength allows us to do many things that improves our quality of life such as major infrastructure enhancements to our facilities and safety equipment.
- We have begun and completed much needed infrastructure capital improvements, planned and initiated by our previous Mayor and Board, to our Village’s facilities including; the Embassy Community Recreation Center, Gould Park Pool and Playground, Memorial Park, Village Hall, Cedar Street Municipal Parking Lot and “Stairway to Cedar and Main,” roads, sewers, technology and safety equipment including Fire Department, Police Department and DPW vehicles and equipment.
- We encouraged manageable developmentand analyzed carefully the impact on our Village. Preserving our Village’s river town charm and character is important as we worked to improve the development process, while balancing the quality of life of our residents with the rights of private ownership. We also are moving forward with a Downtown Committee to help initiate some of the improvements approved based on the recent findings and recommendations of the Downtown Improvement Task Force. Our Sustainability Team continues to do great things for the Village introducing most recently our “Heat Smart” and “Community Choice” programs.
- We continued open communications with our residents, improved our website and responsiveness with a “rapid response alert system” to get vital information and solutions out.
- We greatly enhanced our Library, Recreational and Seniors Programs thanks to our Library, Recreation and Senior Program Directors and staff. Our Memorial Day Parade returned thanks to the American Legion and Historical Society and we are proud to have been designated a “Purple Heart Village”. We added many new fun happenings to our already popular programs and events such as the Ferry Festa with the Fall festival Halloween Extravaganza and Field of Screams by Recreation, Diwali Celebration at the Library, Rivertowns Public Market and Holiday Trolley by the Chamber of Commerce and we brought back the “Ferry” to Dobbs Ferry’s Waterfront Park boat dock to conduct cruises.
Our team working together has made the Village safer, financially secure, cleaner, sustainable, energy efficient, enjoyable and fun. New businesses are opening, residents are investing in their homes, developments in the Village and the Ashford Avenue Bridge are completed and our schools are among the top in the country.
I want to thank everyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the last twenty six plus years:
Thank you to the Mayors, Trustees, Village Administrators, Village Clerk, Village Managers and Staff, Volunteers on Village Committees, Commissions and Boards, Police Department, Fire Department, Ambulance Corps, Library, Schools Superintendent, Public School Officials, School Board, PTSA, Private School Officials, American Legion Post 1048, Historical Society, Clergy, Chamber of Commerce, County, State, Town and local community leaders, Village Attorneys and Consultants, Sports Organizations, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, Friends of the Library, Friends of the OCA and Friends of the Waterfront for all of your hard work, support and dedication to continue to make Dobbs Ferry a wonderful place to live, work, visit and enjoy. Most of all thank you to you, the Residents, for your ideas, assistance, support and confidence. We couldn’t have accomplished as much if it wasn’t for all of your help.
I really enjoyed visiting with you, listening to your concerns and stories about Dobbs Ferry at our many events and programs.
Although I’m very pleased that we have been able to make such good progress on our goals as well as many others, due to personal reasons I decided not to seek another term. This has allowed time for a smooth transition to our new Mayor Vincent Rossillo as I wish him the best and believe he will continue to do all the right things for the Village.
May you, your family and friends enjoy a Safe, Healthy and Happy Holiday season and all the very best in the years to come.
See you around the village,