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Letters-to-the-Editor & Commentary

In Response to Kenny Herzog’s Letter

• Bookmarks: 1 • Comments: 9

November 2, 2023

We agree with Kenny Herzog that Tarrytowners should “Vote Based on the Facts”.  Unfortunately, Mr. Herzog, who is a District leader for the Tarrytown Democratic Committee and an aide to a Democrat Westchester County Legislator (both of which Mr. Herzog failed to disclose), appears unable to distinguish his fantasy from facts.

The ADU process was flawed, lacked transparency from its inception, and failed to follow the “sacred” Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) our current Administration loves to adhere to when it suits them but is ignored when inconvenient.  The Comp Plan calls for public symposiums on important proposals such as ADUs, yet the Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF), with this Board’s endorsement, figuratively locked itself in a room for 2 years of private meetings preventing the public from participating in crafting the proposed ADU law despite multiple requests to be involved.  Amazingly, this Board then appeared surprised and frustrated that a proposal that eliminated single family zoning throughout the Village and allowed a homeowner to build a new habitable structure on their property or turn any single-family home into a multi-family unit with no land use board approval or even neighbor notification, was not palatable to many residents who had paid a premium to live in a single-family zone.  Even more surprising and horrifying were the underhanded and bully tactics this Board and some on the HATF used to try and justify the ADU proposal:


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Mr. Herzog’s cynical and simplistic attempt to equate several other local municipalities’ ADU law with Tarrytown’s proposal is more evidence of his fantasy.  Unlike Tarrytown, every one of the municipalities he references requires land use board review and therefore neighbor notification before an ADU application can be approved, but his misstep is understandable since he only moved to Tarrytown in late January of 2023, by which time the ADU discussion had all but wrapped up.  This explains why Mr. Herzog appeared to be absent from all of the ADU public hearings, despite his allegedly strong support for ADUs.  Realistically, had he bothered to attend his comments would have been drowned out by the overwhelming public outcry in opposition to ADUs which the current Board cavalierly dismissed because they had already made their decision – the Building Department’s Certificate of Occupancy Application was updated to include ADUs in January, before the February 8 official vote approving ADUs, rendering both 3+ hour public hearings in January and February of 2023 a spectacle so the Board could tick a box.  Every resident, even ADU supporters, should be outraged by this disgraceful behavior by the current Board.  Despite openly favoring ADUs for the entirety of the process, our current Mayor, Karen Brown, chose not to cast a vote to distance herself from the decision, giving Tarrytown’s residents clear insight to her character.

At the recent Candidate’s forum, Trustee Effie Phillips Staley lamented that she knew families who had to leave Tarrytown because they could no longer afford the rent.  Every other incumbent spoke of affordability issues in our Village which makes their decision to switch everyone to renewable energy, which costs about twice as much as Con Ed, simply baffling.  Mr. Herzog can waffle on about the Board sending out flyers, emails, or whatever other form of communication used, but the fact is that a year into this energy speculation disaster, many people still don’t know they were switched and are paying exorbitant rates for their electricity.  This misguided decision hurts those who can least afford it, and we believe it was overreach and unconscionable, and vow to do everything we can to remove Tarrytown from the Westchester Power program should we be fortunate enough to be elected.  Anyone who is passionate about using renewable energy would be free to enroll with a green ESCO of their choosing.  Note that the Town of Greenburgh sends their residents a monthly comparison of the Con Ed Rate vs the Westchester Power rates, yet despite repeated requests, Village leadership has refused to regularly provide this important information to residents.  Why?

We are most curious as to what alleged “misinformation” has been disseminated, or what “facts” need to be “separated from fiction” in regard to sidewalks, paving, and crosswalks, but perhaps Mr. Herzog brings this up because it’s the one area where it might appear that some progress may have been made by this administration.  If so, that is great, but we need a lot more progress on this front and many others and after two years in office, with so little to show for it other than hugely unpopular and questionable decisions, we believe it’s time to give someone else a chance to help move Tarrytown in the right direction.  Lastly, if “smart investment” involves loading Tarrytown’s balance sheet with $50+ Million in debt, such that at least 17% of our annual budget or $5.5 Million goes to annual interest payments, then yes, the Village First candidates are averse to this as any fiscally responsible resident should be.

We trust that the irony of Mr. Herzog imploring us to vote “based on the facts” in his fantasy-filled letter is not lost on the residents of Tarrytown.

The Village First Team

Doug Zollo For Mayor

Haydee McCarthy, John Callanan, Peter Bartolacci for Trustee

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