By Rick Pezzullo —
As chairman of the Tarrytown Planning Board for 48 years, Dr. Stanley Friedlander helped shape the growth of the village for nearly five decades.
Despite being removed as chair in a controversial move by the Board of Trustees in April, Friedlander, 83, remains on the Planning Board, but is looking to be elected as a trustee on Nov. 2 to be able to make more decisions that affect the future of Tarrytown.
“I decided to run for trustee because I believe I can be more effective in preserving and enhancing the future of our village,” stated Friedlander, who is running on the Preserve Our Village ticket, led by mayoral candidate Paul Janos.
“The future of our quality of life and for many residents whether they can afford to live here (lies) in the power and responsibility of trustees in legislation law,” Friedlander continued. “My experience as chair of the Planning Board will ensure the village we will not permit developers to write and change our zoning laws.”
Friedlander believes his opposition to a 300-foot long, 60-foot high apartment building proposed for 29 South Depot Plaza, adjacent to the Tarrytown Metro North station, which was approved by the Planning Board in a 3–2 vote, played a role in his ouster as chair.
Tarrytown Mayor Tom Butler insisted at the time that the decision to replace Friedlander “had nothing to do with” South Depot Plaza. Instead, Butler said he has always favored rotating such positions on a regular basis. “It’s important that people don’t get entrenched,” Butler said in April.
Having served under 24 different administrations led by Democrats and Republicans, Friedlander pointed out he was always reappointed previously. “It seems the current administration objected to our minority report on 29 Depot Plaza and removed me as chair.”
Friedlander said a change in the Zoning Code that allows 75 units per acre was a “destructive action (that) will destroy our historic village, congest our streets and aggravate our parking problems. It set a dangerous precedent.”
A former advisor to President Lyndon Johnson and Governor Mario Cuomo, along with being a past trustee on the Irvington Board of Education, Friedlander said he possessed “valuable knowledge” that could assist the village with fiscal issues and improve its commercial and retail base.
“Another important reason for running is the poor communications and lack of transparency with the current administration,” Friedlander said. “Residents were not informed about many issues, such as the Washington Irving Boat Club, contracts and leases regarding the Cuomo Bridge, and many other important issues.”
Meanwhile, Friedlander had nothing but praise for Janos, who he maintained “did a terrific job as mayor” in the past. Specifically, he credited Janos with protecting Tarrytown from over-development during his tenure (which began in 1999 and ended spring of 2005).