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Campaign Platform for November 2014

Irvington Democratic Committee Candidates

Collaborative, Responsive Government

We look forward to continuing the Board of Trustees’ open, efficient and fiscally responsible government.  We are committed to exploring and understanding every issue in detail; our overriding priorities are communicating with village residents, listening to their concerns and interests – and basing decisions on what benefits the village as a whole.

Demystify the Planning Process for Residents and Businesses

The implementation of the Village “Welcome Mat,” which was created by the Irvington Business Improvement Committee, helps new and existing businesses avoid unnecessary costs and confusion by clearly detailing building code requirements and approval procedures for building and remodeling.  We need the same user-friendly guidelines for residents.  Using the “Welcome Mat” as a model, we support the continued creation of clear, step-by-step site plan approval checklists and guidelines for residents and businesses.  For major projects, we believe it would be helpful to require preliminary project review meetings with all interested stakeholders – BEFORE significant architectural and engineering design costs (and time) have been incurred.  We also support the creation of a new planning process for “minor” site actions—which will result in a simplified application, review and approval process for smaller projects, saving applicants both time and money.

Help Local Businesses Thrive

We will continue to strengthen the Village’s business district. We plan to build on the momentum created by the Board of Trustees and the villagein the past year by opening further dialogue with local business owners and better understanding their challenges – whether in terms of rent, foot traffic, parking, diversity of services or village policies – so we can work together to address them. We will also continue to develop creative ways to highlight and leverage Irvington’s unique history, to attract visitors who can shop and dine at our local establishments. A thriving business district provides the convenience of “shop local” products and services for residents, helps alleviate the tax burden on homeowners, and creates a strong sense of community. 

Enhance our Main Street

Main Street is the heart of Irvington, and we support the continued enhancement and beautification of this central thoroughfare.  The collaborative efforts of the Historical District Committee and the Board of Trustees were successful this year in gaining designation for our Main Street area as a state and federal historical district which offers special distinctions, protections and funding opportunities—all of which can help our Main Street community in a variety of ways.  Through consultation with expert urban planners, the Board of Trustees has identified a number of areas for improvement including pedestrian safety, traffic flow, benches and trash receptacles and other aesthetic modifications.  We also support the ongoing project to preserve and restore the exterior of our landmark Town Hall.  We look forward to working with the community to ensure that any next steps for Main Street improvement reflect informed public dialogue, shared priorities and thorough cost-benefit analyses. 

Encourage Housing Options

We are committed to finding ways to ensure economic growth and affordability that will encourage both younger and older residents to move to and/or stay in Irvington.  We will continue to work with the recently formed Housing Committee to discuss the housing needs of students, young professionals, empty-nesters, seniors, young families and residents with limited resources.

Protect Quality of Life and the Local Environment

Much of Irvington’s appeal is its natural beauty, and we want to preserve that beauty for generations to come.  We will seek to support, monitor, and enhance the Board of Trustees’ Climate Action Priorities, as well as specific sustainability and cost-savings initiatives brought forward by the Green Policy Task Force.  For example, for both environmental and cost-saving benefits, we will encourage making village buildings and street lighting more energy-efficient.  We will strongly encourage flood mitigation projects and the development of detailed disaster planning.  We hope to ensure environmental protection of our local natural resources, through, for example, the adoption of a water-quality monitoring program for the reservoir in order to detect any potential negative impacts from new or ongoing development.  Similarly, we will encourage the village to adopt a sustainability checklist by which to evaluate environmental impacts of any proposed municipal activity or project.

Promote Cross-Community Collaboration

When neighboring municipalities work together to procure needed supplies and services, such as asphalt contracts for the resurfacing of roads or quantity purchase of LED streetlight hardware, they can often achieve significantly lower prices and reduce the costs related to procurement and the competitive bidding process.  We will encourage the village to explore all opportunities for partnering with other local municipalities in order to share resources, technical expertise and purchasing power.

Review of Zoning, Development and Preservation of Open Space

We will diligently monitor proposed development to protect Irvington’s “look & feel.”  We will continue to encourage community feedback to ensure that Irvington’s open spaces and natural resources are protected. As part of this commitment, we will work to ensure that the village’s 2003 Comprehensive Plan is updated both to reflect our community’s current needs and conditions, and to provide opportunities to enhance zoning protections and quality-of-life goals.

Irvington Library

Not only is our Burnham library building an historical and architectural gem, it is also an indispensable community resource that boasts a wide range of program offerings for nearly every segment of the village population.  From programs for adults and children to resources for jobseekers and promoting local authors, it is important to ensure that the village’s annual budget planning maintains the library’s hours, staffing and services.

Constituent Services

We are committed to making local government accessible to everyone.  Recent improvements and enhancements to the village website have helped to make information more readily available to residents.  We look forward to building on the momentum of the collaborative efforts of the current Board of Trustees along with our invaluable volunteer committees, boards, departments and village administrator to keep residents informed and make sure that any questions and concerns are always fully addressed.  We will listen closely to our constituents and welcome input so that we can best represent every Irvington resident.

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