Letter: Why I Support Bowman and Fadde

I have spent some time looking back through several years’ worth of candidate platforms and promises for our village. Today, we are dealing with the same issues and it appears that we are at a standstill and not moving forward. I am ready for a change in this village. We really do need “a breath of fresh air” and new trustees to move us forward. Please join me and vote for Michael Bowman and Cathryn Fadde on March 18.

Cheryl Allen
Cold Spring

8 thoughts on “Letter: Why I Support Bowman and Fadde

  1. I would like to know what “moving forward” means here. It is a phrase Michael Bowman uses too, but it sounds pretty vague to me. In fact, when pressed for specifics, the candidates you mention here said only that they would put cameras in the courtroom and give the village clerk a scanner. How are those things going to lower taxes? How are they going to help the village get better terms from a bank if it requires a bond to finance sewer improvements? How are they going to deliver new revenue streams to the village? The residents of the village need and deserve more than catch phrases, opinions and accusations. They need people with experience with the serious issues facing the village — experience that comes from managing large-scale projects. If the two candidates you support have that experience, they have been very quiet about it.

  2. Regardless of who you may support for Trustee in this election, the Village is not at a standstill. The following is by no means an exhaustive list of what our Village Board has been doing for the Village:

    ~ Last November, Mayor Ralph Falloon, Trustee Matt Francisco and I helped worked out a compromise temporary retail location for the Post Office, redirecting their construction away from the Marion & Benedict corner lot.

    ~ This year the Village Board responded to the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce’s request for assembly of a Holiday Lighting Committee for 2014. All interested residents are encouraged to apply.

    ~ The Village Board has put out a call for residents interested in participating on a 2014 parking committee to take up the long-overdue exploration of Village parking issues and potential revenue opportunities.

    ~ The Village Board appointed *all residents* who sent letters of interest in participating in the Tree Advisory Committee – a committee established to research and make recommendations to the Village Board about a Tree Management Plan, a Tree Ordinance and a Tree Board comprised of volunteers to engage in long-term management and organizing around street tree maintenance, fundraising, volunteer assistance with Main Street Tree Beds, the Village Tree Nursery and Citizen Pruners Brigade.

    ~ The Village Board enacted the widely supported Formula Business / Fast-Food, Drive Thru Restrictions law.

    ~ The Village Board worked with the DEC to revise its Record of Decision, expanding the Coal Tar Remediation area so that more toxic waste will be removed from our Village property at the 5 New Street.

    ~ The Village Board joined two counties and three towns to participate in development of the Hudson Fjord Trail, a project that will include extended Village sidewalks on Fair Street, creating safe pedestrian way out to Mayor’s Park and to the Village border.

    ~ The Village Board negotiated and executed easements with MTA in order to legally access and undertake repair work on our West Street Pump Station, ensuring sewer service to Village residents west of Lunn Terrace.

    ~ The Village Board contracted for mapping services for our water main lines to provide improved future maintenance by reducing the time it takes to identify the location of a problem in the line.

    ~ The Village Board launched tree-sponsorships for 2013, raising private donations for tree replacement along Village streets.

    ~ The Village Board enlisted and appointed volunteers for multiple vacancies on all three of our standing boards: Zoning, Planning and Historic District Review.

    ~ The Village Board coordinated with our Village Highway Department and our County Highway Department critical street tree maintenance service performed or arranged for by Putnam County, improving public safety and saving tax dollars.

    ~ The Village Board launched the Emergency Preparedness / Flooding Task Force in response to requests from residents in lower altitudes for a committee that will address needs for emergency action planning in the Lower Main Street neighborhoods and Village-wide..

    ~ The Village Board applied for and was awarded $75,000 in NYSERDA funding for zoning code updates and historic district code updates through NY State’s 2013 Consolidated Funding Application process.

    ~ The Village Board trustees and Mayor spent many (seasonably warm) hours last summer reviewing resumes and conducting interviews with law firms, independent attorneys, engineers and planning consultants until we identified and hired qualified support in service to our Village: Special Counsel for development of the Formula Business, Fast Food & Drive-Thru Restrictions Law, Special Counsel to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Special Counsel for the B4A Rezoning Petition (Butterfield), Planning Consultants for the Planning Board’s review of the B4A Rezoning Petition, and finally a full-service legal firm providing counsel, under a cost-saving retainer.

    ~ The Village Board saw through the successful completion of the water main relining project – ensuring clean water and fire flows to meet the needs of the Village. This was managed carefully to balance safety requirements necessary for an international cycling event and street fair to promote commerce and tourism in Cold Spring.

    ~ The Village Board reached a successful compromise on language for the B4A Rezoning petition in order to move that proposed zoning amendment forward into the SEQR review process.

    ~ The Village Board adopted the Cold Spring Indian Point Health & Safety Resolution calling for emergency an evacuation radius of 50 miles.

    ~ The Village Board launched the Village Tree Nursery where small trees can be cultivated and relocated in future, saving the Village money in tree replacement costs.

    ~ The Village Board coordinated with the Town Board for support from the Philipstown Building Department on an as-needed basis.

  3. I am very well aware of the information provided above, it’s posted everywhere on Facebook. Yet despite all those “accomplishments,” Butterfield rots more and more each day. Plus, I like Mike, I like Mike a lot!

    • I disagree that the Village is at a standstill on Butterfield. Last spring the Village Board unanimously put forward the B4A zoning amendment, last summer the Village Board hired legal counsel, planning consultants and appointed new members to the Planning Board. Since September, the B4A zoning amendment has been processed by the Planning Board. As to the decrepitude of the old hospital building: Butterfield’s maintenance is the responsibility of its owner.

  4. I like Mike, and I like Cathryn too! But a village election is not a popularity contest, and there will be times when tough choices are going to be made. This is not one of those times. Matt and Donald are incredibly well-versed in the issues and are the best prepared to lead us as a community forward.

    The decrepit state of the former Butterfield Hospital is not anyone on the board’s doing — it is the result of many years of unkept promises and neglect. Moving forward it is vital that the right questions are being asked and the best deal for us as a community is secured, so we don’t have yet again another cycle of disappointment and further decay. Matt and Donald are the right people for this hands down.

  5. Let’s talk about experience. Cathryn Fadde is a small business owner; it’s obvious she knows budgets and financial planning. Michael Bowman was president of the fire company for many years, a job that included planning for very large capital expenditures, like the half-million-dollar fire truck they bought in 2011. The tax payers paid zero toward this purchase, not a penny increased in taxes, because Michael, like Ralph Falloon before him, and every leader of the Cold Spring Fire Company for the past 100 years practiced sound financial planning and fiscal conservatism. And yes, Michael teaches teachers how to better use technology in the classroom. Scanning a 40-page agenda and posting it to the village website is easy. It’s a matter of workflow and not “impractical,” as Matt Francisco claims. Just more excuses why not to be more open and transparent.

  6. I think the main issues in this election aren’t about what the village board has or has not done, or even about what it might do. I think the issues are about how things are being done and for what or whose agenda. Michael Bowman nails it when he speaks about transparency. I would add accountability. These, by the way, are the subjects of our lawsuit and why we filed it, primarily against the ZBA under the direction of Donald MacDonald.

    What Michael and Cathryn bring to the table are a willingness to not just get the job done, but to do it in a way that brings agendas to light, so villagers can not only have an idea of what’s going on, but they can know why, who’s behind it and for what reasons. In the current state of our village but also in our world, this represents something strikingly new.

  7. Many of the Board’s “accomplishments” that Ms. Hawkins points out in her post are either bureaucratic work-arounds or, meaningless gestures that I guess are supposed to make people feel good about what’s happening in their local government.

    For example, she states that “The Village Board adopted the Cold Spring Indian Point Health & Safety Resolution calling for emergency an evacuation radius of 50 miles.” In case Ms. Hawkins is not aware, Putnam County already has an emergency evacuation program that includes the Village; as far as I know, residents are sent pamphlets every year with detailed maps and instructions of where to go in the unlikely event that there’s a catastrophe at I.P.

    Some of these so called “initiatives” such as the Parking Committee are reincarnations of similar committees that have already dealt with the problem and presented solutions. (There have been posts on this subject right here in the comments section of the Paper.)

    Without spending a lot of time and money, there are two things that can be easily done with the existing grant money and other funding that is available: new, improved, energy efficient street lights and repair of the crumbling sidewalks. By doing these two simple projects, the Village could be totally revitalized overnight. Wouldn’t it be nice for residents and visitors alike if everything didn’t shut down at sunset?