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Questions for Bronxville Candidate Poorman

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The March 20 village elections are quickly approaching and even though newcomer Guy Longobardo and incumbent Anne Poorman are running unopposed for the two open seats on the Bronxville Village Board, The Daily Bronxville is asking candidates to weigh in on pertinent village topics.

Poorman is running on the Republican line, and follows Longobardo, who was the first of the two candidates to have his answers published .

Tell us about yourself.

Anne W. Poorman. JD from New York University School of Law, BA from Mount Holyoke College. Resident of Bronxville for 19 years. Married. Three children who attended Bronxville Schools K-12. Age 52.

What qualifies you for a seat on the Bronxville Village Board? Tell us about your volunteer history and experience.

I have served on village board of trustees for seven years, five years on Bronxville Zoning Board of Appeals, various other leadership positions at Reformed Church (elder, vice-president of consistory) and Bronxville School, past member Friends of Sarah Lawrence Library Board.

During tenure on village board, I have been liaison to the library, chamber of commerce, police department, justice department, senior citizens, Bronxville schools. Chaired two ad hoc groups: Bronxville Downtown Revitalization Committee and Parking Committee.

What are some of your achievements as a Trustee?

Two most arduous accomplishments were 1) executing the first full tax reassessment in nearly 40 years and 2) achieving zero percent tax increase two consecutive years by examining all programs and costs with a microscope. Wondrously, we accomplished the zeors without being instructed to do so by the governor.

Ongoing responsibility of which I am proud: I try to be accessible to residents and strive for a good turn-around time on issues presented to me. The issues that citizens raise are not always limited to liaison subject matter. As the only trustee in Bronxville during the work week, I have tried to be flexible and available for residents, Mayor Mayor Marvin and Village committee needs.

What are some of the challenges on the horizon for the village and how will you handle them?

We have a number of challenges on the horizon.

1. Maintaining high level of services while keeping tax increases to a minimum. This is especially challenging with unfunded mandates, increased fixed costs and need to repair infrastructure on a sensible schedule. Number crunching during budget season seems like a boring item to enumerate as a challenge but it is the most important work we do. We must present a balanced budget every year.

2. Westchester County Housing settlement. How can village comply with its legal obligations without financially overburdening taxpaying residents and respecting our zoning and planning codes? It's a balancing act.

3. Install new and improved downtown lighting. I have suggested to the mayor that a citizens committee be formed to have knowledgeable residents sift through the many options. The historical conservancy has been a great help so far because we trustees claim no expertise in luminescence or municipal streetscape planning. I believe we have talented residents who might have valuable input.

4. Finish negotiations on three different union contracts: PBA, Teamsters and CSEA.

Would you change anything about how the village board and the library board handled the dispute with Laura Eckley?

The library board of trustees has undertaken director searches in the past. It is not a novel situation, nor is it traumatic. The departure of a director is additional work for the library board and for employees and for that we are grateful. But the library continues to function well.

There are top quality candidates available. We have been assured by the executive director of Westchester Library System, Terry Kirschner, that Bronxville is considered an excellent and desirable place to work. He believes we should be able to find a new director without great difficulty. All will be well.

It is unproductive to revisit library board decisions. I fully support the members of the library board. They are talented residents of the highest integrity with the best interest of the library and the village at heart.

It is looking likely that Bronxville will receive $6 million to complete a flood remediation project. But the village and the school will have to raise 25 percent of the total cost of the grant.

Are there any thoughts on how to raise those funds and how you will garner public support for the plan?

It is true, under terms of the federal flood mitigation grant, the village will be responsible for 25 percent of costs deemed reasonable. Note that this may exclude some soft costs. The school and the village have agreed to split the expense. The village will most likely bond for its share of the costs except to the extent that this year's capital budget item of $500,000 for flood mitigation can be applied to the project. Current estimate is that the village's cost for Phase I will be $675,000.

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