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Message from the Mayor: DPW Consolidation Study kick-off and survey results
Fellow residents -

I wanted a dedicated note on the DPW consolidation study which begins this month, since it may have a bearing on services that affect all of us and is one of the primary roles of local government.  The Department of Public Works picks up your garbage, fixes potholes, keeps the storm grates and street drainage working, maintains street signs, removes tree limbs, and the other myriad functions to keep our roads passable. This note describes how the study will unfold, as well as the results of the survey that we took in January on the consolidation effort.

We are scheduling a public session on March 27th at 7:30 in the Community Center where our consulting firm will be presenting to the public on the process they intend to follow as they carry out their study of a range of possible consolidation options between Hastings and Dobbs Ferry of our two DPWs.  The study will first examine several options (ranging from just sharing facilities to a full-blown consolidation), which will then be presented to the public and the respective boards in each community in a few months.  Once the two communities agree which one is the preferred option, the consulting company will  carry out a more in-depth analysis which will then be presented to the two Village Boards which will then decide next steps.  We are early in this process.  Nothing yet is locked down or pre-judged, and we intend to let this process unfold in a fair and impartial manner.  

Last month, we surveyed Hastings resident about the consolidation study via an email survey and physical survey forms which were available at the Library and Community Center. Over 500 of you completed the survey, offering input from a statistically significant portion of village households. The full results are here. The snapshot is that almost exactly three quarters of respondents who had an opinion one way or another favor the consolidation effort, with two-thirds qualifying it as long as the quality of services stays the same. Most of you were happy with village services (the Police came in with especially high marks), though there was less generous sentiment expressed about the state of the roads (and that was before the worst of the potholes appeared).  he comments ran the gamut of thoughtful to unpleasant (and can be read here),  

We haven't typically surveyed on issues in the past, but I found it instructive to get a broader sense of where people stand on this sensitive issue.  People with the time and inclination to show up at public meeting provide one perspective on where public opinion is, as do the conversations I have in the course of the month as I run into people and get an earful, or get emails, and (very occasional) calls or letters.  But, ultimately, that's only a sampling of this village and a poll like this one got a much greater number of people providing input.  We will use such surveys in the future on other important issues.  The (volunteer) polling professional we worked with indicated that the number of responses were remarkable - but no surprise to me since we have an engaged community that cares about what transpires around it.

We will be posting documents and results to the Village website as the study unfolds.  If you have questions, always feel free to reach out at the email below.

Sincerely,

Peter Swiderski
Mayor

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York