Two items on the docket next week may be of general interest:
Dr. Allen Rutberg of Tufts, who we are partnering with on the deer contraceptive experiment that we intend to engage in next winter, will be in town next week to work with me through some open issues. I have asked him to meet with potential volunteers as well as the public to both introduce himself and describe our effort.
From 6PM to 7PM next Tuesday, we are asking anyone who has expressed interest in this issue in the past (that includes quite a few of you...) and would like to hear more about the program and how you could help (ranging from keeping deer sighting logs to actual implementation) to attend a meeting at the Municipal Building in the main meeting room. We'll lay out our plans and describe how you can help and what it will involve. This is a literally precedent-setting experiment that puts us at the forefront of the nation on the issue and provides you a real chance to be involved in something new and exciting. Please consider attending.
At 7:00PM, a half hour before our regular Board Meeting, we will have a short presentation by Professor Rutberg to the general public. He will introduce himself and describe the effort to the public. We will have some time for questions afterwards. Everything will be broadcast and available for viewing online or on cable television.
Sharing a Superintendent for Parks & Recreation
Discussions with Dobbs Ferry have proceeded sufficiently far enough so that it is time to describe to the community our developing plans for a pilot effort to share a Superintendent of Parks and Recreation between Dobbs Ferry and Hastings. I will be doing this at the start of the next Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday at 7:30PM.
Last year, our long-standing Parks & Rec Superintendent Ray Gomes retired after several decades in the position. After some consideration, the Board decided to pursue a pilot effort with Dobbs Ferry to share their Superintendent. This is a good moment to try such an experiment, and an important time to do so. As we evolve through a time of budget pressure and increasing demands on village services, it is increasingly clear that the only way we can do this successfully over the long-term is by seeking out opportunities like this where we share services and look for economies of scale. The transition in Superintendents provides us with a chance to try this out with no need to reduce staff, and the option to evaluate the experiment in one year's time and decide if it is worth continuing. This pilot effort provides us with
an opportunity to build trust - both within our community that such efforts can be done without real impact on the delivery of services we cherish and to build trust between our two communities that such efforts can be done without rancor.
o such effort is ever a negotiation between completely equal partners. We have strengths in areas that Dobbs does not, and vice versa. But the challenge is to work through those differences and to respect what each community wants to keep unique or to itself while also realizing there are plenty of things we can enjoy doing or benefiting from together. One thing is certain, however - we're running to the end of being to afford everything for the same amount of money. And if we don't try new ways of meeting our needs, of offering services - then we will see less. And the Board, for one, plans to try new ways rather than face cutbacks fatalistically.
Uncontested elections are not necessarily the most exciting things on the planet - granted - but I feel compelled to remind the community that the position of mayor (for which I am running) and two trustees (for which Trustees Meg Walker and Bruce Jennings are running again) are up for election on Tuesday, March 19th (the same day of the meetings mentioned above). You can vote at the Community Center and the polling places from 7AM to 9PM.