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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Board Highlights – February 12, 2024

Affordable Housing

On Sunday, February 11th, Mayor Torres devoted her weekly community newsletter to affordable housing and the Hunter Lot project.  She made a sharp distinction between the two and detailed her concerns with the Hunter Lot project and the process thus far.

 

After their statements condemning racism (See HERE), Trustees Young responded to Torres’ newsletter.

 

Young said that while his agreement with her statement on racism was wholehearted, his agreement with her comments on affordable housing was “not so much.”  He advocated strongly for moving forward quickly because “funding is available now and may not be available later.”  He qualified his support for the project and said he will not support any development unless it includes “as many or more parking spaces than we have now.”  He also said it must give flood victims priority and that he wouldn’t support selling the land unless the price increased.  He continued with the “need for actual facts and not hyperbole and hysteria.”  This fervent speech came back to haunt him later in the meeting when one flood victim after another begged him to show the same enthusiasm for a real parallel flood mitigation plan.  See HERE.

 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Contract Cancelled

DEI training for staff and volunteers was back on the work session agenda with the news that Radical Gadfly, the selected consultant, had terminated his contract with the Village citing “significant delays” and a “notable lack of responsiveness and communication” from the Village Manager.  See HERE.

 

We reported on this contract when the Board of Trustees (BOT) approved it in November 2023. We pointed out the expansive scope of work and relatively large compensation, along with the fact that Radical Gadfly, a relatively new company, was selected without any solicitation from other proposers.  See HERE.

 

Additionally, Radical Gadfly submitted an invoice for $18,000 and it appeared on the Audit of the Bills for payment approval at the regular BOT meeting.  The BOT asked for clarification and copies of any work products after which they agreed to withhold payment until more information was available.

 

Public Hearing Set for Ethics Code Revision

The BOT set a public hearing on February 26, 2024 to hear from residents about proposed changes to the Village’s Code of Ethics.  Proposed Local Law D 2024 (See HERE) was offered by the Ad Hoc Ethics Code Review Committee after some provisions of the original code were found to have inconsistencies and an overall lack of clarity.

 

Originally adopted in 2009, the Code of Ethics was intended to establish clear guidance on ethical standards and require public disclosures of interest that may influence or appear to influence the actions of Village officers, board members and employees.

 

The Ad Hoc Ethics Review Committee was established on July 13, 2020 with 7 members to review the Ethics Code to ensure its thoroughness, clarity and effectiveness.  Although the work product of the Committee was expected by December 31, 2020 the process took much longer than anticipated with the proposed local law just hitting the BOT agenda this month.



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