Despite a recent bout with the flu, Mayor Sharon Torres soldiered through the five+ hours of meetings but lost her voice at the start of the regular Board meeting. Deputy Mayor Nora Lucas took over many of the vocal duties.
After months of push back from the former Mayor and her fellow Trustees regarding the Audit of the Bills, Lucas prevailed at the January 8th work session when all Board members agreed to develop a process for the BOT to review the bills they authorize for payment. For years, members of the BOT have been presented with an “audit” which was simply a list of the bills to be paid in that meeting’s batch. Lucas had insisted, after a training session given by the State Comptroller, that the BOT was required to review actual bills and understand what they were voting to pay for. Details of the process are being developed.
Pedestrian safety, one of the top resident concerns in the recent Comprehensive Plan, was on the agenda with three actions by the BOT. At the regular meeting, the BOT approved resolutions to apply for a grant to improve the intersection of Mamaroneck/Mt. Pleasant/Halstead Avenues and to request the New York State Department of Transportation to consider their Complete Streets Concept when developing the plans to repave Boston Post Road in 2026. If adopted by the NYSDOT, the State will consider safety for all means of transportation and pedestrians when repaving. At the work session, the BOT approved including a project on the 1/22 agenda that will improve pedestrian safety and drainage on Old Post Road, an action that raised concerns from residents of Washingtonville who have been waiting years for drainage improvements.
The BOT and Village Manager also agreed to work to develop a capital budget, with annual spending limits, instead of the current capital plan. The capital plan is essentially a wish list with no priorities or analyses of impact on the operating budget for the debt service. The BOT will ask the volunteer advisory Budget Committee, who has repeatedly recommended this action dating back to 2000, to help with the implementation.
Trustee Lou Young asked that discussion on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) be deferred to the March 4th work session and asked staff for some additional information regarding this issue.