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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Board Highlights November 13, 2023

Mayor Murphy Not Present

Reportedly, Mayor Murphy has accepted a new position within his company that requires travel in the tri-state area and was not available for the meetings on November 13th. Deputy Mayor Lou Young chaired both the work session and regular meeting.

Village Manager to Retire – Sometime?

Deputy Mayor Young announced that Village Manager Jerry Barberio indicated he will be retiring but will stay on until the ethics complaint and any lawsuit with his name on it are resolved. Barberio had originally written that he would leave on or before the end of June 2024. In a follow up phone interview, Young acknowledged that under these parameters it could take years before Barberio leaves.

After the retirement announcement the Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to add an item to the next work session agenda regarding a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a search firm to begin the process to search for a replacement Village Manager. The vote was 3-1 with Trustee Rawlings voting no.

Spending is Questioned as Capital Projects Add Up

More than half a dozen residents spoke to the BOT about current spending and the long list of capital projects on the agenda. Many reminded the BOT that they are spending “our” money. Many urged the BOT to prioritize the spending, including Donyella Beirman who strongly reminded the BOT that “We’re the taxpayers. It’s our money and the only time we can vote is to put you on the Board. You have to prioritize.” She continued by urging the BOT to “Get our house in order; it’s OUR house.”

Later in the meeting, as more spending votes came up, members of the BOT explained that many projects were required now because of past practices of deferred maintenance which has translated into the need to undertake several large projects all at once.

Trustee Nora Lucas, who has been consistently urging other members of the BOT to be more fiscally responsible, again requested that they prioritize the capital projects and work from the priority list. If an emergency project arises, they should remove something from the list to offset the change.

That said, the BOT were faced with fourteen capital budget line items that totaled over $5.8 million. One was included in the Audit of the Bills as a change order and the others were listed separately. After discussion on each item, the BOT did pull back and did not approve every request. The electric lawn mower and trailer ($41,000) was put on hold so the staff could present a gas-powered alternative and the BOT could weigh cost against environmental concerns. A utility vehicle for the Recreation Department ($28,710) was voted down 2-2. The $2.5 million project to renovate Harbor Island Park was reduced to $770K for the Sprayground and new Bandshell. That passed 4-0.

The $1.5 million renovation of Florence Park passed 3-1, with Lucas voting no. Village Manager Barberio once again reported the intention of turning parts of the Park into revenue-generating operations. In total, the BOT approved $4.2 million in additional capital spending, roughly 80% of the total request. This brings the total taxpayer funded capital expenditures to over $10 million so far with more than half of the fiscal year still to come. See HERE for previous article.


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