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Bronxville Government and History

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From The Mayor: Get To Know NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital President Michael Fosina PDF Print Email

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By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Oct. 23, 2019:  An incredible benefit of my life as Mayor is meeting people whose paths I would simply never cross as a private citizen. One of those people is the President of NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, Michael Fosina.

Michael has a long and distinguished career with NewYork-Presbyterian starting as an intern, and as he said, taking the jobs that no one else wanted to get the needed experience, exposure,and leave his comfort zone.  His entire career has been with NYP, and in today’s nomenclature, he would be considered a turnaround specialist.  NewYork-Presbyterian all along saw him as a problem solver, and he turned around Allen Hospital, a truly forgotten outpost on the Upper West Side as well as Beekman Downtown on New York’s Lower Eastside.

The key to his success is that he is a self-proclaimed and proud small-town guy. Raised in a big community-based family in New Rochelle, he knew neighborhood hospital staffs had to do the same – learn the community’s ethos and join the culture. This included attending local Planning and Zoning board meetings and learning the local needs.  All along the way, he communicated and integrated NewYork-Presbyterian culture into the staff, the services, and the specialty care.

He brought this same ethos to Bronxville, and as a consequence, the Lawrence Hospital you knew when you moved here is in the distant past. Beyond fortunate to have a hospital in our one square mile community, our hospital went from having no neurologists on staff to now seven and, in addition seven orthopedists. The hospital, due to demand, has added a second Cath Lab. All were the result of transitioning from a local unaffiliated hospital to one connected with a university network that was able to add major capital infusions and the resources of some of the finest doctors in the country.

NYP Lawrence Hospital now joins only Westchester Medical Center as being one of two heart attack and stroke intervention centers in the County. In addition, NYP Lawrence now has a tier-one cancer center and an acclaimed sports performance center in the Vernon Hills Shopping Center in nearby Eastchester. Thanks to the affiliation with NewYork-Presbyterian, our hospital has over 600 accredited sub-specialists. The Director of Emergency Services was the former head of all the NewYork-Presbyterian/Cornell emergency departments, and he is using the same protocols and standards of the main hospital at NYP Lawrence.

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Michael Fosina; Photo courtesy NYP-Lawrence Hospital

As its leader, Michael Fosina is also about to become Chairman of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an organization of over 48,000 members. He will be the first administrator from New York State ever to hold this office.

My personal connect with Michael is that he is a local guy having grown up in New Rochelle and came home to live within walking distance of his parent’s home and four of his five siblings. Michael went to the University of Delaware to swim on the varsity team for four years and then played water polo for the next ten. After meeting his wife Linda, a New Jersey native, he convinced her to move to Westchester, where they raised their three children. Michael is the proud father to two daughters, CPAs now and graduates of Wake Forest and Richmond and a son Christopher, a recent Alabama graduate.

Michael finds his “relaxation” in adventures, a recent 62-mile bike ride for cancer research, and a 500-mile bike across the State of Iowa. He enjoys scuba diving, reef diving, storm chasing, dinosaur digs in Wyoming, and even a dogsled camp out in northern Minnesota in January. When not “relaxing” outdoors, he enjoys watching the Yankees, Giants, and Rangers, and of course, Alabama football.

As an overview of our hospital, 1500 babies were born there last year and over 45,000 ER visits were recorded. For many of us, the ER is our first point of contact with NYP Lawrence. Due to major upgrades, there are now 24 emergency bays, three or four doctors always on duty along with new nurse practitioners and competent nursing staff. In a new patient service procedure, patients are triaged upon arrival to instantly determine the severity of injury and speed of service needed. Knowing the importance of the Bronxville ER, a priority on Columbia-Presbyterian’s improvement list is an expanded ER to expeditiously serve patients in need.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital was also recently ranked in the top five hospitals in the country and the doctors they educate at Columbia and Cornell Medical Schools attend two of the top ten medical schools in the country. NYP-Lawrence also allows for much more continuing education for the staff, some of which focuses on standardizing care while at the same time localizing the New York Presbyterian protocols for staff and service. As a point of fact, if you are treated at any one of the NewYork-Presbyterian affiliate hospitals, you will be bringing the same electronic record to follow your care.

As a self-professed small town guy, Michael has been impressed by the warmth and friendliness of all the Bronxville residents whose paths he has crossed. He has a commitment to local businesses, shops local, and many of his offsite events are held in Bronxville restaurants or catered by local establishments. You can, and you often see him walking out and about on our business district.

I ask him to share a photo, so when you see him in town, you can introduce yourself and connect with a wonderful addition to our Village.


Pictured at top:  Mary Marvin

Photo by A. Warner



Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


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Bronxville Trustees Take Steps to Improve Pedestrian Safety and Approve Phase I Funding For New DPW Facility PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Oct. 23, 2019: Pedestrian safety and a slowing of traffic speed are the primary goals of the village’s re-designed intersection at Midland Avenue, Masterton Road, and Crow’s Nest Road. At the Bronxville Board of Trustees meeting on October 15, Village Administrator Jim Palmer noted that the improvements installed to date are only temporary, while configurations of the intersection’s open space and the most effective safety solutions are examined and tested.

Palmer stated that planners recommended a reconfigured intersection of the three streets as part of the 2019 Village Comprehensive Plan. He added that the work was expedited when a driver under the influence of alcohol collided with the traffic signal standard, knocked it down and destroyed it. Relocation of the crosswalk on Midland is a key factor in the new design, but sidewalks, new striping, malleable curving, and rectangular rapid flashing beacons to alert motorists of pedestrians also comprise the new design.

Palmer explained that pedestrians walking down Masterton Road on the easterly side had to cross that street into clear open space as drivers were coming down the hill. Then they had to cross Midland Avenue. Pedestrians walking toward Midland Avenue on Crow’s Nest Road to cross Midland also had to cross Masterton Road to access the crosswalk. A stop sign on Crow’s Nest Road had been positioned up the hill so that motorists had more time to gain speed as they came down the hill, jeopardized pedestrian safety.

“The wider you make the roads, the faster people will drive,” Palmer stated. “We have a lot of traffic and a lot of pedestrians on Midland Avenue. We will channel the cars.” He added that a slowing of vehicles has already been observed with the temporary configuration.

Palmer said that the village plans to install more greenery at the intersection and reduce the width of traffic lanes so that vehicles stop at the correct spot, and be forced to reduce speed on Masterton Road and as they make the turn to drive up the hill. A speed beacon device has been installed on Masterton Road to displays a driver’s speed. “It does seem to slow people down when it informs them that they’re speeding,” he said.

At present, the village is testing the size of the turns at Crow’s Nest Road and Masterton Road to ensure they will accommodate fire trucks.

“This is a work in progress,” Palmer emphasized. “The improvements to striping and the addition of bollards are not the most attractive, but they’re only temporary.” He noted that overall, the comments he has received to date are positive and that the village is engaging in outreach with the neighbors in the area of the intersection.

In business before the board, the trustees authorized $910,000 in funding for Phase I of the new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility. Phase I of the project, on the west side of Palumbo Place, includes demolition of the current salt storage shed, and construction of a new shed as well as a new parking lot.

A quorum allowing the board to approve a resolution to authorize the issuance of debt service for Phase I construction could not be reached. Trustee Randy Mayer recused himself from the vote because of his professional association with the municipal bond issuer likely to issue the bonds. The absence of two trustees from the meeting plus Mayer’s recusal left only two voting members present.

Phase II of the project comprises the construction of a new 9,500 square foot DPW building that will include six vehicle bays for fleet storage, a truck washing bay, a mezzanine level that will house a new office for the DPW foreman, lockers, and kitchen facilities for employees.

Palmer described the DPW project as one “that has been in the works probably for a good five years and is an effort to maximize the existing use of the DPW facility on the east end of our property.”

The Bronxville Board of Trustees will meet on Tuesday, November 12, at 8 pm in the Trustees Room at Village Hall.


Pictured:  Bronxville Board of Trustees


Photo by A. Warner

 
Take Back Day is Coming: Recycling Made Easy PDF Print Email

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By Ellen Edwards, Chair, Bronxville Green Committee

Oct. 23, 2019:  On Saturday, November 2nd, the Bronxville Green Committee, with help from the Village’s Department of Public Works, will hold TAKE BACK DAY—your chance to deliver for recycling electronics, used bedding, used clothing, gently used furniture and paper to be shredded. Here’s your opportunity to dispose of these items responsibly while avoiding a trip to a county-run special waste facility.

On November 2nd, bring your items to Palumbo Place, behind Village Hall, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. For those arriving in cars or on foot, volunteers with signs will direct you to the correct entrances and “station” stops.

The Village of Bronxville works with both the county government and local organizations to distribute the items collected to ensure that they are either reused or recycled. Used bedding is taken to a Yonkers animal shelter to provide cozy beds for the animals there. Furniture Sharehouse distributes furniture to disadvantaged people in Westchester County who are referred to them by social service agencies. Click here to go to the Furniture Sharehouse website to see which items they can accept.

Vietnam Veterans of America sells the clothing they collect to raise funds to provide medical assistance to military veterans. According to a representative from the organization, donated items are sold to privately-owned thrift stores, which in turn sell the clothing to the general public.

The county provides a Mobile Shredder for paper, which helps residents fight identity theft by offering a safe way to dispose of sensitive documents. You can bring up to four file-sized boxes, and the shredded paper is recycled.

Westchester county ensures that all electronics collected for recycling in Bronxville, and in the county at large, are taken to licensed electronic waste dismantlers. They remove the data stored on them, dismantle the products, and sell the components directly to electronic manufacturers, both domestically and abroad. This process ensures that toxic elements found in electronic equipment, which can include lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium, do not get into our food and water supplies. It also avoids our participation in the practice in which electronics are shipped to Asia and dismantled by underpaid workers in dangerous conditions. The parts are then disposed of in ways that often pollute the environment.

Since 2015, a New York state law requires that all electronic waste be kept out of the waste stream. According to Environment.westchestergov.com, electronic waste is the fastest-growing area of solid waste in the U.S. and is expected to continue to grow rapidly as more household items contain electronic components.

How are you doing with your recycling efforts at home? If you’re like me, you don’t want to “pollute” recycling bins by adding items that don’t belong there. And you may have questions.

Do you have to remove the cellophane windows of envelopes before recycling them? Yes!

Can I recycle my paper milk carton that feels like it’s covered with wax?  Yes! It’s called a gable top container and is recyclable; rinse first and if you can, remove the plastic screw top and “knob” surround.)

Can I recycle plastic/foil-lined boxes such as those that contain juice, chopped tomatoes, and soup?  Yes! Those are called aseptic and are recyclable; rinse them thoroughly and again, if possible, remove the plastic bits.)

Don’t put your “mixed” recyclables (plastic, glass, and metal) in plastic bags; they muck up the machinery. Just throw the items for recycling loose in the bin. And for glass and plastic recyclables, keep the tops and lids on them.

Don’t forget that you can recycle “thin” plastic bags by placing them in bins at grocery stores. Single-use plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, and newspaper sleeves can all be recycled there. Or, better yet, avoid plastic by bringing your canvas bags for groceries, and lightweight cloth bags for produce, when you go food shopping.

For more information, click on these links:

zerowastewestchester.org, a source of detailed information provided by the nonprofit Sustainable Westchester, and 

environment.westchestergov.com which has information about the county’s Recycle Right campaign.

The county-run Recycling Hotline number is 914-813-5425. And as a last resort, when in doubt, throw it out.

Consider, too, what steps you might take to reduce the amount of waste you produce. Have you considered switching to brands that use less packaging? Are you ready to try collecting your food scraps and composting them in a compost bin in your yard? Or would you support a food scrap collection initiative in the village?

According to Westchester County’s 2018 report on recycling, available on their website, the county’s overall residential recycling rate is 53%. All the waste we do not recycle is trucked 30 miles north to a facility in Peekskill, where it is burned. That takes a toll on our local environment. Surely, we can do better! Why not begin by making Take Back Day on November 2nd, our most successful ever.


Photo courtesy Mary Liz Mulligan



Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

 
From The Mayor: Government Rules and Regulations Impact the Village On a Daily Basis PDF Print Email

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By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Oct. 9, 2019:  This week’s column was prompted by a recent discussion I had with one of my fellow trustees. He observed how rewarding the job was as you learn the intricacies of municipal governing and the processes by which things get done. We both lamented the glacial pace of some processes, but from experience, now understand that for the most part, the procedures lead to more prudent financial management. We laughed that prior to trustee service, we would walk around the village, notice something and a week later it would still look the same, causing us to think, “will they ever fix this?”

The following are some examples of government rules and regs that impact the village on a daily basis:

Con Edison, in a cost saving measure, now contracts out much of its road repair/resurfacing work to independent companies. The outside contractor then waits to bundle jobs to make them worthwhile, hence the proliferation and longevity of those dreaded metal plates you see over many utility projects.

Metro North does capital plans in 3 to 4 year increments. If a community doesn’t make a particular capital budget, a repair can wait another four years. On multiple occasions, the village has offered to do repairs on Metro North property, only to be rebuffed by liability issues and union rules relating to keeping the work in house. Needless to say, it causes a high level of frustration as the train station and underpass in particular are focal points connecting the east and west sides of the village. We are currently focused on underpass repairs and the installation of cameras throughout the Metro North property. Given the railroad offers a vital yet monopoly service, our leverage is much diluted. 

Also related to Metro North, per New York State law, communities have no jurisdiction/control over the businesses they rent to in all their respective stations. They do not have to abide by any local planning and zoning rules—essentially an island unto themselves. What is particularly disturbing is that should they rent to a bar/restaurant etc., which we understand they are in the process of so doing at our station, Village police, not Metro North police, must handle all the possible ancillary issues associated with such an establishment.

Often if something breaks in the village, similar structures are on the verge of doing the same and/or it presents an opportunity to buy the product in bulk for future replacements. However if the aggregate cost is over $20,000, New York State competitive bidding requirements must be followed, allowing a prescribed timeframe for responsible bidders to respond. Needless to say, this is not a speedy process.

Contrary to urban lore, our police officers have no quota of tickets. As point of fact, a speeding ticket that might have a face value of $180 brings to the village approximately 15 of those dollars, the rest going to the State of New York, hence speeding tickets are actually a significant monetary loss to communities as we pay for the police time and adjudication. In contrast, tickets for broken headlights or defective wipers are a “violation” only and the lion’s share of the revenue is retained by the local municipalities.

Our village can only use street/traffic cameras for license plate identification and identifying individuals and not for moving violations such as speeding or crossing yellow lines. Use of cameras is regulated by the State of New York and only major cities, including Yonkers, have been granted the expanded enforcement use.

Speed limits throughout the village are also regulated by the State of New York. We have the lowest speed limit possible for non-school zones which is 30 mph. School zone speed is 20 mph. Any change would require an act of the State Legislature and without supporting accident data and unique circumstance, the request cannot be supported.

New York State also mandates that municipalities buy more environmentally friendly pavement materials which include the detritus from previously milled roads. Though extremely laudable in theory, the pavement material has proven to have a life expectancy one third less than the traditional black top / tar combination. It appears at this juncture that the recycled material in the long run is costing more than the previously used materials when factoring in labor, trucks usage, time and money.

Probably my least favorite New York State directive is the so-called 2% tax cap. Making a great bumper sticker and campaign slogan, it translates so negatively for municipalities. Unlike School districts, communities cannot exempt the cost of doing needed capital improvements from the two percent ceiling. This mandate is probably the most powerful disincentive to make needed infrastructure repairs. As example, if the Village of Bronxville adhered to that directive, we would not have be able to accept the $5 million plus grant from the federal government for flood mitigation as our 25% local share responsibility would have created more than a 2% tax increase in the Village budget. I shared this with Congresswoman Lowey at the time and she was in fact incredulous. As yet another example, in a year that our legislators told us to keep expenditures below 2%, the state health plan raised our cost by 17%.

By law, the relationship between the Mayor and Village Board of Trustees and the Planning and Zoning Boards must be in essence a Chinese wall.  As example, recently a cell phone company was interested in a Gramatan Court location. Regardless of our personal opinions, the Trustees and I had to stay silent avoiding any potential lawsuit citing undue influence on Village appointees.  It is so hard to stay on the sidelines sometimes, but this ethical standard is one I agree with as duly appointed boards comprised of highly skilled people should have unfettered authority, free of the influence of elected officials. 

As you can see, the Village, in its daily functioning, is not as autonomous as one would logically think and in many cases desire.

Photo by A. Warner



Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Bronxville Police Blotter: September 27 to October 3, 2019 PDF Print Email

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Oct, 9, 2019: The following entries are from the Bronxville police blotter.

September 27, 2019, 2:42 pm, Park Place: A pedestrian handed a found bag to a store owner who turned it over to Police. The owner of the bag was identified by its contents, and the bag was returned.

September 28, 2019, 6:01 pm, Pondfield Road: Two motorists involved in a motor vehicle accident with no injuries were unsure of how to handle the incident. They both drove to Police Headquarters, where a report was completed by an Officer.

September 29, 2019, 7:22 pm, Pondfield Road, Taco Project: Two employees were reportedly involved in a physical altercation. It was reported that a male employee struck a female employee in the face with an opened hand.  The female employee did not have any physical injuries and refused any further Police assistance.

September 30, 2019, 9:54 am, West Side Circle: A 22-year-old woman of East Haven, CT was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the 3rd Degree after she was stopped for Improper Passing and an inquiry on her license revealed that it was suspended in the State of New York for failing to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment. The woman was processed on scene and released pending her next court appearance.

October 2, 2019, 9:30 am, Pondfield Road: A 40-year-old woman of Mount Vernon was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the 3rd Degree after she was stopped for No Left Turn and it was discovered that her plates were not matching her vehicle and an inquiry revealed that her license was suspended for Failure to Answer a summons. The woman was also cited for Improper Plates and Operating Without Insurance. The 2008 Nissan she was operating was impounded.  She was processed at Police Headquarters and released pending her next court appearance.

October 2, 2019, 6:35 pm: Officers assisted a distraught mother who was having trouble with a child.

October 3, 2019, 1:27 pm, Kensington Road: A woman reported that a male was possibly urinating behind a tree. The male was gone before Officers arrived.

 
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