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Bronxville Government and History

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From The Mayor: Please Take The Census; Not Responding Has Financial Implications for the Village PDF Print Email

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Pictured: Mary Marvin participating is a birthday drive-by for Dee Sorensen, who turned 95 on April 30th

By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

May 6, 2020: Westchester County is now starting month two in the process of counting all residents for the 2020 national census.

Mandated by our government since 1790, counting people has been the norm for thousands of years. In the first millennium, Chinese census takers were tasked to count everyone down to the level of babies who had exhibited teeth. God even commanded Moses in the Book of Numbers to count all those in the vicinity. In the Gospel of Luke, the Roman emperor, Cesar Augustus, decreed that citizens must be counted for taxation purposes. Many other ancient rulers required censuses to measure and gather their strength to muster armies and levy taxes.

With great political acumen, Benjamin Franklin wanted to count residents of Britain’s North American colonies. He calculated the population at approximately 1 million, roughly the size of Scotland at the time, which had 45 members in the House of Commons and 16 peers in the House of Lords, while American “citizens” had no representation.

The first modern census was actually conducted in Iceland in 1709, and it quite ground breakingly counted everyone, not just men of fighting age or eligible taxpayers.

The first census in the United States was constitutionally mandated in 1790 with the requirement that it be conducted henceforth every ten years. It is reported that the 1790’s census takers visited every home in the United States.

We are not unique as more than 150 countries will undertake a census in 2020 as a norm. It is estimated by 1964, 95% of the worlds‘ population was counted through various international systems.

Many in the world of technology believe Google and Facebook already know more about the population of the United States than the US Census Bureau, but be that as it may, the census is the instrument that will financially aid the village for a full decade.

The cost of the 2020 Census is $6.3 billion, but the results will generate $880 billion in federal aid. Non-answering translates into the loss of approximately $2,500 per year per person to every community.

To translate locally, if 400 of our approximately 6,500 residents do not respond, the village will lose a total of $1 million in funding each year for the next ten years, hence why accurate numbers are critical to financial health. Not to be lost in the financial grant process is the fact that numbers are used most critically to determine representation in Congress. Unless New Yorkers respond in numbers near 100% of the actual population, we stand to lose two more representatives to other states – most probably Florida, South Carolina, or Texas.

What seems to be perhaps intrusive questions as to the familial and generational queries asked, they are actually proffered to be the basis for specific federal programs such as HeadStart, senior services, nutrition interventions, housing, and educational initiatives.

By identifying relationships in households, the government is then able to recognize important trends in society. For example, if seniors or adult children are living with their children or parents in large numbers, social programs can be adjusted accordingly.

The census numbers also serve as a valuable tool for the business community. The numbers and trends help startups and expanding businesses in particular because they rely on accurate census data to determine where their target customers may be found as well as gain a sense of where the demographics tell them a population is growing and thus time for a new business to relocate.

As a guide, the census forms/takers will never ask for Social Security numbers, money donations on behalf of any organization, credit card numbers, or your citizenship.

Contrary to our usual citizenship involvement, Bronxville is not even in the top ten of resident responses in Westchester County. Croton and Hastings lead the county with responses from over 70% of population. We have a 64% response rate and trail communities, including Scarsdale, Ardsley, and Briarcliff.

As you can see, the financial implications could be enormous. To put in context, our entire county has a response rate today of 55.3%, which slightly surpasses the national rate of 54.6% and sadly above our own state response rate of 48.8%. 

But it is not too late to respond. It doesn’t matter if you have lost your 12-digit number transmitted by mail or internet, you can simply call 844-330-2022. Lines are open from 7 AM to 2 AM daily, and a callback option is available. To start the process on the computer, go to my2020census.gov.

The process is quite straightforward and streamlined.

Your response is of immense importance to the village on so many levels, so don’t hesitate to call Stephen Shallo in Village Hall for assistance at 779-4023 or email CLOAKING . We are here to help, and we so need you.

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.






 
Monday May 4, 2020 Message From The Mayor & Police Chief: 750 Masks Distributed PDF Print Email

By Staff

May 4, 2020: Below is a summary of the bi-weekly voice message sent by Bronxville Chief of Police, Christopher Satriale, and Mayor Mary Marvin on May 4, 2020, at 4:55 PM.

In this message, Mayor Marvin says that she and Bronxville Police Officer Cavallo passed out 750 cloth masks in the village of Bronxville on Saturday. A few hundred more will be distributed this week.

Chief Satriale says that he has received inquires about the health of the Bronxville police staff, and that everyone is fine. The Chief says that the police department was very aggressive in protecting the staff early on in the COVID-19 crisis.

The Chief says that he has also received questions about antibody testing. Antibody testing is not a village function. If people have questions about this, they should contact their doctors.

Mayor Marvin asks residents to please "remember our merchants." She says there is going to be a virtual shopping tour on Tuesday, May 3, at 3 PM in advance of Mother's Day.  Click here to learn more.

Mayor Marvin also says that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week and offers a big thank you to every teacher in town.

Finally, Chief Satriale says that they are working on a plan to acknowledge Bronxville School Seniors who are graduating in a way that will honor social distancing.

Mayor Marvin closes with the following quote from the Dalai Lama: "It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others."

Click here to hear the full message.

 

Photo courtesy Bronxville Police Department

 
Photos & Video of the Week, Inspirational Quote & Events PDF Print Email

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By Staff

Apr. 29, 2020: MyhometownBronxville's "Photo of the Week" this week is three rotating photos of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. AirforceThunderbirds flying over Westchester yesterday. They did it as a thank you to healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers.

Below is a video glimpse of the Blue Angels flying over a neighborhood in Bronxville. Click on the photo below to view the video on Youtube.

Mayor Marvin shared this quote from the Dalai Lama in a communication this week.  

"....be kind whenever possible as it is always possible."

Finally, below is local Event Information. To be included in this events section, please email relevant information to CLOAKING .

Upcoming Events

May 3, 2020:  Food Drive at Christ Church Bronxville.  Click here to learn more.

May 3, 2020: Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River parkway will begin on May 3 and continue on Sundays in May, June and September, except for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. The course is slightly modified and masks are recommended. Click here to learn more. 

May 10, 2020: Mother's Day!  Shop at the local establishments. They can be reached by phone or email and will be happy to provide curb-side pick up.  Gift certificates are also a great gift from local services such as spas and wellness centers.

Event Postponements:

Local Election: The local election originally scheduled for April 28, 2020, will take place sometime after June 1, on a date to be determined.

The Counseling Center: In a spirit of solidarity, The Counseling Center is postponing its gala benefit honoring Doug Cruikshank, originally scheduled for Friday, May 1st. We sincerely hope you can join us on the new date of Saturday, October 17, 2020 at the Bronxville Field Club. Meanwhile, be well!

Bronxville Rotary Club:  Pursuant to Government Policy, The Rotary Club of Bronxville is postponing its Annual Benefit scheduled for April 24th, 2020.  Under these fluid circumstances, no future date is scheduled at the moment. We thank you for your continued support, and wish you and your families GOOD HEALTH.

Senior Citizens Council: Due to the current health crisis the Senior Citizens Council 50th anniversary benefit scheduled for April 23 has been postponed until October 15. All plans continue to move forward. We wish all our neighbors good health in this trying time.

Gramatan Village:  The health and well-being of our community is of paramount importance to Gramatan Village. Given the rapidly changing environment, Gramatan Village has decided to reschedule our May 14, 2020 May Magic event to May of 2021. 

Photos by A. Warner

Video courtesy Murrer family



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From The Mayor: There are Many Ways to Give to Those in Need PDF Print Email

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By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Apr.29, 2020: As the days continue, the Covid crisis manifests itself in many ways for many people - - be it exhaustion and sadness for our first responders or financial worries and anxiety for our business owners. They all need us as their Village family now more than ever.

To that end, I just want to recap how we can say thank you with gifts of support while keeping all the benefits in the Village of Bronxville.

It is a win on every level as we can express needed thanks, help out local business owners and maintain the vitality of the business district so that when all this comes to pass, we preserved Bronxville as a very attractive place in which to call home.

The village government, with the incredible support of the Police Department, encourages you to buy a gift card of any amount for any of the first responders – be it hospital workers, Bronxville police officers, Eastchester firefighters, or EVAC staff. Our officers then go around to the various business establishments, collect the cards, and deliver to the appropriate headquarters.

The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce has a very user-friendly and expansive site to both donate gifts of thanks to first responders and/or buy merchant gift cards for oneself to help keep our businesses afloat. Click here to go to the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce website.

As a reminder, New York State rules allow owners of non-essential businesses to be in their stores on a daily basis and conduct business via email or phone. Goods can then be picked up, delivered, or mailed for any customers.

Bronxville school families just recently started a go fund me page to deliver meals to Lawrence Hospital staff. All the food purchased would be from Village establishments. To donate, click here.

The Bronxville Rotary Club has started an Emergency Food Fund for staffers of our businesses who were laid off and do not have a safety net as the days continue. Click here to go to the Bronxville Rotary website, and a description of the fund and ways to donate immediately pops up. The seed money for this project came directly from Rotary funds, and the continued donation of our generous Rotary members helps to keep it going.

The Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Eastchester Community Fund has started a Community Fund Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide immediate relief to community programs that address social, economic, and other repercussions of the virus. The fund will not only serve those in the Community Fund’s current catchment area but, if needed, our neighbors in Mount Vernon and Yonkers. Click here to go to The Community Fund of Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Eastchester website and the donation instructions pop up. Again the seed money for this program was provided through the generosity of current Community Fund donors.

Equally important are cards and letters of thanks to all our first responders. Michael Fosina, President of NYP Lawrence Hospital, shared that the cards and signs sent to hospital workers are displayed throughout the hospital and have served to uplift and inspire the entire staff. Cards to the hospital can be directed to Michael Fosina at 55 Palmer Avenue, Bronxville, NY 10708.

All of our first responders have mentioned seeing the posters in house windows, signs on lawns, or the chalked driveway messages on their way to and from work. They are so appreciative, especially that the younger members of our community, recognize their efforts.

To a person, every one of our first responder organizations has contacted the Village to express their thanks to you for your gestures of kindness, big and small. Rest assured, I have never met more grateful nor more deserving people.

Our special Village is known for stepping up when our neighbors and friends need us, and there is no more appropriate time than now. We truly are in this as a Bronxville family. As I said on my recent call, “Be kind whenever possible as it is always possible.” -Dalai Lama

 

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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From The Mayor: Update on Bronxville Village 2020-21 Budget PDF Print Email

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By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Apr.22, 2020:  As I mentioned in a recent E-alert, possibly the only state deadline not extended was the requirement that Villages approve their next year's budgets by May 1. To that end, staff and trustees have been evaluating numbers and will finalize a budget in the next ten days via remote meetings. The tentative budget is on the Village website for review. When adopted, we will share the final version on all media outlets, but I thought it instructive to share some insight into the process.

The public health and economic challenges currently facing our village, state, and nation are unprecedented and, when combined with the level of uncertainties before us, have made the development of a budget the most challenging of our tenure. However, the village's very healthy fund balance, conservative budgeting, and dedicated workforce will help mitigate the impact.

There is no question the revenue side will be hit and hit hard. Chief among the concerns is sales tax revenue accounting for $1,030,000 in our last 2019-2020 $17,106,000 budget. Given that just a revenue loss of $81,000 moves the budget by a full tax point, the impact will be enormous. Closely intertwined is the ripple effect on parking meter revenue as retail establishments remain closed with no clear date for reopening. All is quite obvious as parking spaces abound on Pondfield Road.

Building permit revenues are currently down, and the trend is expected to continue as people have put the pause button on future renovations and current projects had to cease as deemed a non-essential activity.

Our aid from the state budget of approximately $240,000 remained flat in the governor's budget, but as mentioned in a previous column, it can be removed unilaterally if certain economic conditions are triggered.

Again, given the unique societal circumstances, we are projecting non-real property tax revenue to decrease between $400,000 and $500,000 in the current fiscal year and for revenues to remain down at the beginning of the 2020-21 year, which starts June 1.

As a backdrop, even prior to all the COVID-19 economic consequences, due to the general softening of the housing market nationwide, our village assessor updated our tax rolls resulting in hundreds of residents receiving a reduction in property value assessments totaling a decrease of $54 million in village property values to a current value of $3,115,683,425.

Costs in the police department will increase as a result of a newly negotiated four-year contract in late winter that all sides agreed to quite amicably. The real expense driver in the Police Department is the needed addition of a full-time officer at $94,000 (including benefits) and the possible need of a second hire just to deal with the voluminous administrative work created by the passage of the bail reform and discovery legislation promulgated by the state legislature.

Also, we have two public works employees who will receive salary increases based on step upgrades.

There is some positive news. We will finish the current 2019–2020 budget year $250,000 below budget thanks to savings in several categories including legal fees, fuel costs, liability insurance judgment and claims, snow removal, and the deferral of a new hire in the public works department. The savings will help to offset the loss in revenues.

The most positive and fortuitous number in our calculation is the village fund balance, which is at an all-time high of 43% of operating budget and is available to be used to mitigate and level off a potential steep rise in taxes.

Boards of Trustees in the recent past have been very conservative, sensing a fiscal rainy day could be in the offing yet again and saved accordingly. As a result of their judicious spending, we have a significant pool of reserves to tap. To put in perspective, Moody's and the other rating agencies suggest an unrestricted reserve fund balance of 20 to 25% of budget to maintain our highest possible AAA bond rating.

I have received no word as yet as to whether Village taxes will see any reprieve in payment deadlines or penalties as has been recently accorded town taxes, but we will share as information is disseminated.

In the upcoming tax cycle, you will now have the opportunity to pay by E-check or credit card as we are finalizing the mechanics of implementing these systems.

As everything is in a justifiable state of flux, will we will be in constant touch as to any changes that affect Village policies.

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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