Feiner now claims Edgemont doesn’t care about poor people; Village mayors vow to oppose social service funding.
Village mayors object to paying for essential Town-wide social services.
In the past two weeks, an anti-incorporation resident and a village resident have both written articles about why the Town of Greenburgh's Department of Community Resources should not be funded town-wide, which would include village tax support. This week, the mayors of Hastings Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, and Ardsley are discussing the matter. Hastings Mayor Swiderski said: “it is my recommendation, and the recommendation of [Tarrytown Mayor] Drew Fixell, that the mayors unanimously oppose a move of this sort.” We question whether the mayors’ reflexive opposition to funding Town social services accurately captures the true sentiments of the Rivertowns, which are known to be liberal even within heavily Democratic Westchester County.
Perhaps village mayors and community leaders, before commencing litigation to save taxpayers $70 out of a $20,000 annual tax bill, should hold public forums to inform residents of the department’s town-wide mission, which is to “lessen problems caused by racism, poverty, and cultural deprivation.” We also wonder if the village mayors feel the same way about the social services their electorates do pay for at the county, state and federal levels?
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner accuses Edgemont of shameful motives.
Paul Feiner went further this week, declaring that “those pushing for [Edgemont’s] incorporation don’t want to continue supporting programs that help the poor.” We think that the kind of race-baiting Mr. Feiner is using against Edgemont is deplorable, and frankly, the complete opposite of what’s actually happening. To wit, Edgemont has been advocating for the department, which includes the Theodore D. Young Community Center, while the village mayors are categorically rejecting paying for this social service, no matter how little it would cost, and threatened to litigate.
In throwing a stone at Edgemont, is Feiner also saying the villages are shirking their responsibility to Greenburgh’s town-wide poor because they oppose such a long overdue correction? Or is Feiner saying that their very existence as incorporated villages entitles them to shirk such responsibility? We’re sure that’s not the true sentiment of the villages, but their elected officials are making alarming statements about their constituents' beliefs.
The Department of Community Resources is a critical agency that provides a whole host of career counseling, child care, conflict-resolution, and financial classes that are available to everyone, including a growing village population—services not provided by the villages. Classifying the agency as "recreation" for the clear purpose of shielding village voters from paying for those services is a shameful policy of a bygone era. Defending it now is disingenuous, to say the least. We believe everyone in the Town, including the villagers, would want to see it corrected.
Read below for Jon Lewis’s article which appeared in the Scarsdale Inquirer this week.