What: It is time for Yorktown to invest in our seniors. Currently, senior groups across Yorktown are forced to use an outdated facility with no room for growth which prohibits the expansion of services. Equally as troublesome, the inability to grow means Yorktown is not equipped to provide the current level of services to the coming influx of seniors as baby boomers continue to age. Yorktown must put itself in a position to maintain and expand services that encourage healthy living, social interaction, structured programming an volunteer opportunities to our seniors of today and tomorrow.
Why: The senior population of today is very different than it was 20 years ago and will continue to evolve. Census bureau reports show that today’s older adults are more educated, have higher incomes and are living longer. With more than 6,000 residents of senior age today, Yorktown needs to take a proactive approach that will allow for the expansion of services to a continually changing and growing population.
How: There have been proposed plans to consolidate town departments into modern state-of-the-art facilities. Should one of these plans be properly executed, it would provide surplus property for the town to either sell, develop or redesign for new purposes.
What: There is a parks crisis in Yorktown. Residents continue to look at dilapidated and dangerous conditions at local town parks such as Blackberry Woods, Kensington Woods and Sunnyside. Poor management of our staff and resources have resulted in overgrowth and damaged equipment.
Why: Considering the tax burden Yorktown residents struggle with everyday we should have a local parks system we are proud of. Our local parks should not resemble inner city parks. Yorktown’s local park system should be a model for all communities across the Hudson Valley.
How: Under the Slater Administration Yorktown would develop an interactive map of all town parks that show: where they are located; age appropriate equipment; closes the pesticide loophole by notifying residents when a pesticide/herbicide was last applied; what improvements are scheduled for each park; the cost of scheduled improvements; the timeline for improvements to be implemented; and online registration for any programs offered by Yorktown Parks and Recreation at individual sites.
What: On March 1, 2001 New York State enacted the Neighbor Notification Law to ensure advance notification of the use of pesticides to neighboring properties. Westchester County opted into the state program in 2009 which applies to commercial pesticide applicators, property owners, retailers and homeowners. Recent vegetation management at Willow Park, located on the corner of Curry Street and Tulip Drive, have raised questions over Yorktown’s own notification policies when addressing vegetation issues on town owned property.
Why: Residents and employees should know when and where organic, or potentially hazardous chemicals, are being used to combat vegetation overgrowth. The chemicals in herbicides and pesticides are known to cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, kidney/liver damage and are toxic to wildlife.
How: The town should be doing more to provide information to residents that could clam concerns before they rise. Yorktown should enhance its notification capabilities to allow concerned residents to receive notices when vegetation management is underway at town parks and public buildings. In addition, the town will provide an online account of vegetation management practices cataloged by property so residents can see, before arriving to their destination, if any pest management controls were applied.
What: Yorktown is a community focused on our families. As taxpayers we have invested millions of dollars to improve and expand the services offered by our Parks and Recreation Department. Despite living in a digital world, residents are denied the ability to register their children, seniors and other loved ones for town sponsored programs, or obtain a pool pass, online. Rather, we are forced to take time out of our busy schedules to participate in an archaic system that hampers our staff with an outdated workflow product.
Why: Municipalities who have shifted to an online registration portal have reported 95% migration to that system. This will improve convenience, efficiencies and effectiveness on a number of levels. Most importantly, it will improve the workflow and capabilities of our town staff. Yorktown’s athletic clubs (YAC, SOAC and YYSC) are already doing this. It is time Yorktown got with the times.
How: According to the Yorktown Parks Commission the cost to integrate such a system would be, at most, $14,000 with annual fees for programs such as Park Pass. Yorktown’s total budget for 2019 is $52,000,000. Additionally, by improving efficiencies, reducing staff overtime for extended hours and expanding program reach, the program could eventually pay for itself.
What: Lake Mohegan, Junior Lake and Osceola Lake were added to New York State’s inland waterways list making them eligible for local waterfront revitalization plans to be developed and funded. Legislation adding Sparkle Lake to New York’s Inland Waterway List has already passed the New York State Senate this year. These planning documents address an array of issues from environmental remediation, economic development and infrastructure needs such as finally bringing sewers to these areas.
Why: Yorktown has watched three local lakes significantly deteriorate over the last decade. New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation classifies Lake Mohegan as that state’s most at risk waterbody. The cost to handle the necessary improvements continues to grow as time passes and conditions worsen. Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans can act as a sword or a shield by cutting through years of neglect by collaborating with our government partners on the state and federal levels.
How: A Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan is a collaborative planning documents that requires stakeholders on the local, state and federal levels of government to engage in this process. As Supervisor, my administration will immediately begin this process, build critical partnerships here in Yorktown and expand to our cohorts in Albany and Washington.