YORKTOWN, NY – A recent investigation authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission has identified 43 potential violations by public utilities, including Con Edison and NYSEG which serve Yorktown, for failing to follow state-approved storm emergency response plans a year ago when Winter Storms Riley and Quinn knocked out power to 160,000 residents across the Hudson Valley. Yorktown Supervisor candidate Matt Slater helped launch the investigation while serving as the chief of staff for the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.
“This report confirms what we all saw firsthand throughout our community,” Slater said. “The communication from the utility companies to customers and government officials was a disaster. Instead of accurate information, calls were made saying power had been restored when homes remained in the dark. Thank you to the PSC for identifying the problems. It’s now up to the legislature and governor to end the utilities’ repeated mismanagement of storm responses. Our energy rates are the second highest in the nation. We should be getting more for what we pay, starting with adequate storm response.”
Slater had helped author and pass a bill to strengthen emergency plans, adding new criterion which must be included, setting minimum benchmarks and providing stiffer penalties for noncompliance. He says it is critical for immediate action to be taken at the local level.
In Yorktown, Slater proposes setting up an online portal so residents can report damaged or dying trees, alerting town officials of potential problems before storms strike. “The portal will be available all year round and provide a shareable database so that problem trees can be identified, and the proper response can be developed by the town, utilities and residents ahead of an emergency, not once it happens,” he said.
Slater provided hands on support throughout Winter Storms Riley and Quinn, communicating directly with utility officials and organizing relief efforts for local residents. He said pressure on the utilities must continue. Last fall, he assisted in organizing an online letter drive by residents urging the PSC to take action against NYSEG, citing consistent service interruptions and failures by the company.
These efforts can have positive results. NYSEG is now being forced to pay $1.1 million stemming from an investigation into its storm response failures from a windstorm on March 8, 2017, which impacted 48,000 customers. The fine will help pay for improving storm response.
“I have heard from residents across town who don’t even know where to call when trees are lying on power lines,” Slater said. “This is another opportunity for Yorktown to step into the 21st Century and advance our mission of making our town government more efficient, effective and responsible to local taxpayers.”
MOHEGAN LAKE, NY – Over $14 million in local waterfront revitalization program funding is being left on the table since Yorktown has failed to complete it’s local waterfront revitalization plan, or LWRP. Today, Yorktown supervisor candidate Matt Slater joined Council members Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, to call for the process to begin for Mohegan Lake, which has closed for parts of each summer since 2012 due to water conditions.
“Mohegan Lake became eligible for the local waterfront revitalization program over six months ago, but nothing has happened,” Slater said. “In the Senate, I helped secure $80,000 for a new weed harvester in Mohegan Lake and secure special permits from DEC to combat algae and invasives, but these are minor victories. Issues in the hamlet and greater watershed including failing septic systems, traffic, and pollution at the town’s only public access point, the Holland Sports Club, will cost millions of dollars to remediate. A local waterfront revitalization plan can provide those dollars.”
Over a year ago, former Senator Terrence Murphy passed legislation to authorize the town of Yorktown to participate in the state’s inland waterway program to help Mohegan Lake, which allows the town to complete an LWRP. Yorktown Supervisor candidate Matt Slater served as Murphy’s chief of staff, and helped similarly protect dozens of other waterways in communities like Peekskill and Somers, which are already pursuing their LWRPs. Last week, Murphy’s successor, Senator Peter Harckham, passed his first bill through the State Senate, which would authorize three additional Yorktown lakes to have LWRPs, but the town is yet to act on last year’s law.
Council member Tom Diana said, “This is a beautiful lake that I used to swim in growing up, but since 2012, this lake has basically not been open for swimming. The algae is so thick, its almost like you could walk across it. With an inland waterway designation, we would be able to get the help we need to keep this lake a viable resource to the community.”
Council member Ed Lachterman said, “This is not only about cleaning the lake, but cleaning the areas around it. There is a lot of grant money available, we could work on sewers and do a lot of projects that have been a priority that our current supervisor says, ‘hey, we’re going to work on’, but we’re not working on them. I hope we can get the ball rolling on this.”
New York’s coastal and inland waterways program was designed to help be a sword or a shield for communities to access funding through an LWRP to achieve goals including toxic blue-green algae control and phosphorous reduction, flood control, tourism and economic development, while requiring all actions taken by developers, as well as federal, state and local government agencies, be consistent with the plan.
“Walking into the Supervisor’s office, there should not be a learning curve,” Slater concluded. We know what we want to get done. We should not be waiting a year to draft a plan to protect New York’s most endangered lake.”
Yorktown is a place for families. I’m proud of growing up here and my wife and I are raising our family here too.
For Yorktown to be a place where young families grow and seniors can retire, we must have both a plan and a commitment to achieve smart growth.
As I’ve begun knocking on doors in my campaign for Town Supervisor, I’ve heard one overarching theme: Yorktown is just too expensive.
For starters, Yorktown’s commercial tax base continues to be the lowest in Westchester County. So when the town needs money, it looks squarely at our homeowners. Yorktown has fallen behind our neighbors who are welcoming new employers and new jobs. Traveling down Route 6, you see transformative projects underway expanding the commercial tax base in nearby towns and alleviating the pressure placed on their residential taxpayers.
Unlike Cortlandt, which quickly zoned, cited and approved a new ShopRite, the Yorktown Lowe’s took nearly a decade and an estimated $20 million to open for business. And while the rest of Yorktown lays dormant, there are exciting projects underway in Somers, Mahopac and Chappaqua.
Yorktown has earned a reputation as hostile to new opportunity—and it’s crushing our homeowners. Look no further than the cancelled expansion of the Jefferson Valley Mall, which is one of Yorktown’s largest taxpayers. Beyond new jobs, the additional tax revenue could have helped alleviate the Town’s property tax burden, improve services for our seniors and enhance our schools.
I have a plan to get Yorktown moving again and the experience needed to deliver real results. We need walkable downtowns in each of our hamlets and complete streets that improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. We need smarter, more efficient delivery of services. It’s time for our local government to be a leader in innovation and, considering the taxes we pay, it already should be!
I have the experience needed to reform Town government and I’ll work hard every day to get Yorktown headed in the right direction. I believe in public service and, for the past four years, I was privileged to serve our community as State Senator Terrence Murphy’s chief-of-staff. Together, we wrote and passed 50 new state laws benefitting local residents and delivered over $4 million in new state funding for Yorktown. We tackled a wide range of state and local issues, ranging from the heroin epidemic to the installation of a new traffic light at the intersection of Route 118 and Route 129.
Working with Senator Murphy, we partnered with local officials and members of our community to enact important reforms, including new state laws requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for opioid addiction and ending the long-term prescriptions that helped flood our communities with Oxycontin and other dangerous narcotics. We also invested in Yorktown’s quality-of-life by delivering $1.9 million to rehabilitate local roads and millions more for our fire departments, school districts, libraries and vital community organizations that provide important services for local residents.
One such grant provided $700,000 to modernize town facilities. Yorktown has the best employees in Westchester, but we must continue working to ensure they have the resources and technology needed to move our community forward. Specifically, we must create an online system to streamline the permitting process and use Open Data to improve government transparency. The rest of the world is already doing these things and Yorktown’s dormant town government is not keeping up.
It’s time for new leadership for Yorktown. As Town Supervisor, I will bring my passion and experience to the job. Let’s make Yorktown a place that everyone can afford to call home.
Click here to read the original in the Northern Westchester Examiner.
YORKTOWN, NY – The Grand Old Party in Westchester County ain’t dead yet. That is the message republicans are proclaiming as new candidates step up and challenge democrats in the northern and southern parts of the county. In the wake of the Blue Wave that swept Westchester in 2016 and 2017, several new, fresh faces have stepped forward to talk about taxes, affordability, and present a different narrative to the progressive ideals proclaimed by many democrats in Westchester and New York State.
In the Town of Yorktown, Longtime political operative Matthew Slater has declared his candidacy to become the next Yorktown town supervisor. Yorktown, which was a republican stronghold for decades, recently elected its first democratic supervisor in more than a generation, when Ilan Gilbert defeated Michael Grace in 2017.
Slater is not new to government, having served as chief of staff for former State Sen. Terrence Murphy, as well as having served as mid-Hudson regional director for the New York State Assembly Minority Conference. Slater served as chairman of the Yorktown GOP committee until stepping down to run for supervisor.
“People that have lived here all of their lives and people that just moved in say the same thing, Yorktown is just too expensive,” he said. “Decades of poor planning and bureaucratic hurdles have created a system where expenses continue to outpace revenue and nothing is done to ease our residential tax burden.”
Slater has been endorsed by Murphy, his former boss. “There are a lot of unsung heroes in public service and to have Matt step up from behind the scenes will be a huge win for the people of Yorktown,” said Murphy.
State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne also endorsed Slater, saying: “In Yorktown alone, he helped us alienate parkland to preserve a historic cemetery, designate nearly two dozen local lakes including Mohegan Lake, Sparkle Lake and Junior Lake – as inland waterways for the purposes of waterfront revitalization and environmental remediation, as well as rename two of Yorktown’s state roads for fallen warriors of the community.”
Slater, 33, and his wife, Kellie, have a 3-year-old son. He is a 2004 graduate of Yorktown High School, received his undergraduate degree from St. Anselm College, and earned his Master of Public Administration from Marist College.
Click here to read more from Westchester Rising.
Yorktown Patch: ‘We need a walkable downtown in each of our hamlets,’ says Terrence Murphy’s former chief of staff
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – Lifelong Yorktowner Matt Slater announces his candidacy for Supervisor with his Mom, wife Kellie, and son Charlie.
YORKTOWN – Longtime political operative Matthew Slater has declared his candidacy to become the next Yorktown town supervisor. He will face incumbent Town Supervisor Ilan Gilbert in November.
YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Matt Slater, former chief of staff to state Sen. Terrence Murphy and chairman of the Yorktown GOP, is stepping out from behind the scenes to run for elective office.
YORKTOWN, NY – Yorktown resident Matthew Slater announced his candidacy for Town Supervisor today. Slater, 33, is a longtime fixture in state and local government and was formerly chief of staff to State Senator Terrence Murphy.
JEFFERSON VALLEY, NY – The Yorktown Republican Party’s own Matt Slater of Senator Terrence Murphy’s office explains how the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown is getting a major makeover.