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Letter: Lewisboro Town Board Anticipates Budget Surplus

LEWISBORO – The Lewisboro Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Email your letters to lewisboro@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor:

The Lewisboro Town Board is pleased that as a result of strict spending discipline and active business management, we anticipate a budget surplus for 2012.

This year we look for a stable growing economy. We have made great strides in controlling escalating costs and imposing fiscal controls on expenditures. Through responsible budgetary management and availing ourselves of advantageous economic programs we have restored our school resource officer, [and] regularized our union negotiations with a five-year cycle. We have established a comptroller for the town and right-sized head counts without layoffs, allowing eligible employees to take advantage of the state’s early retirement incentives. We have institutionalized government cross-servicing agreements, enhanced the value and accessibility of our open spaces, realized communications modernization and enhanced recurring income for the town.

We have managed this despite unprecedented weather incidents. We utilized our Emergency Management Plan, in place since its drafting just after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The plan helped us manage without loss of life or serious injury in town. We avoided significant public property destruction and all costs were accounted for and such planning enabled us to be reimbursed for emergency expenses. We continue to upgrade our efforts at preparedness with renewed emphasis on community training. We have partnered with state- and county-elected officials to compel greater responsiveness by the public utilities whose efforts in our area have been substandard.

Our tasks remain heavy. We need revenue for the town. I am exploring the sale of carbon sequestration credits for our forested spaces. We may be able to acquire income for having the forethought to keep Lewisboro green.

I am drafting alternative energy legislation that will enhance town residents’ ability to utilize alternative energy sources. Recent experience with energy providers shows that we must be more self-reliant. Further, alternate energy generation is good environmental stewardship. We seek to enable solar, thermal and perhaps wind energy in the community.

We will seek competitive pricing for benefits packages rather than the large step increases we have experienced. We will work with the state and our consultants to ameliorate the growing burden of pension benefits.

We have superior public spaces and fields which are designated by place names only. We will seek income by promoting leased naming rights for town facilities. We are working with rights marketing companies and seek direct interest from entities wishing premium name recognition in our prestigious part of Westchester.

We continue best business practices initiated in the town government since the beginning of our tenure and prudently, frugally build back our Reserve balance for optimal credit rating.

We will utilize inexpensive financial instruments – low yield bonding – to lessen the impact of road capital projects and call the indebtedness when the economy rebounds.

We have adopted a civil and bi-partisan approach to common community issues and look forward to better times ahead.

These have been tough years in the life of the town. We have weathered the storms, figuratively and literally, and have come out a dynamic government and great community.

Frank Kelly

Lewisboro Town Board Member

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