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Posted on: December 7, 2021

Town Update

Hyde Park Town Hall

The results of the November election are now final. Congratulations to Supervisor Elect Torreggiani, with final results showing a victory with 34 votes over Supervisor Aileen Rohr, and to new Councilpersons Nicole Noakes, Lynn Ruggiero, John Lombardi, and Don Prusakowski, Sr. Congratulations are also in order for Howie Fisher who was re-elected Highway Superintendent, and Cindy Todd who was re-elected as Tax Receiver.

 

Thank you to all who have supported our administration and team members during an unprecedented ten years serving our town as the Hyde Park Town Board. Together, we have achieved much including a high level of transparency with a modern website, $33 million growth in tax base, $100 million in new private investment, improvement in property maintenance and home values, improved business districts, controlled taxes, $10 million in awarded grants for sewer, for parks, for pedestrian improvements. Because of our hard work our Route 9 corridor has been transformed into a cohesive, attractive streetscape and a viable plan is in place for sewer. The onus is on the next Town Board to run with the work we have started.

 

The job of the Town Board as defined by State Law is to manage the money of the people. We have done this extraordinarily well, having managed the annual budgets well within the tax cap and successfully maintaining an extremely conservative tax increase over the 10-year period in office. Our decade of productivity is well documented through independent audits and can be seen along with all our meetings and minutes at www.hydeparkny.us

 

Our administration has taken the precarious financial condition that existed in 2011 to one of strength as we leave office. The combined savings accounts of the Town have grown from $706,000 in 2011 to $4.5 million dollars as of December 31, 2020. This 600% increase is a direct result of our careful watch over expenditures and our wise management of debt and revenues. Most important, 55% of these monies are placed in reserves for future needs of the Town. Additionally, we have created strong fiscal policies for Investments and Procurement and implemented best accounting practices for the Town, again all verifiable at the town website.

This has important meaning for Hyde Park residents and taxpayers: It means that as long as there is responsible management at the Board level, we will never have to go back to the pay as you go style that existed prior to our tenure. 

 

It also means, that we’ve been able to pave more roads, improve town owned assets, initiate capital projects, replace equipment, modernize our police department and, most importantly, prepare our town for the future.

 

In order to continue this momentum, a strong team will need to be put in place to manage the finances of the Town. 

 

With the retirement of Comptroller Joanne Lown, the new Town Board will have the responsibility of appointing a competent, experienced, non-partisan Comptroller. We sincerely thank Joanne for her 35 years of outstanding and dedicated service to the Town. The importance of this position cannot be overlooked; the Town deserves accountability at all levels of government, but especially at the financial level.

 

The future is bright for Hyde Park, with solid, strong developments under way at the Asahi Shuzo Sake Plant, and at the Bellefield property, which will add more than $100 million to our tax base (contrary to rumor, these properties are not owned by the CIA). The sound planning and efforts of our administration have created a solid base for the next administration to achieve great things for our community. We are truly on a roll with the strong fiscal position, the positive image of Hyde Park as a wonderful place to invest, and real plans in place for growth. 

 

We wish the new Supervisor and Town Board the best of luck and request that they continue our emphasis on public service to all residents of Hyde Park, transparency on all town issues with clear information and continued televising and archiving of all meetings, and careful management of taxpayer dollars. 

 

The responsibility will be on the new Town Board to ensure our many committed projects are managed appropriately and completed, and to continue to seek grant funding for an affordable sewer. The sewer project is all teed up, the pieces in place for the growth we have sought, planned, and worked hard to achieve. With the funding County Executive Molinaro has apparently promised the new Town Board, now is the time to make it happen.

It has truly been a great ride for all of us. Twenty-five seats in ten years on the Town Board has made for stability and productivity for our Town. The words "an honor" are so very overused in politics but serving the Town we love truly has been an honor for all of us. We are proud, grateful, and humbled for having been granted the experience. 

 

Wishing all a wonderful Holiday Season and the very best in the year to come.

 

Sincerely,

 

Aileen Rohr (Town Supervisor, 10 years)

Ken Schneider (Ward 4 Councilman, 10 years)

David Ray (Ward 2 Councilman, 8 years)

Emily Svenson (Ward 1 Councilman, 7 years)

Joe Marrine (Ward 3 Councilman, 5 years

Neil Krupnick (Ward 1 Councilman, 3 years)

Stephen Woodcock (Ward 3 Councilman 1 year)

 

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