Statement by Trustee Valvo
Hello everyone. My name is Anthony Valvo, one of your current Village Trustees. I am writing to to emphasize the importance of our election on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
I have sat on your board for two years now. In that time, I have pushed for greater vision and goal setting among our board remembers and I think we made some good progress. In two years, we managed to accomplish more than I have seen done in the last decade. But, we still have so much to do.
I am endorsing the Preserve Airmont ticket consisting of: Peter Blunnie, Kevin Warbrick and Anthony Benedict because I want a stronger level of business experience and professionalism that I feel is missing today.
While Trustees Bracco and Cohen may be long time government principals, their focus is narrow and often not genuine. You need only to read village minutes, watch village meetings or talk to residents who attend, to see the political pandering that these folks place so much emphasis on. Like so many long time politicians, they have lost their way. They lack vision, and practical work ethic. Their primary focus is not to move this Village forward, but to remain in office; its a sad state.
We need to replace political pandering with real action.
Let me provide an example. In the two years since our administration turned over, Phil Gigante, Paul Marchesani and myself took a series of steps to bolster the Village’s financial position, improve infrastructure, and create change at Village Hall for the better. And we have hit many of those goals. Your roads are being paved again, streets are cleaner, the Village’s debt cost has come down, staffing and technology levels at Village Hall are improving, our reserves are strong, and we are now one of the highest credit rated municipalities in NY.
Trustees Cohen and Bracco would tell you that the reserve is too high. That we should return some of those funds to the Villagers with a 2-3% tax decrease. This is where the pandering begins folks. While that percentage sounds nice, they never talk about what it means in real dollar terms. The fact is, your Village taxes are actually quite low; among the lowest of Villages in Rockland County. The bulk of property tax is in school and town taxes. So what does a 2-3% tax decrease mean to you? Well, it means about $35 to the average Airmont home. This is a short sighted strategy to win your vote. You can get a good burger and fries for two at Sutter’s Mill with that amount. This is hardly an example of real vision or strategy. In totality, however, the dollar value discussed here is quite high. With those dollars we can and will continue to improve our Village’s appearance and overall desirability and this, in turn, drives property values and demand for good, working class families to live here. So instead of a one time meal at Sutter’s, my goal is to give you real value that is lasting. A 2-4 % rise in the value of your home amounts to about $20,000 on the average Airmont home. This is the value of vision and we are starting to see the signs of that improvement. A quick search tells me that, in the last two years, the average property value in Airmont is up about 10%. The average Airmont home value remains higher than the Ramapo average and value growth is also out pacing Ramapo overall.
Trustees Cohen and Bracco are hoping that you will not add up the numbers in their messages. They are counting on what they have for years; that you will not pay attention, that you will not notice, that you will accept slow and steady deterioration as a fact of life. They are hoping you will buy in to the pandering, the showmanship and the rhetorical displays put on at Village meetings. They are hoping you will keep them in office because you know them, because they seem like good people, because they are your friends. But friendship is no substitute for competent leadership that is willing to serve you with no agenda.
I know we are better. We are smarter, and we have the capability to grow our village for greater posterity. Please join me in voting Row A for Peter Blunnie, Kevin Warbrick and Anthony Benedict. With their help we can set a truer course and continue the good work we started two years ago.
All the Best,