Rationale for Referenda

There’s been a lot of inaccurate commentary about the three Village Ballot propositions.

These ballot propositions will address inconsistencies in Village laws and facilitate more fair and democratic decision making.

NYS Villages and Towns have slightly different forms of government.    Some Village mayors have more powers than others.    Mamaroneck has a weak Mayor/strong manager form of government, which means that the Mayor is not involved in day-to-day village operations or decisions. 

Over the years Trustees have modified the responsibilities of both the manager and mayor.  For example, the full Board of Trustees appoints members of most boards and commissions, which in some villages is the purview of the manager.  Additionally, in 2016 Village residents voted overwhelmingly for the entire Board of Trustees to appoint the Village Attorney. 

 Village Proposition One: Some communities elect the Village Clerk-Treasurer.  In Mamaroneck, the Clerk-Treasurer is appointed by the Mayor but reports to the Village Manager.  As with the Village Manager and Village Attorney, the entire Board of Trustees should appoint the Village Clerk-Treasurer.

Village Proposition Two: Corrects an omission that resulted from a 2016 referendum where Village residents overwhelmingly voted (by a majority of 2:1) for the entire Board of Trustees to appoint Planning and Zoning Board Members.  Removal authority should always be the same as the appointment authority.

Village Proposition Three:  Authorizes the entire Board of Trustees to work together to select a new trustee when there is a vacancy.  In Towns in New York State, the entire Town Council appoints a replacement Council member in the case of a vacancy; such as when Tom Murphy resigned from the Mamaroneck Town Council to be Mayor in the Village, the remaining Town board members cooperatively selected a replacement. The Board of Trustees is elected by all voters; why should one person, a mayor, have the sole power to choose a replacement in case of a vacancy?

Rumors spread by some who enjoy wielding unchecked power are simply inaccurate, disingenuous, and disrespectful.

  • “It’s contrary to the constitution” – Not True.  Under New York State Law, powers of elected officials may be modified via a local law subject to the vote of the residents.
  • The referenda are the work of “Democratic Party Bosses”- Not True.  They are the result of much public discussion at multiple Board of Trustee meetings and were voted on by the entire board.   In fact, in 2021, Mayor Murphy even voted for one of them!
  • “The initiatives are hasty”. Not True.  Two of them (Clerk-Treasurer and Removal of Planning and Zoning board members) were adopted in 2020 and 2021 respectively, as referenda on the November 2021 ballot – but somehow the Village failed to deliver the paperwork to the Board of Elections.   Note that Mayor Murphy voted in favor of harmonizing the removal authority of Planning and Zoning board members in 2021.   Furthermore, the “do-over” for the Clerk Treasurer and Planning & Zoning proposals were (once again) on the Board of Trustees agenda beginning January 24, 2022; the Filling of Vacancies for Unexpired Terms of Trustees was on the BOT Agenda and discussed in June of 2021, more than a year before it was enacted.
  • Saying the Mayor has these authorities in most other villages is just lame and not true. Over the years Mamaroneck voters have shown they are forward thinking and not followers. For example, most Villages in New York hold elections in March. In 1998 Village residents, by ballot proposition, voted to move elections to November which increased voter turnout and participation and saved money. 
  • There could be a vote “deadlock”. Piffle.  Currently, if there is a vacancy in the office of Mayor, the remaining four Trustees select a replacement.  Trustees must work in the best interest of the village.  If they are authorized to choose a Mayor, they should be able to choose a Trustee.


These ballot propositions put decision making in the hands of all our elected officials not just one of them.  

Join us and vote “YES” on all 3 ballot propositions.

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Village of Mamaroneck Democrats