What is this referendum we’re hearing about?

On November 8, Village of Mamaroneck voters will have an opportunity to enact, via ballot Referendum, two important new laws passed by the Board of Trustees last month.

The NYS Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit by Mayor Rosenblum that challenged the legality of this Referendum. The Mayor’s lawsuit, against the Village Clerk, Board of Trustees, and Westchester Board of Elections, claimed that the two laws were passed at an “illegal” meeting. However, Justice Lawrence H. Ecker of the Ninth Judicial District clearly stated that the Board and the Village met the spirit and letter of the law in conducting Village business.

The two laws add balance and representation to governance in our Village.

A vote of “YES" for Proposition #1 enables all Trustees, as well as the Mayor, to nominate members to two critically important land-use boards — restoring the way things were done here for decades, before the Mayor usurped nominating powers in 2010.  You can check this history on our website, where we have posted relevant Village law prior to and after approval of Public Law 22 of 2010.

A vote of “YES" for Proposition #2 will make the Village Attorney accountable to the entire Board of Trustees, and not only to the Mayor. Now, the full Board must rely on legal advice provided by an Attorney who can be summarily fired by only one member of the Board. This is a conflict of interest. Most baseball fans would not accept the close calls of an umpire who is subject to being fired by the opposing team’s manager. Although the Mayor and Trustees need not always be at odds, there are occasions when legal opinions go to the heart of a dispute.

No matter which political party has the Board majority, and no matter who is serving as Mayor, we believe that five people working together (including the Mayor) will make better decisions than the Mayor alone.

Many people do not realize that under our Village Manager form of government, adopted in the 1930s, the Mayor is a member of the Board of Trustees, and has no executive authority. By law, there is no elected executive in the Village of Mamaroneck. Under our Village Code, the Village Manager (Rich Slingerland) serves as our chief administrative and executive officer (COO and CEO).

Our slate for Village Board of Trustees — Victor Tafur, Leon Potok, and Keith Waitt — supports Propositions #1 and #2.


Justice Ecker's decision and the legal filings can be found here.



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Village of Mamaroneck Democrats