Village of Mamaroneck Organization Meeting

We are writing to inform you of what happened at the Village of Mamaroneck’s December 10 Organizational Meeting. The swearing in of reelected Judge Daniel Gallagher and newly elected trustees, Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom, Ilissa Miller and Leon Potok proceeded smoothly, but the appointment of residents to some volunteer boards and commissions was met with opposition from Mayor Norman Rosenblum and Trustee Lou Santoro. Here is what transpired:

On November 26 the trustees-elect met with Rosenblum and Santoro to review potential board and committee appointments. Most of the appointments were agreed upon, but an appointment was disputed for the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The trustees-elect felt that incumbent Robin Kramer should be reappointed for another term after serving five years with distinction and that her expertise was critical to retain.

On November 30 the Mayor distributed a script for the Organizational Meeting naming Len Violi to ZBA instead of Robin Kramer, as well as several other unilateral placements. In response, the trustees-elect emailed Rosenblum and Santoro on 12/1, 12/2 and 12/7 that they did not agree with the script.

When Mayor Rosenblum nominated his preferred candidate for the ZBA, Len Violi was not approved. Violi, a member of the Board of Architectural Review and previously a volunteer on the Planning Board, has served the Village well, but the Democratic majority favored Kramer’s professional background and her continuity of service. Yet the Mayor declared that he and Trustee Santoro were surprised and shocked by the rejection of their nominee – charging that this rejection was an example of “backroom politics.”

This is an outrageous charge as the Mayor and Trustee Santoro were both notified well in advance but chose not to respond. Land-use board appointments must go to the most qualified individual because this is where the risk of potential litigation is highest. There were other disputed appointments, but the best candidates were confirmed by the majority trustees, including Lloyd Green for the Ethics Board and Gail Koller for the Tree Committee.

We are happy to announce many outstanding first-time volunteers were appointed including Dan Karson (Budget Committee), Vicki Hage (Board of Architectural Review), Brian Glattstein (HCZM), Julie Rubin (Flood Mitigation Committee), Laura Holbrook (Environment), Mike Annello and Harry Spadaro (Traffic).

Also reappointed were Lee Wexler - Planning Board; Lee Springer, Joyce Washburn, and Chari Topol-Allison - Arts Council; Ann Breen Metcalfe, Marc Karrel, and Joan Heilman - Committee for the Environment; Peggy Jackson and Benny Salanitro - Flood Committee; Carlo Reca, Joan Spedafino and Maryann Genovese - Recreation Commission; J. Malte Stoechert - Board of Architectural Review; Frank Spedafino and Ed Parisen - Traffic Commission; Sarah Robertson - Tree Committee; and Sunny Goldberg - Cable TV Advisory Committee. Doug Dunaway, a long-time volunteer in the Village, was newly appointed to the Budget Committee.

The new Democratic trustees look forward to working with the newly constituted village boards and committees, which represent the excellence and commitment of community members. The majority is proud to have delivered – in its very first official meeting - on campaign platforms to operate with integrity and transparency, and to find the most qualified members of our community to lend their expertise for the good of the Village of Mamaroneck.

The December 10 and December 17 Board of Trustee (BOT) meetings can be viewed on LMC-TV's video-on-demand service.

You can also read the Sound and Town's coverage of this meeting here.

Best wishes for health, happiness and constructive involvement in 2013.

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Village of Mamaroneck Democrats