Tax-abated Development Overburdens Public Safety Personnel

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Tax-abated Development Overburdens Public Safety Personnel

September 14, 2009 - 14:02

This will be my last post exposing the hideous burden put on New Rochelle property owners by the 30-year tax abated Avalon community. I previously revealed that 80 students enrolled from the Avalon community impose a $1.6 million tax burden on property owners. 80 students are 38% more then originally projected in the Avalon Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) raising concerns about the accuracy of all projections from the EIS. Simple math reveals that Avalon 1 would pay $3.8 million in property taxes at their current assessment of which $2.4 million would go to the school district yet the Avalon community pays ZERO DOLLARS ($0) in school taxes.

The same EIS stated there would be; “no significant impacts to police protection services” and “the proposed development (Avalon) is not expected to have significant impacts on fire protection and emergency services in New Rochelle.”

Statistics obtained from city administration reveal that in 2009 there will be;

124* calls dispatched for fire and emergency services to the Avalon community

390* calls dispatched for police protection services to the Avalon community

* Figures projected based on number of calls to date

That’s a total of 514 calls that our public safety personnel must contend with. Avalon 2’s projection for police responses is 283 for 2009 up from 51 in 2008, which is due in part to Avalon 2’s marketing strategy to target college students as opposed to “people with disposable income” as originally promised?

The impacts I have defined are just the tip of the iceberg as I am an average citizen who couldn’t begin to fathom the impacts on traffic, parking, sewers, air quality etc. We can’t cry over spilled milk but we must learn from our mistakes. If LeCount Square comes back to the table we must demand the studies be updated in light of their 12 extensions. We must demand extra public safety personnel including DPW. We must increase projected impacts by at least 25% to cover worst case scenarios and most of all we must protect the hard working property owners who continue to bear the burden of tax abatements. The re-development process in New Rochelle is fast approaching the 15-year mark and there are no tangible benefits. Isn’t it about time the property owners who have endured numerous tax abated projects demand everyone pay their fare share from this point forward?

There are 16 Comments

And this city is considering layoffs to police & fire protection? What's wrong with this picture? Take the cars away from the mayor and all commissioners, we only need three 24 - 7 take-home vehicles (city manager, police and fire commissioners). Take away the police commissioner's driver. Do away with refuse route system that allows employees to work second jobs after completing routes early like city workers who are security guards in the school system. Make a new tier whereby employees pay a fair amount of health insurance and average career overtime by the years on the job when determining retirement pension.

How about folks use their personal vehicles and then get the appropriate mileage and costs reimbursed for "official" use only? IE: the top 3 use their city vehicles for personal use all the time. The fire commish uses his city vehicle to go to Larchmont Shore Club, used to use his vehicle to pick up his kids from school, etc. Make him/they pay for those costs, only reimburse for costs responding to an incident relating to work. The fire commish,being the buff that he is, goes to every fire in the County, though he's not needed nor wanted at most scenes. Why do we have to pay for his child-like obsession with fires?

Overpaid blowhards? I hope the "blowhards" never have to call your house at 3 am to tell you they just peeled your brat off a telephone pole or tree, because your brat was DWI.
Or maybe those blowhards might pull your wife and kids out of their burning house while they were sleeping. Or maybe those blowhards came to pump the water out of your house during a storm because you're too stupid to know how to operate a sump pump. Or maye you're laying on the kitchen floor after just downing a couple of bagels and either choking to death or under cardiac arrest.
You can ask them then, "how's your 401K".
People like you don't deserve to even breathe the same air as those "blowhards".
In fact, you'r probably one of those financial wizards, who greed and incompetence nearly brought down this great nation. You know the kind, those who live in the North end, thinking they're Scarsdale residents. The ones who NEVER shop with the heathen who support their local businesses on Main St. The ones who take Metro into the city and are happy that the rest of us help pay their fares.
In spite of your stupidity, rudeness, and ignorance of the facts, those "blowhards" will STILL rescue your sorry ass from yourself.

The point is that we shouldn't have to overspend to get the job done. If policemen and firemen are our highest paid employees there's something wrong and we're probably paying too much.

My 401k sucks btw and thanks for asking. I wish to reciprocate, but you have a guaranteed pension so there's no point in asking. How many companies are offering pensions these days? I don't think many at all so why does NYS still provide one?

You're highest paid employees are the ones who do the least ie the Mayor, the fire commish and the police commish. You think any deserve 150K a year? For what?
You begrudge someone who may get killed in a split second getting compensated for the risk? What is the risk at your job, you miss the 6:50 to the City?
Yeah I know you think the cops and fire have no risk right? I have news for you, the job and risk is the same even in Mayberry.
Why do you feel offended that fire and cops make a decent wage with retirement benefits? I know, you think they're a bunch of idiots and you're so much smarter you deserve more, lots more.
As they say, take the test and see if you qualify.

Fire Fighters, Pensions & The time to work 2 jobs. Is there a contrator in NR that is not a fireman?

I rspect the job believe me. But it is a choice that is aided by the benefits allowed and the time off which is funded by a pension 20 yrs after you start. Enter at 20 leave at 40. Yes, the risk is great but rmembr it is a choice.

Obviously by your comments, it appears that our choice was a good choice, maybe a better choice than some made, at least to weather the current economic down turn any way. We never whined at anyones doorstep while they were making millions paying some lowly contractor to expand their mcmansions with their annual bonuses so they could compete with their neighbors. Never heard anyone crying about their taxes doubling then. We just went to work did our jobs and tried to make a living for our families, while keeping everyone safe, and yes, working two jobs. So, now for the next year or so us lowly public servants will be somewhat secure. Remember it is a choice...

So take the good with the bad. Your employer is having a bad year and you have to deal with it

the employer has to deal with it, the employee has no say in this one.

Let's not get into this "us against them" back and forth and class warfare, envy and anger. But also let's get back to common sense and be reasonable.

If we all paid a lot less taxes, we could keep more of what we earned. That is a fact.

Everyone is feeling the pinch, but really the government should be cutting back somewhere instead of taking more and more. It is time to cut some corners, but without risking safety. I don't like to cut police and fire, but "green" programs are really less important now, in my opinion. Pensions are an issue, really, too. They are becoming a larger and larger chunk of municipal budgets, 30% now I heard. That is a lot. That is a lot for everyone to pay for just a few's retirement.

And there is waste and it has to at least slow down. With $19,800 per student, there must be waste. Who will find it? You can't even trust the people with the budgets anymore. Even on a federal level. The public doesn't trust the school district. Where is all the money going?

What about about the frequent trips taken to Montauk?

A little bird tells me that trucks showed up at City Hall to drop off new furniture for offices at City Hall. Not sure if that was for the City government offices or the school district offices. Anyone know?

These abatements should have been fought before they were granted. The firefighter, policemen, and DPW workers commissioners, as well as, the Board of Education should have voiced their concerns when the abatements were given. Instead, they chose to go with the herd and suck up to their crony politician friends.

I am not willing to pay more property taxes. This city needs to address its over spending. Start by eliminating positions that do not affect services to the city's clients, the tax paying residents. Take a look at city hall administrative positions and consolidate the Mayor position and city manager roles into a strong mayor or city manager. I do not want to pay for the roaming Noam to attend cermonies while he sells out New Rochelle, remember Ikea, waiting for his next political role. Take back Chuck's, Noam's, and city council raises. They have done a horrible job anticipating this down turn. If this is not enough to keep property taxes flat, start firing all workers accross the board unless they are willing to permanently give back some of their benefits. Enough is enough, we all share the pain.

Excellent points! We need a smaller government, not a bigger 1.

And I keep reading/receiving emails about Noam's green initiatives and I can't help but wonder how much this is costing New Rochelle because I know going green isn't cheap. In fact I don't think you recover the additional cost of a Toyota Prius for 10 years or so I hope we're not getting in over our heads.

I know they tried to convert or are in the process of converting a garbage truck to a hybred vehicle at a cost of $120,000. Sadly we'll never realize $120,000 worth of fuel savings so I don't really see the point of doing the conversion in the 1st place. If we spent the $120,000 insulating city hall or someother older building, perhaps that would really reduce our fuel usage.

Can the city as a whole pull out of the NYS retirement system? I don't know the answer, but we'd save a boat load of money converting to a basic 401k plan. Let these overpaid, blowhards fund there own retirement like I do. There's no reason we have to give them additional money on top of their already high salaries.

In the private sector, employers will with out a doubt send an email to each and every employee and ask what that individual does on a daily basis. I'd bet that 3-4 people are doing the samething 1 or 2 could do. This is a quick way to eleminate extra non performing personel.

The Mayor was clearly looking to create a Legacy for himself. Many people's have this opinion. Look at me I fixed New Rochelle now send me to congress in Nita Lowey's seat as the bright young Harvard Educated Democrat.
Many refer to him as "Boy Wonder" for this reason.
What I wonder is why he is not being pinned for what he has brought upon the Queen City.
He handed out tax abatements and Pilots like they were campaign literature for Bramson for Congress.
Now we are left with the Bill for infrastructure that comes directly from his actions. The City has many tough choices it does not occur to them to cut their own salary's and furlough a few fat cats.
When he influenced the IDA of New Rochelle to provide Pilots to Avalon and Cappelli he stacked the deck by placing Strome and Sussman on the IDA of New Rochelle. He did this so the New Rochelle IDA would not be influenced by the public that spoke out against these Pilots. Strome and Sussman allowed his will for these PILOTS to overpower 3 other weak IDA board members. Its points to why the IDA must be reformed with clearer rules. Consultants hired by the same Mayor and Council to show the results they were looking to achieve. It all seems to border on almost illegal or if not it should be.