Statement from Carl Finger: Candidate for Village Trustee
- Published on Monday, 06 February 2017 09:12
- Joanne Wallenstein
Trustee Carl Finger has been nominated by the Citizens Nominating Committee to serve a second two-year term as Trustee of Scarsdale Village. We asked Carl questions about his background, his experience and his views on village government and here is what he shared. The election for Village Mayor and Trustees will be held on Tuesday March 21st at Scarsdale Library.
From Carl Finger:
As a sitting Trustee for almost two years I have become intimately familiar with the various issues facing the village including the budget, the legislative process, and the general functioning of Village staff and government. That knowledge has permitted me to progressively advocate and legislate as a more effective trustee and that experience cannot be replaced. Prior to my service as a Trustee I served on the Board of Architectural Review, the Conservation Advisory Council, two subcommittees of the Westchester County Board of Legislatures, among other committees. As part of my professional responsibilities I have lobbied before the New York State Assembly, New York State Senate, and County Board of Legislators, as well as the County Executive, and various town boards and city councils. I have litigated against municipalities in challenging their procedural and substantive actions and thus gained singular familiarity with many of the requirements of law under which municipalities operate. I also represent numerous boards of associations and regularly review budgets, financial statements, capital budgets, bid procedures, labor issues, and other matters similar to those which come before the board of trustees. This varied experience gives me a broad perspective of government functioning.
I am a long term resident of Scarsdale having grown up in Scarsdale and lived in Scarsdale for the last eighteen years. This has provided me longer term and a broader view of many issues. It has enabled me to reach out to the community and seek opinions from those that have resided here with me since 1969 and with whom I attend school and from more recent residents whom I've gotten to know since 1998. Such history also provides me with a level of credibility when I deal with many of these citizens because of my long term relationships with them and permits me to have candid conversations. I keep in mind the transitions that Scarsdale has undergone over the years as well as those projects that did not materialize as I evaluate projects and issues that come before the Board today. I continue to envision the Scarsdale of the future as well as the Scarsdale of the present and past. As a member of the Board of Architectural review I endeavored to bring a sense of openness and availability to the community. I welcomed the public's comments and I genuinely appreciate the participation and voices of the community. I offered a sense to those appearing that while the result in any situation may not be as they sought, the process resulted in serious consideration of the points they may have raised.
As a trustee I continued to welcome and in fact seek out community participation. I encouraged the community to share their feelings and positions with me in private, by email, by phone, by letter, and by attending public meetings. I met with citizens outside of formal meetings whenever possible. The different voices lend color to the actual impacts of our decisions. I often shared the information provided to me by village staff and at meetings with people who could not attend. These efforts helped people to understand my perspective even if they did not agree. I found that more often than not, armed with the full information, people came to the same conclusions as I did. I have attempted to both represent the citizens and lead the community in appropriate situations.
As a Trustee, however, I found that perhaps the most important skill I could bring to the table was to properly and seriously question myself, the other trustees, and the staff. For instance, in questioning why we could not obtain greater reimbursement from Con Ed for repaving streets impacted by Con Ed work, I found that there was a legislative solution which would increase the Village's reimbursement from Con Ed. We subsequently enacted the required legislation which will pay substantial dividends going forward. On another occasion I questioned why Scarsdale had not audited certain aspects of Cablevision's services and this resulted in our engaging a consultant and ultimately receiving a settlement of almost $100,000.00 together with increased payments ongoing for the foreseeable future. The key was not only asking the right questions, but also an awareness of what is happening in other communities. I have sought to keep abreast of other trends in other communities which may assist Scarsdale, such as described above.
We will need to be cognizant of these and other issues as we proceed in the future. From deciding what type of technology to use for parking meters (I encouraged and voted in favor delaying a commitment of over $450,000.00 in the coming budget year in favor of what will be a cost fee or nearly cost free pilot program with individual meters), to the replacement of the Heathcote Road bridge, to the Freightway Garage, to the rehabilitation of the Ardsley Road Water Tank, to the Hutchinson River stormwater mitigation project, to overseeing the Library renovation, experience, critical thinking, financial prudence, and awareness of the history of the village, and cognizance of surrounding communities will all be necessary.
I have sought to keep an open mind from beginning to end and to make decisions that best represent the trust which the community has placed in me. I provided my thoughts and decision making process to the community in the hope that in so doing the decision will engender the understanding and respect of the citizenry. Over the past two years I have found working with the Village Staff, Trustees, and Community to be cooperative and overall an amazingly rewarding experience. I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue to serve the community as a Trustee.
Trustee Finger invites Scarsdale residents to call him or email him at email@example.com at to discuss any issues of importance to you.