POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – When Pound Ridge Supervisor Gary Warshauer looks back on 2012, it’s the town’s legacy of volunteerism that sticks out in his mind.
“We had another successful year and it really showed during [Hurricane Sandy], he said. “The core group of volunteers was there every step of the way.”
Warshauer said without the town’s myriad volunteers, the havoc wrought by the hurricane would have been much worse.
“The key piece [to the town surviving Sandy} was volunteerism,” he said. “That is how we are able to accomplish so many things.”
Warshauer, who is in the middle of his fifth, two-year term as supervisor, also cited the renovation of the town park pool house as a major 2012 accomplishment.
“I was disappointed we couldn’t realize the community center building; we worked on that but economics were not there,” he said. “But what we heard from residents was that we at least we had to do something with pool the house
“We have to give [town boar member] Dick Lyman credit for that. He did a good job,” Warshauer added. “That renovation was done with a lot of town labor – that was very instrumental. I am happy we could turn the building into something we can be proud of.”
The town also took a major step forward in 2012 when the construction of a cell tower in Scotts Corner finally began in November.
“That’s been an interesting roller coaster,” Warshauer said. “There were some issues between the planning board and town board on where it should go. But I am proud of the town board members – they rolled up their sleeves and we worked through the issue.”
The year also marked the first time in several years the town did not have to use money from its fund balance to balance the budget.
“When we hit the recession, and we saw revenues from sales tax drop, we realized we had to have a plan to manage the fund balance,” Warshauer said. “We eventually wanted to eliminate the use of the fund balance and made other cuts to offset that. I am happy we are able to realize that plan and we can start building the fund balance back up again.”
As Warshauer looks ahead toward 2013, he says there are several things he’d like to see the town accomplish.
“Storm management needs to be addressed and I am planning on having two supervisor’s forums to focus on that,” he said. “We need to talk about how people should be prepared and what the procedures will be for the town. We have increased our communications with residents by using Twitter and will continue to use our website. We will also institute a program called Nexus for text-messaging distribution."
Warshauer added the town will continue to focus on conservation and sustainability issues and will continue to implement its deer management plan. It also will continue to address the federal Housing and Urban Development edicts for the fair and affordable housing plan.
“It’s ongoing and is something we will continue to deal with,” he said of the housing plan. “We will be obligated to do more. We are talking about amending the multi-family senior zone to accommodate the [court-mandated] model ordinance. It will be on our agenda in January.”