While concepts of morality are personal and must be answered by each of us individually, it is fair and appropriate to at least ask the following questions:
Why is it all right for many of our neighbors to be casualties of Incorporation? Why is it all right for an unfortunate group of our neighbors who have relied on and enjoyed the excellent and reasonably priced services and facilities at the Anthony F. Veteran Park for decades, to bear the brunt of the EIC’s delusions of grandeur? Consider the following: 350 of our neighbors use the swimming and tennis facilities at AFV Park, 581 of our neighbors use UniCards , 220 of our kids swam at the AFV pools as part of the Edgemont Day Camp’s program, the EHS JV Tennis Team practices in the Park, 221 Edgemont Little Leaguers (of a total of 563 Elmsford Little League kids) play on West Rumbrook Field, a Greenburgh facility.
Most of these folks will suffer a real financial and quality of life loss. Does not a new Edgemont Village have the responsibility to provide for all of its residents, even those who cannot afford, or choose not to join an expensive private country club, or attend a pricey private sleep away or day camp? The EIC thinks not.
Finally, some of us have perceived the EIC’s secession initiative as elitist in origin, or worse. There are uncomfortable discussions of “elitism” abounding inside and outside of Edgemont. The very thought of a community like ours – – with very few African-American and Latino residents and with the highest valued homes, occupied by the wealthiest individuals – – seceding from the rest of Greenburgh – – a community with a much greater number of people of color, with a substantially lower median home value and with a considerably lower average family income level – – makes many of us extremely uncomfortable.
Practically speaking, Edgemont’s proposed incorporation will cost the unincorporated Town of Greenburgh a projected loss of revenue of approximately $17,500,000. Regardless of whether a proposed Edgemont Village purchases services from Greenburgh (which cannot and will not be determined until after a referendum vote and the election of a new Edgemont Village Mayor and Village Board), the effects on those remaining in Greenburgh will be tough. The remaining residents of Greenburgh will face higher property taxes and diminished services. Many Greenburgh employees who have supported their own families while serving our families well for decades could lose their jobs. The reality is that actions have consequences; and the consequence of our potential incorporation on those who reside and work in unincorporated Greenburgh need to be considered, in our view. To ignore it entirely in the name of self-interest is, we feel, morally unacceptable.
Many Edgemont residents find this lack of consideration for those members of our community, our neighbors, just another example of the “elitism” which is so vehemently denied by many members of the incorporation movement. For example, the EIC promised they would not go forward with incorporation without a replacement of the parks and other recreational facilities that we will surely lose. The EIC, in this instance as in others, has not kept their promise!
Each person will determine how they will vote based upon personal values, as it should be. Hopefully, the needs of those inside and outside of our Edgemont community whose lives will be negatively affected by incorporation will be considered.