Fundraiser speech

By Doug Foster

Thank you to everybody who showed up tonight and have given support over the last few months.

In fact, Jen and I are both running because so many people have encouraged us to run.

My wife Rosemary and I were very intentional when we moved to Nyack 3.5 years ago. Finding a place that we both loved wasn’t easy, since she was coming from Greenwich Village, and I had lived in Ithaca for many years. Nyack has what we were looking for: a sense of community, the walkability, the charm, the River, the arts, the diversity, the progressiveness we wanted.

I was very excited to move here, and still love being part of the community. But Nyack has a fundamental problem. There is a term called a structural deficit, which refers to a governmental budget that chronically takes in less revenue than expenditures. Nyack has a similar situation. It has “big town” issues and a “small town” budget. It is the quintessential champagne appetite with a beer budget.

Nyack has a significant commercial district with a regional market area, it has waterfront also serving a more regional area, and it has a diverse population, and subsidized housing.

With less than 7000 residents and a $6 million budget, the Village doesn’t have the capacity to manage its commercial and waterfront districts property. There is no staff expertise in public administration, or planning and development.

This puts an extra burden on elected officials, because they can have the best of intentions, but they don’t have the staff to support them. We have to be extra creative and work harder.

With two board seats becoming available, it made sense for Jen and me to run as a platform, since we have the same approach.

• Openness – We will get information to the people. Many people know me from Nyack News and Views, which Dave Zornow and I started because we found it impossible to find out what was going on. Richard Kavesh and I have talked about getting television into the Board room. This is important if we want the community to be involved.

• “can do” attitude – We will be creative and persistent to find ways to come up with money, to get information, to work with people. Without professional staff, we need to think outside the box.

• Manage – Get information – We need

• Think big – Jen has shown how she can think big with the parks, raising the money to get top notch people to plan Nyack’s future.

Jen and I are running to be on the Board, but we are truly doing this as representatives for the community. We need your help with ideas, with serving in various ways, with staying in touch. Will you help?