Action Plan for Nyack

Doug FosterBy Doug Foster

The Village of Nyack is rich with assets such as our vibrant downtown, scenic waterfront, diverse residents, strong sense of community, and a wonderful mix of residential, commercial and institutional development. Unfortunately, over the decades the Village has developed a structural deficit, where our tiny, balkanized tax base is unable to sustain our assets.

The Village is “asset rich, cash poor.” Our survival strategy has been to borrow from our infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, buildings, etc.) in the form of deferred maintenance.

Let’s treat this situation as a call to action. We need a Village Board that is willing to work together and tap into our amazing pool of residents to identify problems, find solutions, and implement them. If we are smart and focused we can regain a sustainable budget and build a better community.

As a starting point, I have outlined a Five Point Action Plan to move Nyack forward.

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Practical Party

by Jen White

Nyack needs to change. We have no business playing the game of partisan politics. There is just too much work to do.

We live in a Village with crumbling sidewalks and not enough tax revenue, with empty storefronts and an underutilized waterfront.

There are pockets everywhere of people who feel unheard and disenfranchised, from developers with ideas for responsible expansion of both our real estate options and our coffers, to out of town visitors who’ve heard we have parking problems and don’t want to come anymore.
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Doug Foster’s 2009 Campaign Video

Here is Doug’s closing remarks for the 2008 campaign in this video:

Rethinking Village Board Meetings

By Doug Foster

The Village should restructure the way it holds meetings. Currently it is too easy to slip into a mode where very small decisions take too much of board members valuable time (and the public who attend the meetings), and HUGE decisions never get on the agenda or if they do, they are rushed. In the end, the Village Board spends all its time tending to the trees in front of its face and forgets about managing the forest.

Thursday’s meeting, which included two critical resolutions (2009/10 budget, “superblock” redevelopment) was a painful example where more time was spent on a single event in Memorial Park than on moving ahead with Nyack’s biggest redevelopment initiative since urban renewal. For the first hour the Board had a lengthy and incredibly detailed conversation about two events and a proposal that the downtown businesses would pay for parking three hours on Fridays for two months (doing the math, that’s 24 hours in total).

The Board discussed what should be staff level discussions and decisions, such as insurance and if a project needs to go to the Architectural Review Board. The Village has a Building Commissioner. It is his job to make ministerial decisions like that. And, for the record, putting covers over the Munimeters 8 times for three hours is most definitely a “temporary” sign, so should not be subjected to the ARB. It wastes a lot of peoples time (which is money) and adds to the perception that its hard to get anything done in Nyack.

I suggest the following way to restructure the meetings so that the Board can actually spend time planning and managing:

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