« Editorial: Vote Yes On Open Space Referendum |
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By an unofficial vote of 1,128 to 1,079, the Open Space initiative has passed in Beacon.
Posted by Jeffery Battersby on November 07, 2006 at 11:26 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink
And now we've ushered in the era where taxpayers pay to not have development. Which makes as much sense as paying farmers not to grow food.
November 08, 2006 at 01:07 AM
And now we've ushered in the era where taxpayers pay to preserve quality of life, rather than living in a strip mall parking lot. Which makes as much sense as farmers growing food in fields, rather than in asphalt. In other words, it makes perfect sense if you care about the quality of the environment you live in. It's not a hard concept to grasp.
November 08, 2006 at 07:12 AM
I've just read through the recently completed Cost of Services Study for the City of Beacon, which was performed by an independant consultant for the Comprehensive Plan Committee. We requested numerous forecast models, one of which nets a negative fiscal impact to the City of roughly $2,000 per year per unit for residential development of the type proposed by certain large developments pending in the City (R-20, R-80). in light of this, it is not only encouraging to see this referendum pass, it is timely. When looking at it from a purely financial analysis standpoint (which is what the majority of this comprehensive study is), it would have cost more to the taxpayers to have this type of land developed than to have it preserved. An excpert from this study reads: "Growth patterns that encourage soley single family residential development will lead to net fiscal deficits for the City, and accordingly, increased tax rates."
When the remaining open space in the City represents only 14% of the total land area of Beacon (Less now that the Craig House sub-division is moving forward) we need to bring density back to the Main Street areas and encourage the adaptive re-use of old factory buildings as well as focus new commercial development along Main Street in order to bolster the tax revenues to the City.
I could go on forever, but am glad to see a focus on moving away from "sprawl". The voters have chosen to invest in having control over the future face of this wonderful City.
John Gunn, R.A. Planning Board - CoChair, Comprehensive Plan Committee
J Gunn |
November 08, 2006 at 07:40 AM
I must say, I didn't think it would pass. I thought it would be another "library" vote. I awake this fine (rainy) morning with a new faith in Beacon and my country.
November 08, 2006 at 07:56 AM
John Gunn, give me a break as we all know any studies outcome is at the mercy of the opinions of those who pay for it. aka tainted. Your master plan committee has a makeup that is biased towards open space and that's not healthy to my wallet. I wish I could stick around to see how this all turns out but I am putting my house on the market and moving out of Beacon before next years city and school tax wave hits again. Wake up and smell the coffee as the approach is flawed as it won't attract businesses or build tax base.
Heading South |
November 08, 2006 at 08:09 AM
I have a wallet too, as does every person on the committee.
We volunteer our time in order to have the ability to effect positive change. Your comments highlight your ignorance of what we've been involved with for the past year and a half, so I can assume you aren't involved, volunteering or giving of your free time - therefore, I can forgive your baseless, rude and insulting accusations of bias and "self serving".
Best of luck in your journey south.
J Gunn |
November 08, 2006 at 08:34 AM
Actually John Gunn, seeing as how the vote was split down the middle, I guess half of the city is ignorant? And how about those McMansions going in at Craig House on large lots how much will they cost me in services per this unbiased "study"?
Heading South |
November 08, 2006 at 10:23 AM
The library vote was complicated, but this one is a no-brainer. Congratulations to Beacon we should be proud we are building the kind of population that can support this!.
I applaud your statements 'Awsome!' the more w.t. that moves to south carolina the better. Good luck selling your house.
November 08, 2006 at 12:01 PM
Sorry 'Awsome!' - I meant to refer to 'Heading South' with the w.t. joke
November 08, 2006 at 12:03 PM
Any assumption as to the acumen of the voters who rejected the referendum is purely yours - I made no such reference. What I did allude to, however is this: as you feel it necessary to deride the intentions of those of us who volunteer, it highlights your lack of understanding as to what our gaols are, as well as the what the process we've been involved in for the past year and a half has entailed. Simply put, you - South -are pointing up your own ignorance of the intent of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. I would advise you not to make accusations for which you have no basis in fact, and to not spin an observation on my part that you are "ignorant" to the work of the Committee into a indictment of those voters.
Your accusations are uninformed but dangerous (libelous).
J Gunn |
November 08, 2006 at 12:17 PM
Ok John Gunn, As to not upset our fine web host, I yield.. Besides I have packing to do.
Headed South |
November 08, 2006 at 01:46 PM
I look at the 50/50 split as balance as opposed to conflict. Let's find the common ground, folks. Open space is something in which we can all find something good, no matter which side of the issue you were on in the voting booth. Embrace it, and let's "build" from here -- or should I say revitalize?? Not to mention, Beacon is a dream town for developers -- we are a microcosm of the U.S. at large, with a view to boot. It'll happen, and yeah, our taxes are going to go up (don't they always?), but they are still relatively low for most of us, when compared with Fishkill (despite their taxes going down) or ANYWHERE south in NY. As I understand it, what's great about this $1M bond is that it allows us to now get back into our city some of the state and county taxes through matching grants - money that would go elsewhere for a similar proposition. You gotta be in it to win it. Count me in.
November 08, 2006 at 05:43 PM
Well stated, Kellen. However, I just want to point out that taxes are quite low in the 5 boros. That's because SO many people live there. If folks "crammed" themselves in around Main St here instead of sprawling all over the place, wouldn't that be best to keep our taxes down? The real estate boom is over (for now anyway), so development isn't going to be so easy after all. What kind of house ya got there, Headed South...anything good?
November 09, 2006 at 07:58 AM
Let's not break out the bubbly just yet. www.beaconite.com is reporting a large number of uncounted ballots that could alter the current unofficial outcome.
Joe Reporter |
November 10, 2006 at 07:07 AM
Why is it that anybody who has an opinion against spending tax money to buying up open space get's labeled arrogant or libelous? I reserve further comment until I read the committe's report, but I do agree with South that most studies are missioned in favor of those paying for them. I would also like to see what scenarios are not a burder on service expense. How about the Craig House property scenario? Is that costing us? If so, why do it? It not, would it work elsewhere? Maybe South is moving too soon considering the outcome of the referendum is still up in the air.
Old Timer |
November 10, 2006 at 07:49 AM
By my understanding there are 109 absentee ballots to count. If 72% of those ballots are "No" votes and 28% are "Yes" then the vote is literally 50/50. A 1 vote difference in either direction is, well... you get the point.
This assumes, of course, that everyone that voted absentee voted on the bond issue.
Jeffery Battersby |
November 10, 2006 at 03:14 PM
There are apparently 243 ballots left to count, including hand-written and emergency ballots. The board of elections also has to wait a certain # of days for all absentee ballots, postmarked prior to Novermber 7th, before commencing a count.
243 ballots, all presumptions above staying the same, requires 60% nays and 40% yeas to vote the initiative down.
Currently ballots are 51% in favor and 48% against. If that trend followed the initiative would still pass.
Jeffery Battersby |
November 10, 2006 at 03:40 PM
The demographics of absentee voters will surely impact their voting tendancies, therefore a continued trend is unpredictable and the outcome could swing either way. All bet's are off at this point. Are they older and taxed out, do they not care at all and won't vote or maybe they never got the replacement absentee ballot and were not aforded the opportunity to vote on the referendum at all! Now that would be an intereresting scenario. Good luck to all.
Joe Reporter |
November 10, 2006 at 08:28 PM
I don't get it. Why have the "official" results not been announced yet? Why would this be taking so long? Same for the NY-19 Congressional race.
TM Conroy |
November 12, 2006 at 11:44 AM
It is really good because Open Space is a program that will help many companies to train their employees in a few time.
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