The Dobbs Ferry Democratic Committee
Statement of Principles
This Statement of Principles of the Dobbs Ferry Democratic Committee offers a vision of Dobbs Ferry as a welcoming, inclusive, and responsible community in which people care about each other and act with strength and effectiveness for the good of the whole community. We are proud of the cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of our population. We support elected officials who share these core values, and who act cooperatively and communicate openly and honestly as they allocate resources and develop the guiding principles that underlie the laws and initiatives that shape our community.
These are many of the values, priorities, and objectives that form the foundation of our Democratic platform:
1. Open and Responsive Government
We support full participation by Village residents in the decision-making processes of their elected officials. Our residents must have confidence that the focus of their public officials is on the needs of all members of our diverse community. There are a number of measures that will help achieve these objectives, including:
· Modification of Board procedures in order to make the Board’s activities more easily accessible to the community, including the order of business of public meetings; the form, content, and availability to the public of Board minutes, and other matters that are appropriate.
· Strict adherence by Village officials to the New York State Open Meetings Law, and making public documents readily available to the public as required by the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
2. Land Use Planning
Our master plan and zoning code must be updated to insure that future development will be consistent with community standards, will help strengthen our downtown, and better facilitate the preservation and protection of our health, our environment, and our quality of life. We support:
· Judicious use of waivers of our zoning and building codes.
· Coordination of land use review procedures with the Town of
· Incorporation of
· Adoption of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).
· Partnering with the school district and neighboring villages to improve and expand recreation facilities at minimum cost to the Village.
3. Environmental Stewardship
Preservation of open space helps safeguard our quality of life and enhances property values. In November 2001, our residents voted to bond $3 million to acquire and preserve open space. We urge the use of this fund in accordance to the criteria established by the Village Conservation Advisory Board (CAB), as well as judicious use of zoning and other land use tools, such as conservation overlay zones, land donations, and conservation easements.
· Revision of the steep slope law to preserve steep slopes and prevent destruction of scenic rock outcroppings.
· Protection of critical environmental areas as mapped by the Village Conservation Advisory Board.
· Improve care of Village trees through a strengthened tree ordinance that includes notification to neighbors of applications to remove trees, priority to planting native species trees, and a requirement that the Village employ or consult a certified arborist to maintain Village trees.
4. Energy Conservation
To promote cleaner air, protect the environment, and save money, we support energy conservation and efficiency measures that include:
· Implementation of energy conservation measures in existing Village buildings.
· Purchase of renewable energy for the Village when feasible, such as the currently available wind power.
· Updating our building code to incorporate higher energy conservation standards for new construction.
· Reduction of waste through increased recycling, composting, and public education.
5. A Vibrant, Economically Vital Downtown
We believe a lively and economically thriving downtown can be realized by implementing Village policies that will provide greater support to our existing businesses and do more to attract new business. Among the steps that can be taken to accomplish these goals are:
· Improvement of downtown parking and traffic flow.
· Development of Village policies that will attract new businesses, and cooperation with our existing businesses.
· Modification of our zoning code to support and encourage mixed use buildings, including residential apartments over commercial establishments.
· Continued attention to the wellbeing of our senior citizens by enhancement and expansion of activities in the
· Enhanced access to community resources by construction of the Embassy Community Center-Library pedestrian link, to make better use of available parking.
6. Fiscal Responsibility
The Village budget process needs to include measures that will help keep costs down while planning for our future. We support:
· Development of a five year capital plan.
· Implementation of an expanded public budget review process providing public meetings with the Board and department heads.
· Enhanced efforts to attract new businesses to strengthen our tax base.
· Seeking additional government, private and corporate grants. Increased alternate types of in kind and outright donations.
· Exploration of shared services and procurement with neighboring Villages resulting in cost savings while not compromising the quality of services.
7. Public Health and Safety
Along with our support of our volunteer fire and ambulance services, we encourage other measures that will enhance public health and safety, among them:
· Updating the Dobbs Ferry 1993 Emergency Plan to reflect current needs and post 9/11 realities.
· Employment of the organic pest management practices by the Village to insure maximum protection of public health
· Maintenance and expansion of sidewalks for safer pedestrian routes.
· Study and develop a traffic flow policy to manage traffic flow, and reduce speeding.
8. Care of Our Infrastructure
To insure the continued viability of infrastructure we support:
· Creation of a plan for long-term maintenance and replacement for the continuing protection of Village sewers, roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.
· Prompt construction of a new Department of Public Works facility.
· Development of a plan for waterfront stabilization.
· The protection of a pure piped water supply readily available and affordable for all residents of Dobbs Ferry. We oppose the continuing trend to privatize our water supply, which tends to increase the rates paid by residents.
9. Historic Preservation
Our historic buildings and neighborhoods contribute to our residents’ enjoyment of their surroundings and enhance our quality of life. Measures that will preserve these buildings and neighborhoods should be explored, including those that will maintain the beautiful views of the
We urge Dobbs Ferry residents to communicate comments and suggestions to us, and consider joining us at our Democratic Committee meetings, where we will continue to further our objectives and translate our principles into action.
Adopted May 2005
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