By CHRIS EBERHART
Two incumbent Republican Bronxville trustees are running unopposed in the March village elections and their messages to residents are similar: weather the storm now to enjoy the sunlight later.
Anne Poorman, who has sat on the Board of Trustees for the past nine years, and Guy Longobardo, who’s finishing his first term as trustee after being elected in 2012, are seeking re-election for their fifth and second two-year term, respectively.
The two Republicans said constructing the Kensington Road senior condominiums and transitioning to life after soon-to-be-retired Village Administrator Harold Porr III, who will retire on March 27, and Village Treasurer Robert Fels, who will retire on April 30, will be short-term challenges with long-term benefits to Bronxville.
Talking about the Kensington Road construction, Poorman said the village will have to contend with inconveniences such as noise, traffic and parking limitations, but the final product will yield an increased tax base, increased parking and a remediation of a toxic site, which would’ve cost Bronxville $8 million to $10 million if the village undertook the project on its own. Instead, the entire cost of the project will be absorbed by the developer, Fareri Associates, as part of the construction contract.
Occurring simultaneously with the Kensington Road project will be Bronxville’s flooding remediation efforts, according to Poorman, which will be funded by a FEMA grant the village received last year. The project is supposed to alleviate the burden of heavy flooding throughout the village, which is a major problem especially around the Bronxville School, which virtually drowns under water after a severe storm, according to Poorman.
In regards to Bronxville future challenges, Longobardo said, “The next couple of years will not be without challenges as a result of the projects that are being undertaken in the village. There is a lot of work to be done and there will be inconveniences as the projects move forward through the construction process, but the long-term impact will be very favorable for the village.”
The theme of speed bumps now but smooth riding later was prevalent as the two unopposed candidates spoke about replacing outgoing village officials.
“We are entering into a period of transition at Village Hall,” Longobardo said. “While there is a sense of change, there is also the opportunity to move forward and the activity, though it may produce some short-term inconvenience at times, will benefit the village and its residents for decades to come.”
Poorman said the entire Board of Trustees will be involved in the search to replace Porr and Fels, but there will be subcommittees that will be appointed to do “hands-on search work,” such as reading resumes and conducting interviews. Poorman said she believes she will be a part of the search subcommittees.
With these projects and searches underway, a timeline is unfolding and an end of those issues is in sight, but the Parkway Bridge is one issue that continues to plague the village and will continue to do so as neither candidate sees the end of the snake’s tail as it relates to the bridge.
The bridge, which sits within the Town of Eastchester, on the border of the Village of Bronxville and City of Yonkers and abuts Westchester County land, has been closed since the summer of 2013 because necessary repairs ordered by the state Department of Transportation were not made.
Since the closure, the four municipalities have been squabbling over who is responsible for funding the repairs.
Longobardo said he and the other village trustees realize the hassle the current dead end on Parkway Road is creating, especially for residents trying to drive to the train station, and said Republican Mayor Mary Marvin is working on a cost-sharing agreement with the other municipalities.
But, Longobardo said, “The trustees and the mayor do not have a timeframe for the resolution or the repair at this point.”
Betsy Harding, the village’s Democratic Party chairwoman, could not be reached for comment as of press time.