LETTER from JOE MEMBRINO
To the Editor:
On Wednesday, March 18, Cooperstown voters will elect our mayor and two trustees. Last year, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh appointed me to a vacancy on the Village Board and assigned me to chair the Finance Committee. I am now running for a three-year term as trustee for the following reasons.
First, I want to continue the successful management and conservation of our Village’s fiscal resources. Auditors recently met with the Finance Committee and reviewed the village’s financial performance. They advised us that Cooperstown’s fiscal status is “above and beyond” that of other local governments and school boards in their audit portfolio.
Specifically, the village fund balances are growing, and we are maintaining sustainable cash-on-hand balances. The auditors also expressed approval for the way trustees and the village treasurer and staff are implementing fiscal oversight practices that were recommended in our last audit.
Second, I want to continue to assist with oversight of the village’s ongoing major capital projects. Villagers and visitors are already enjoying the improvements to Pioneer and Main streets and the renovation of Pioneer Park. Doubleday Field renovations are well underway, and a major portion of that work is slated for completion in May.
Less visible, but of great importance to the health and welfare of Cooperstown residents and the ecology of the Susquehanna River, is the $8.7 million renovation and expansion of the Wastewater Treatment Facility. As a trustee and long-time member of the village’s Water & Sewer Board, I was asked by Mayor Tillapaugh to monitor the progress of construction, which I am doing in coordination with our village administrator, public works superintendent, wastewater treatment plant operator, and Water & Sewer Board chair, all of whom are providing exemplary service to the village.
Third, as an appointee to the Mayor’s Housing Committee, chaired by Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, I assisted in the review of the village’s zoning law and comprehensive plan to provide for, among other things, new housing and opportunities for village residents to age in place by authorizing criteria for multi-family residential uses that respect the historic character of our village. I look forward to implementing the zoning changes.
All of these initiatives have been undertaken without raising village property taxes. They require collaboration, long hours, and hard work among trustees, village boards and committees, and village staff. It has been a privilege to share in these efforts.
Finally, there is more to do.
To facilitate economic development and improve the quality of village life, street, sidewalk, water supply, and sewer repairs and replacements, as well as park improvements, are ongoing. Our paid parking revenues are a long-term source of funding for these projects as well as future capital projects that will be identified in collaboration with Village residents.
I thank readers for considering my candidacy, and urge all to exercise the right to vote noon-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the Cooperstown Fire Hall.
JOSEPH R. MEMBRINO