Irvington voters will have the opportunity on November 6 to vote for national, state and regional candidates, and also to vote “yes” or “no” on one important local referendum. Currently, Irvington residents vote in March for local officials – Mayor, Village Trustees & Village Justice – but passage of this referendum would move the local election to November, beginning in 2013, to coincide with the general election. At an Irvington Board of Trustees meeting on September 19, the Board voted unanimously to put this referendum on the ballot.
Under the current schedule, Irvington is faced with the peculiarity of having a candidate sworn in only two weeks before a critical vote is taken on the next fiscal year’s budget, which by NY State law must be adopted by May 1. New members of the Board, therefore, have very limited input on a budget they are required to oversee for the next year. Passage of this referendum would allow all newly elected members to be fully engaged in the yearly budget process as it commences.
In addition, running a local election as well as a general election requires approximately twice the amount of tax dollars for the County.
Finally, on average, the November general elections bring out a higher percentage of voters than the local March elections.
The potential downside to moving the election date, and the reason that the elections were in March to begin with, is that national politics might overshadow local issues. The Trustees expressed various opinions on this assumption but agreed that the positive changes outweigh any potential negative.
Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry have, in recent years, eliminated a separate March election, and no negative consequences have been communicated to us from the officials in these communities.
If this resolution is passed, the bipartisan group of Mayor Smith and Trustees Kehoe and Bernstein would have approximately eight months added to their terms, which currently expire in March of 2013. The terms of Republican Walter Montgomery and Democrat Mark Gilliland are presently scheduled to expire in March of 2014 but would be extended to November of that year. There would be no other changes to the two-year terms for which Trustees and the Mayor are elected.
We plan to vote “yes” on the Irvington referendum, to move the local election date to coincide with the general election in November. We urge you to vote “yes” as well.
Brian C. Smith, Village of Irvington Mayor
Kenneth Bernstein, Village of Irvington Trustee
Mark Gilliland, Village of Irvington Trustee
Constance M. Kehoe, Village of Irvington Trustee
Walter Montgomery, Village of Irvington Trustee