To all of you who ask "Where do my tax dollars go?"
Whether you are from Carmel, NY, or not, READ ON.
You will see the similarities in your hometown, & hopefully will want to SPEAK OUT!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


On November 17, 2010, the Carmel residents spoke out against:

The destruction of precious land!
The demolition of historical buildings!
The end to dreams of creating a site that will “welcome” all to Putnam County.

Citizens voiced their concerns in regards to the Mahopac “Union Place” project and there was an overwhelming amount of residents against this plan. Unfortunately, that evening was just the beginning. Just as Sybil Ludington’s ride was just the beginning to our country’s freedom, our battle to protect the laws of the town has just begun. The Town Planning Board members may have been listening but DID THEY HEAR US?????

We must continue to speak out and prove to the elected officials of Carmel, that we expect all zoning laws to be adhered to and not revised to be financially beneficial for developers. We want a designed plan that will enhance our county and bring a substantial business tax base for the residents. We do not want, nor need, more housing, more traffic, more roads and more pollution.

We cannot allow a project as “The Retreat” to happen again. “We the people” must speak out! We must continue to write letters demanding that the Carmel Town Board and the Carmel Zoning Board of Appeals adhere to the laws. But now we must take our actions one step further --- WE NEED YOU TO SIGN THIS PETITION NOW!

Read Petition

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Last Wednesday, November 17, at the Carmel Town Planning Board Public Hearing, the people spoke out. Citizens voiced their concerns in regards to the “Union Place” project and there was an overwhelming amount of residents against going forward with this plan. Due to the meeting ending late many were unable to stay and voice their comments. It is for those I ask “please mail in your concerns, comments and/or questions on this endeavor”, you have until January 1, 2011 to write into the Planning Board with your concerns.

It is vital that all concerned realize that our battle has just begun. In the past, projects completed by this developer had the zoning laws revised and once again he is requesting to amend the zoning at this site. Previously, the Carmel Town Board has customized zoning to be financially beneficial for this developer but detrimental to our environment, home values and town tax base. A perfect example is sitting on top of a hill in Carmel and it is called “The Retreat”.

“The Retreat” a condominium development was built on land originally zoned as industrial. If the zoning had stayed as that; homes would not have been built and all the land would not have been destroyed. The residents living next to the property would not have had to deal with numerous blasting and destruction of the nearby land. The entire ridgeline would not have been destroyed, leaving long time residents with barren land and a hideous view of monopoly style homes. If the Town Board had adhered to the zoning law; a business park would have been built giving businesses an opportunity to move into the area, creating high paying jobs for the many unemployed and at the same time creating a strong business tax base. Instead “The Retreat” created numerous condos at a tax rate of 55% less than residential homeowners pay. In addition the developer profited by millions more than if an industrial park was constructed.

We cannot allow another project as “The Retreat” to happen. “We the people” must speak out! Write your letters demanding that the Carmel Planning Board and the Carmel Town Board adhere to the zoning laws. These laws were made to protect our land and protect the people. Our elected officials were voted in by the people, not by special interest groups or out of state developers. Our elected officials were voted in to abide by the laws of the people. It is time to contact friends, neighbors and relatives asking them to speak out and DEMAND TO BE HEARD!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
The Carmel Town Crier comes before you today to proclaim an injustice that we all will be forced to endure, if we do not speak out NOW. This time I do not speak of high taxes and wasteful spending, but to warn you of overdevelopment and destruction of precious land. This time I the Carmel Crier need YOU to speak out, to gain back our rights, that we have the right to speak out and that “We the people” will be heard.

View video here or after info

What is “Union Place”? It is a developer’s dream and Carmel Residents’ nightmare. This site development will include “1,043,600 square feet” of floor space in 17 buildings; comprising of big box retail, grocery store, pharmacy, hotel, restaurants, professional offices’ with 180 rental units on the second floor and other additional housing not yet defined. Union Place will destroy 300 acres of Carmel’s open space land and one of Mahopac’s last remaining historic landmarks. This new type of “Place” will increase congestion and eliminate country scenery. The developer will leave with millions of dollars profit and leave us with overdeveloped land.

Where is “Union Place” going to be built? Its location will be at the border of Westchester and Putnam Counties along Route 6 and Baldwin Place Road. The developer describes this area as “great access”. Actually, these are heavily traveled roads & extremely congested during rush hour. In addition, this location is miles from any major highway and shoppers who need to travel here can easily shop in towns with less traffic and lower sales tax.

When is Union Place going to be built? It is projected that the development will take at least ten years to complete and construction will begin once the approvals have been given by the regulatory agencies and planning board. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), mandated by NYS, has been given to the Carmel Planning for approval. It is presently available on the town of Carmel website for public review. The Carmel Planning Board along with the developer is working diligently to get the approvals completed, to start on the destruction. A public hearing is scheduled on November 17, 2010 at 7:00 PM in Carmel Town Hall. “We the people” need to speak out to stop our beautiful scenic area from being destroyed.

DEIS report

Why is Union Place going to be built? The Connecticut builder will gain millions of dollars in profit. The Town & Planning Board of Carmel are in favor of this project and moving swiftly to complete the approvals. “We the people” can now voice our opposition on this mammoth project. They expect no resistance from the people!
“We the people” must speak out against big government & even bigger business.

“We the people” need all to attend:
Carmel Planning Board “Public Hearing” November 17, 2010 7:00PM
Carmel Town Hall 60 McAlpin Avenue Mahopac

Monday, November 1, 2010


Taxation with False Representation! November 2010
In 1775 the revolution began when colonists started paying taxes that went directly to England. Americans were accustomed to being taxed by their own assemblies but not by a faraway Parliament where the people were not represented. If you think today your vote has representation think again!

Today our representatives are for special interest groups. The taxpayer is not considered. If the residents’ financial crisis was a concern, we would not be seeing a 4.4% tax rate increase in Carmel for the 2011 budget.

Tentative 2011 Budget

Almost 70%, ($11 million +) of the 2011 budget’s amount is for staff expenses (salaries, benefits, FICA etc.). Of this, 7% ($850,000+) of the employee expenses go towards overtime. Supervisor Schmitt stated in his budget message that “budget strategies include reducing or eliminating overtime”; however, the 2011 budget did not do this. In addition to continuing most overtime, an additional $18,000 is calculated in the budget for seminars, conferences and training. When the CSEA contract comes due January 1, 2011 “we the people” may be looking at even more increases.

“We the people” are supposed to be represented, but each time contract negotiations come due they are done “BEHIND CLOSED DOORS”. When negotiations are completed there are always salary increases, benefit increases and other increases – charged to the taxpayer. Any comments or complaints from the taxpayers are answered with “WE MUST HONOR THE NEGOTIATIONS” or “THESE ARE STATE MANDATED INCREASES”. Supervisor Schmitt noted in his budget message that he was going to request that the PBA and IBTA re-open their contracts in an effort to re-negotiate their current agreements. We can only hope that his request will be accepted and renegotiations will be considered. I only wish that “WE THE PEOPLE” HAD AN OPTION TO RE-NEGOTIATE OUR TAXES!
Speak now – November 3, 2010 on the budget!
Town Hall at 7:00PM
It is your only chance!


Carmel Town Board is getting ready to: Spend! Spend! Spend!
Budget Time October 5, 2010

Government’s first responsibility is “protect the people”. Beyond that responsibility we each have thoughts on the role government should play. Regardless of our thoughts, it is vital as a society that we remember –
“As we increase government responsibilities, we increase our tax responsibilities”.

There must be a balance between the demands of a community and its economic resources. With a strong supportive business climate, government can build a sound tax base and not burden resident taxpayers. Without a strong supportive business climate, government must depend on resident taxpayers for most of tax revenues. When government depends mostly on residents’ taxes for its financial responsibilities, it must consider the economic standard of its people when calculating the budget. Government cannot spend beyond the financial limits of their community. If government cannot create a sound tax base through businesses, then government must limit what they offer.

Carmel Town Government has failed to create a sensible supportive business climate, but continues to increase their financial needs above the inflation rate.

2007 USA inflation 2.8% - Carmel 2008 Tax increase 6.9%.
2008 USA inflation 3.8% - Carmel 2009 Tax increase 5.4%
2009 USA inflation -0.4% -Carmel 2010 Tax increase 7.56%.

USA inflation graph

This is government spending beyond the financial limits of their community.

Carmel Town Government ignores the financial difficulties of their citizens by refusing to be fiscally responsible. They need to re-evaluate all expenses and cut, cut, cut. Their first responsibility is to “protect the people” and question all other expenses.

On October 5, 2010 Carmel Town Board will begin their budget process. Taxpayers of Carmel must STOP LOOK & LISTEN to how their money is spent. Carmel must become financially responsible in using tax dollars for the needs of the majority.

Be sure to attend the November 3, 2010 Public Hearing on the 4.4% tax rate increase for 2011. This will be your only time to question and make comments.


Mahopac Sports Association sports club or lobby? - October 2010

For the past four years the Carmel Town Board has given a yearly average of $90,000 to the Mahopac Sports Association. According to the Parks Director, MSA is not required nor have they given a statement of how these taxpayer funds are used. In addition, the town pays tens of thousands of dollars each year for the upkeep of the sport’s fields that are primarily used by MSA.

In the 2009 Carmel Town Board Council election, MSA endorsed with mailings both Mr. Lombardi & Ms. McDonough, who are now council members. Early this year both freshman members joined with their colleagues supporting the construction of a community center. This project, at a cost of at least 5 million dollars, was brought to the board by the Carmel Recreation/Parks Director and Advisory Committee Chairperson.

The Carmel Recreation/Parks Advisory Committee Chairperson is also the President of MSA. One of the responsibilities of this committee is to make decisions regarding maintenance & development of existing parks. This same committee worked on a “2008 Master Plan” to improve and/or build additional parks that would cost over 11 million dollars. All these parks would include sports’ fields that would benefit MSA and be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The definition for lobby is: a group of persons who work or conduct a campaign to influence members of a legislature to vote according to the group's special interest.

You decide whether you believe MSA is just a sports association or is also a lobby. Which ever you conclude take note of this year’s elections and see if any candidates are endorsed by Mahopac Sports Association.


Carmel Board Marches On With Spending – January 27, 2010

Despite the financial crisis, all taxpayers are facing, the Carmel Board continues their plan for a community center that will ultimately cost millions of dollars. At the January 27, 2010, Town Board meeting, the Recreation/Parks Department Director and the Advisory Committee Chairperson requested to move forward on a multi-million dollar community center. There was concern by some board members that no public transportation was available to Sycamore Park, the site of the center. The Director and Chairperson reassured the board that even though this site did not meet all the needs of the community, it wasn’t “the end all” of developing recreational sites. Additional plans for future centers & recreation areas were also considered. No cost for these items was disclosed.

This community center & numerous ball parks are part of a 2008 Master Plan designed by the Advisory Committee Chairperson and its members. Coincidently, the Chairperson is also the President of Mahopac Sports Association. MSA will benefit greatly from these costly recreation sites, without taking part in paying for them. In actuality the taxpayers give MSA approximately $90,000 each year.

Link to 2008 Master Plan

The cost of the center was estimated at four to five million dollars. Councilman Ravallo commented that it will “probably cost more”. He asked about the size of the building. It was explained that the 8,000 square foot project would include a large meeting room, with side rooms to be used for seniors, teens, & office staff. Later it was mentioned that the community center would also include a stage and climbing wall.

During this dark time of unemployment, loss of homes and ongoing tax increases; community centers, especially those large enough to include a stage and climbing wall, should not be a priority or be on the Town’s agenda. Just two short months after approving an increase tax rate of 7 ½%, this board “MARCHES ON”, with spending our money and planning expensive projects with little regard to our financial difficulties. It is time that the Carmel Town Board curtails their spending and projects that will burden the taxpayers for years to come.