Yorktown drops ball on Mohegan Lake

MOHEGAN LAKE, NY – Over $14 million in local waterfront revitalization program funding is being left on the table since Yorktown has failed to complete it’s local waterfront revitalization plan, or LWRP. Today, Yorktown supervisor candidate Matt Slater joined Council members Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, to call for the process to begin for Mohegan Lake, which has closed for parts of each summer since 2012 due to water conditions.

“Mohegan Lake became eligible for the local waterfront revitalization program over six months ago, but nothing has happened,” Slater said. “In the Senate, I helped secure $80,000 for a new weed harvester in Mohegan Lake and secure a special permit from DEC to apply phosphorous-fighting alum, but these are minor victories. Issues in the hamlet and greater watershed including failing septic systems, traffic, and pollution at the town’s only public access point, the Holland Sports Club, will cost millions of dollars to remediate. A local waterfront revitalization plan can provide those dollars.”

Over a year ago, former Senator Terrence Murphy passed legislation to authorize the town of Yorktown to participate in the state’s inland waterway program to help Mohegan Lake, which allows the town to complete an LWRP. Yorktown Supervisor candidate Matt Slater served as Murphy’s chief of staff, and helped similarly protect dozens of other waterways in communities like Peekskill and Somers, which are already pursuing their LWRPs. Last week, Murphy’s successor, Senator Peter Harckham, passed his first bill through the State Senate, which would authorize three additional Yorktown lakes to have LWRPs, but the town is yet to act on last year’s law.

Council member Tom Diana said, “This is a beautiful lake that I used to swim in growing up, but since 2012, this lake has basically not been open for swimming. The algae is so thick, its almost like you could walk across it. With an inland waterway designation, we would be able to get the help we need to keep this lake a viable resource to the community.”

Council member Ed Lachterman said, “This is not only about cleaning the lake, but cleaning the areas around it. There is a lot of grant money available, we could work on sewers and do a lot of projects that have been a priority that our current supervisor says, ‘hey, we’re going to work on’, but we’re not working on them. I hope we can get the ball rolling on this.”

New York’s coastal and inland waterways program was designed to help be a sword or a shield for communities to access funding through an LWRP to achieve goals including toxic blue-green algae control and phosphorous reduction, flood control, tourism and economic development, while requiring all actions taken by developers, as well as federal, state and local government agencies, be consistent with the plan.

“Walking into the Supervisor’s office, there should not be a learning curve,” Slater concluded. We know what we want to get done. We should not be waiting a year to draft a plan to protect New York’s most endangered lake.”

Slater’s slate solidifies

YORKTOWN, NY – The Yorktown Republican Town Committee met last evening and endorsed its full slate for the 2019 election cycle. Leading the ticket is Matt Slater, the former Chief of Staff to State Senator Terrence Murphy. 

“Over the last two years the town has regressed. Indecisiveness and inaction has stalled progress,” Slater said. “The current Board majority has failed to advance the material interests of the town. Every other community is undertaking transformative innovation to keep pace with their community’s needs. Our slate will get Yorktown moving once again by seeking to appropriately expand our commercial tax base, modernize the way the town delivers services and improve our quality of life by restoring the health of our local lakes and addressing the drug and opioid crisis.” 

Joining Slater are incumbent Council members Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, Judge Gary Raniolo, and Mary Capoccia, candidate for Town Clerk, who came just 20 votes short of winning that position in 2015.  

“While local governments in other states are leading the way in innovation, Yorktown is still decades behind the eight-ball.” Capoccia said. “I will bring cost-effective, secure and modern processes to town government that will create a truly responsive, open and transparent Yorktown at a far lower cost to taxpayers.” 

“In the brief time as a majority the Board we worked hard to overcome years of short-sighted planning to get our town open for business,” Council member Diana said. “The results showed and dozens of job-creating projects were approved and funded, but that progress has come to a grinding halt. Regaining the majority will get Yorktown moving back in the right direction.” 

“The current Board majority’s tendency to arbitrarily reject the progress that preceded them has cost us the $60 million Jefferson Valley Mall reconstruction project, the Heights revitalization project and the expansion of vital sewer services,” Council member Lachterman said, “Without a walkable downtown, who is going to want to open up shop inYorktown? It should never have taken ten years to get Lowe’s approved, and without our ticket, it might never have gotten done. This election presents a clear choice to voters about which direction they want Yorktown heading.” 

Justice Gary Raniolo said, “I first ran for town judge when I saw how the safety and security of our community was emerging as a major concern. I have dedicated my legal experience and knowledge of the community to provide a judicial environment of law and order, with integrity, experience and honesty to address the opioid crisis and the backlog of cases at the town court, and it would be my honor to continue.”

Slater, 33, holds an MPA from Marist College and spent the last decade as a top aide to Senator Murphy, former Assemblyman Steve Katz and Westchester GOP Chair Doug Colety. He previously ran the New Hampshire State GOP and is involved in numerous local organizations. 

Council member Diana 62, is a former Yorktown police officer and is retired from the Westchester County Police Department. He is the owner of a local fuel oil company. He was elected to the town board in a 2015 special election and re-elected that year. 

Council member Lachterman, 53, is the owner of a small business in White Plains and has over thirty years of business management experience with corporations in Westchester. He was elected in his first bid for office in 2015. 

Judge Raniolo, 61, has over three decades of legal experience. He is a former Westchester County Assistant District Attorney. He mantains numerous professional memberships and is closely involved with the Yorktown Youth Court and the YorktownAlliance for Safe Kids. 

Capoccia, 58, is a program administrator at the Westchester County Board of Elections and previously served as Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor of Yorktown from 2012 to 2018. She worked as a law clerk in the office of former Yorktown Supervisor Al Cappellini in his private practice. 

Running for the Westchester County Board of Legislators are former Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina, 61, in the 1st District, and former Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, 62, in the 4th District. 

“Westchester County is heading in the wrong direction and after years of bipartisan governance and holding the line on taxes, we are seeing insane proposals like a 13.6% sales tax hike,” Catalina said. “We have to put a stop to the tax madness or there will be no-one left here in Westchester to pay them.” 

“The Board of Legislators and its Democratic majority is a impediment, to the advancement of innovative business investment in the County,” Grace said. “The County must foster an environment that encourages investment in all of its communities, the attempts to run roughshod over local zoning and involving itself in the promotion of progressive social issues is counterproductive to keeping Westchester County vibrant. A Republican victory in the 4th Legislative District will begin to restore the much needed checks and balances to County government.”