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Letter to the Editor: Trustee Brakewood's Reasons for Running

Trustee Daniel Brakewood explains why he is running for re-election and why he is against allowing Starwood Capital to build a 820-unit apartment complex at the United Hospital site.

Dear Editor:

I first ran for Trustee in 2006 to halt the irresponsible actions of the previous Village Board, which had raised taxes 44% in three years, was intending to cut Village services, and had approved numerous housing projects without understanding their overall impact.

 As your elected Trustee, I have worked hard to get our village government in order.  I have identified and curtailed wasteful spending to hold the line on property taxes.  I led the charge to eliminate the costly practice of paying health benefits to part time elected officials, and stopped needless construction projects at Village Hall.

While trimming village pork, I have worked to redirect the savings into much-needed programs for village residents.  I advocated successfully for the creation of a new code enforcement department, funding for the police and fire departments, and the creation of a village-wide Master Plan that will encourage smart development.

During my time as your Trustee, our tax increases have ranked among the lowest in Westchester County, and our village has implemented many new programs designed to improve our quality of life.

 I am running for a third term on the Board of Trustees because I want to make sure that our village officials continue to put the needs of residents above all else.  Starwood Capital, an outside developer, wants to build an 820-unit apartment complex on the United Hospital site.  This project does not conform to the spirit of our village’s newly-adopted Master Plan.  If completed, this complex will cause major issues for our school system, public services and traffic flow.  I am concerned that three of our sitting Trustees (Terenzi, Didden and Kenner) have consistently approved Starwood’s march forward with this project.  I am further concerned that three candidates running for the village board (Pagano, Kenner and Ferraro) are current members of the village’s Industrial Development Agency, which negotiates tax breaks for developers.  If elected in March, these three individuals will be in a position to not only approve this project but also offer Starwood a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) that could cost residents some $35 million over 20 years.  Starwood Capital has already made it clear that they are waiting for a ‘pro-development’ board to win the March election so they can proceed with their 820 unit project. 

 If I am re-elected, I will continue to stand firm against Starwood’s 820-unit project.  I will continue to uphold the tenets of our new village Master Plan, which was conceived with great input from village residents over a six year period.  I will not support a PILOT for a huge corporation that will force the school district to bond for construction and raise taxes for residents.  I will continue to fight for smart development that will ease the tax burden of residents without negatively impacting the services we receive.  I am especially concerned about maintaining the services (police, fire, EMS, DPW and code enforcement) that make our village a safe place to live.  I will always work to eliminate wasteful spending, and prioritize investments that measurably improve your quality of life. 

I urge you to cast your votes for me and my like-minded running mates, Mayor Pilla, Trustee Marino and former Trustee Adams on the Democrat or Citizens for a Better Government lines.  We need your support at the polls to preserve the village that we all know and love.

Sincerely,

Daniel Brakewood

Village Trustee 

 

Aidan February 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM
" If I am re-elected, I will continue to stand firm against Starwood’s 820-unit project. I will continue to uphold the tenets of our new village Master Plan, which was conceived with great input from village residents over a six year period. I will not support a PILOT for a huge corporation that will force the school district to bond for construction and raise taxes for residents." Music to my ears.
JJ February 27, 2013 at 02:15 PM
I really don't know this gentleman but it sounds like that he knows what he's talking about here. I'd be interested to hear from other readers if the information written is correct. The one thing that I learned about the Village of Port Chester is that you have to FOLLOW THE MONEY. If you really want to see if something is legitimate in PC you need to see who's is "really behind" these projects. Note who the lawyers are, who they're associated with, who the financial "backers" are and whom they're also associated with. In a lot of cases the "front" people are pretty well known citizens in PC but that doesn't necessarily make the project legitimate and a good deal for Taxpayer's. PC is a place filled with good people but over the years it has become a petri dish for the unscrupulous for making money at the resident's expense.
Anthony R. February 27, 2013 at 02:26 PM
In watching the meetings, Trustee Brakewood does know what he is talking about. He is right on target with the part about the risk of electing three members of the IDA to the village board when they are also in a position to give Starwood a tax break. This scenario would be a win-win for Starwood - a guarantee that they could plow ahead with their undesirable pet project. And it would be a kick in the gut for the Port Chester community and future taxes.
JJ February 27, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Thanks for the insight.
Aidan February 27, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Absolutely correct, Anthony.
John B February 27, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I agree NO 820 UNITS.
Ian February 27, 2013 at 05:21 PM
He's got my vote(s)!
Bea Conetta February 27, 2013 at 06:05 PM
When the highly intelligent and very competent Dan Brakewood and Dennis Pilla (the dynamic duo) were elected to the BOT, it was the beginning of PC turning around from "backroom politics" to open and aboveboard governing. The Repubs are definitely in favor of development as is shown by their past history, so voters have to be very aware of this. The best way to insure we don't have Starwood get what they want is to vote for the Dems and Gene Ceccarelli.
Gofigure10573 February 28, 2013 at 02:49 AM
100% behind Mr. Brakewood. He truly means what he says and is not afraid to challenge the system on behalf of Port Chester and its residents. Elect like minded individuals to the board to move Port Chester forward.
Aidan February 28, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Gene Ceccarelli is also a similar, thoughtful and detailed thinker like Trustee Brakewood. He'd bring a great deal of logic and nimble thinking to the Board. We can't miss out on this talent.
Anthony R. February 28, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Trustee Brakewood and Gene Ceccarelli would be a great combination. Along with Mayor Pilla.
Gofigure10573 February 28, 2013 at 07:58 AM
Brakewood, Ceccarelli, and Pilla...agreed! As for the others?
Bea Conetta March 03, 2013 at 02:01 AM
These three are the terrific trio who would definitely succeed in governing with the rest of Pilla's party and minus those who have turned our BOT meetings into circuses..

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