Open Letter to The North Salem Community

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The North Salem Post management or staff.

It is hard to believe that three years have passed since I was elected to the Town Board. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving and have accomplished so much. I’d like to share these successes and my future vision. I am now carrying petitions again so I can serve for another four years. My priorities remain the same:

  • Fiscal responsibility and transparency
  • Planning and community engagement
  • Diversity of leadership
  • Climate action
  • Protecting open space

Fiscal responsibility and transparency

As a practicing lawyer who understands the importance of cutting-edge tools, I shared my vision with the Board to modernize our approach to finances. We agreed to purchase new software that will make budgeting, accounting and planning more transparent and eliminate inefficiencies in the manual approach that has been followed for decades.

Planning and community engagement

I also saw the need to create a formal capital plan for North Salem. The Board appointed me to chair the Capital Planning Committee made up of Town employees and community members to accomplish this. We have completed our inventory of the Town’s capital assets and are now evaluating them to develop a five-year plan for needed repairs and capital improvements.

Climate action

The Board appointed me to chair the Town’s Climate Action Committee. We have accomplished a lot. We successfully completed a municipal greenhouse gas inventory, wrote a Climate Action Plan, conducted a Climate Fair and multiple community education events and earned Bronze Certification from the State for our efforts. We are one of only 91 municipalities in New York to achieve this goal.

Protecting open space

I can’t alone take credit for the countless wise decisions over the years that have preserved open space and protected North Salem’s rural character, but I am eager to help navigate the turbulent waters surrounding the Governor’s proposed Housing Compact. We can’t dispute that Westchester has a history of housing discrimination and that the lack of affordable housing is a problem. However, I cannot support legislation that would increase housing density in Purdys and Croton Falls to 20 units per acre. Both hamlets lack essential infrastructure, including water, sewers, sidewalks, bike paths, parking, and the like for such dense development – especially with our responsibility to protect NYC’s watershed. Further, I see nothing in the proposed legislation that would guarantee that any of the new units remain affordable. This is density for density’s sake and we know from past experience that density in North Salem does not equal affordability.

Diversity of leadership

Finally, I want to say something about diversity of leadership. Our Town Board operates best with a mix of Democrats and Republicans representing diverse political viewpoints. Since Republicans already have a majority on the Board, we don’t need a fourth. I have been grateful for the town-wide support I have received and look forward to four more years of service.

Let’s keep the momentum going! Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have. If you are interested in helping with my campaign, please let me know. My campaign email is: kd4council@gmail.com

Kindest regards,

Katherine Daniels

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