Caveat Emptor

A common statement we hear is that 2005 was a long time ago and a lot has changed since then.

That is true.  A child born in 2005 would now be entering Edgemont Junior High School.  Yet a lot has not changed, for example - the increasing costs of garbage removal, police protection, ambulance service, installing traffic lights, paving streets, digging up and repairing broken water and sewage mains, and the list goes on.   Indeed, a look at the Edgemont School District would show a large increase in taxes.

There is a significant reason why the 2005 EVEC Report should be considered primary when evaluating the costs and risks of incorporation.  That report was written by Edgemont residents who supported, opposed and were uncommitted on the issue of incorporation.  That meant that they had to agree on the basic facts of the consequences of incorporation and one of those facts was a 30% to 37% tax increase if incorporation occurred.  While things may have changed over twelve years, it is hard to reconcile a 180 degree turn in the estimated costs and consequences of incorporation that proponents of the effort predict from a report prepared for one side of an issue (e.g. a 1% tax increase).

There is no such thing as clean coal, cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, and global warming is real.  Studies paid for by one side of an issue are inherently not reliable.  If supporters of incorporation truly believe that the study they commissioned is correct on the facts, then they should embrace the formation of a 2017 EVEC committee – made up of supporters, opponents and the undecided - to look into the costs, benefits and detriments of incorporation on taxes, services, zoning and planning, Metro North parking fees, governance and the loss of amenities we in Edgemont have come to take for granted – like the Town pool. 

Indeed, supporters of incorporation acknowledge in a legal disclaimer on their website, that they are not responsible for errors or omission in their research or analysis.  This does not necessarily mean they acted in bad faith, but it certainly means that if your taxes go up by 30% - 37%, it’s not their fault.

What reason is there for not establishing a new EVEC committee?  Perhaps it would delay an incorporation petition by a year, but in the scheme of things that is a small price to pay for community buy-in.  However, it seems unlikely that supporters of incorporation will agree to participate in a new bipartisan effort, because once an uncontested factual report is released to the community, as happened in 2005, well informed residents would not support incorporation.  No petition was circulated in 2005, because the community had the facts.