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Baseline Report Expounded at Rye Town Dissolution Forum

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - The village of Mamaroneck hosted the second public forum regarding the Rye Town Dissolution Study on Thursday evening inside the court room of the village's municipal building.

While Mamaroneck played host to the forum, the study may result in affecting the village the least, as only the Rye Neck neighborhood is incorporated within the Town of Rye. The purpose of the evening was for the study's consulting firm, the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), to explain details of the recently published baseline report.

According to Joseph Stefko of CGR, the report's intention was to analyze the potential dissolving of the Town of Rye in addition to analyzing alternative forms of government for the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook, and Rye Neck as well, in the event the town decides to dissolve itself.

"When we talk about a baseline report, we're talking about an opportunity to see how different entities handle services," Stefko said. "Once the baseline report is established, the study now shifts to an exploration of options and analysis of their potential impacts."

According to the report, the Town of Rye does not provide any essential or "high intensity" services like police, fire, or sanitation. The two biggest services the Town of Rye does provide is tax assessment and tax collection.

"The report is a great foundation for us to build on as we begin to look at other possibilites," Stefko added.

Stefko went on to discuss how the unique nature of this particular study states that the "menu" of services offered by the Town of Rye is much narrower than other town governments in the state.

"I don't know if this structure lends itself to linear analysis," Stefko said. "We need to approach each piece with its own analysis, and then the committee can select from the menu which options it wants."

Stefko also said the ultimate goal of both the report and the forum was to provide the public with a clear frame of reference, because the public will ultimately decide the outcome.

Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, one of the four elected officials serving on the study's steering committee, was highly complimentary of the CGR's baseline report .

"When we decided to conduct the study we wanted a thorough report," Carvin said. "It's very obvious how complete this is."

Carvin, who graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, went on to say the report was as good as any he's ever seen.

The three other members of the steering committee, Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum, Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, and Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein, all agreed with Carvin's sentiment.

Stefko said that CGR will be able to draft a final report complete with recommendations by April with the third and final public forum taking place in May.

To view the baseline report you can visit the project's page on CGR's website .

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