The Town of Greenburgh may have the highest ranked school district in the entire country, but the Town itself not only didn’t crack the top ten places to live in New York — when nine of the ten were from Westchester County — it didn’t even make a list of the top 50.
According to Movoto.com, the best place to live in New York this year is the Town of Mamoroneck, followed by the Village of Tarrytown, the City of White Plains, the Village of Mount Kisco, and the Town/Village of Scarsdale. Rounding out the rest of the top ten are the Town/Village of Harrison, the Village of Dobbs Ferry, the Town of Ossining, the City of Rye, and the City of New Rochelle.
“In order to come up with our ranking of best places in New York,” Movoto said, “we started out by gathering a list of all the places in the state with 10,000 people or more from the 2010 U.S. Census. This left us with a total of 87 places. We then looked at each of these places in terms of the following criteria:
- Total amenities
- Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student to teacher ratio)
- Total crimes
- Tax rates (sales tax and income tax)
- Commute time
- Weather (temperature and air quality)
From there, we ranked each place with a score of 1 to 87, according to the above criteria, with the lowest number being best. After that, we averaged each for an overall Big Deal Score; again, the lower the better.”
The site did not specify why certain large towns like Greenburgh did not even crack the top 50.
However, the Town and its government has had its share of problems, ranging from draining 40% of reserves last fall to fund spending needs in an election year in order to keep tax hikes artificially low, to backing efforts yesterday by the town attorney and town clerk to block a community-drafted proposal to give police in Greenburgh the tools they say they need — and which other New York towns and villages have enacted without objection — to stop houses of prostitution from fronting as massage parlors in the town.
On top of that, efforts resisted for years by town officials to build sidewalks to make it safer for children to walk to and from their elementary schools now seem to be moving at a snail’s pace — which is better than not moving at all — while a lack of municipal spending and planning has resulted in the town’s outdoor pools having outlived their 35-year useful life — with no plan to replace them.
Even such basic services as road repaving have slowed to the point where, after a series of terrible winters, many town roads are so rutted with potholes they might as well be located in war-town areas of Somalia or Syria. Even well publicized efforts to sell town property — such as Frank’s Nursery on Dobbs Ferry Road, which the Town acquired more than four years ago in a tax foreclosure sale — collapsed in failure when prospective purchasers learned the property was contaminated with carcinogens.
And Greenburgh taxpayers still have nearly ten years to pay off a $5.5 million settlement with the Fortress Bible Church — believed to be the largest such settlement against a municipality in U.S. history — after town officials were found to have violated the constitutional rights of the church by refusing permission to let the church build a chapel and school on church-owned land based on supposed traffic safety concerns that the court found were baseless.
On the positive side, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and town council members Kevin Morgan and Ken Jones are running for re-election proclaiming that, through their efforts, management of the Town has never been better.