To the Editor:
In your article on village elections and its now perilous finances, “Village elections set for March 19,” (Feb. 14 - 20), Mayor Ed Fare shirks responsibility for the village’s potentially disastrous fiscal condition, blaming Ed Cahill, saying, incorrectly, that the former mayor cut street maintenance to keep money in reserves, presumably to please Moody’s Investor Service.
Let’s look at the facts. Fare joined Cahill’s administration in 2004 and became mayor in 2011. The Herald reported then that Fare had nothing but praise for Cahill’s fiscal conservatism and for his keeping tax increases to a minimum; indeed, a tax freeze was one of Fare’s campaign promises. Cahill led the way on improving village roads, which Fare said he and the board supported and lauded.
Cahill, who became mayor in 1999, and Jim Darcy before him, took the village’s critical fund balance seriously and acted with financial prudence. In the Herald’s Year in Review for 2001, the village’s second Moody’s upgrade in two years was highlighted, reporting that taxpayers “stand to save thousands of dollars.”
Cahill left behind an $11.4 million fund balance. The Herald reported in 2016 that under Fare’s leadership, the village suffered a warning by the state comptroller that it was “susceptible to fiscal stress.” By March 2018, he had designated Valley Stream as under “moderate fiscal stress.” Residents anxiously await the next status update. They know the consequences of a poor credit rating, and understand the need to curtail non-essential spending. Valley Streamers on fixed incomes know this well. When mayoral candidate Ed Fare made a tax freeze one of his platforms, he agreed to live on a fixed income. Has the village curtailed non-essential spending and hiring? One need only look to 195 Rockaway Ave. for the answer.
Antun served as a village trustee from 1992 to 1996. She returned in 1999 to join Mayor Ed Cahill’s administration, and became acting mayor upon his death.