Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown Gets Politically Involved:
Endorses Tom Diana for Yorktown Town Board
Tom Diana, Candidate for Town Board
(Statement Read by Bill Primavera at First Meeting of Democrats for Diana, June 19, 2014)
When Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown first formed in 2012 as a group of concerned individuals, mostly businesspersons in our community, we dedicated ourselves to intelligent development in our town in a balanced way, not necessarily with any particular political agenda.
Besides encouraging discussion about intelligent business growth, we adopted and promoted other issues, such as historic preservation (as with the Adams Bernstein property). downtown redevelopment (as with Depot Square) and equal opportunity in housing (as with the Compass Westchester solver living residence).
We never endorsed political candidates, but stuck to the issues at hand. However, in the past year, the political environment in Yorktown has changed radically and, we believe, in a very unhealthy way. At this juncture, our Town Board is deadlocked with four board members, two of whom are progressive and two of whom are, in our opinion, detrimental to the future of Yorktown as a robust community.
A special election for a vitally needed fifth board member beckons us to action to seek public support for a progressive candidate to move Yorktown forward. That candidate is Tom Diana. Most of us here tonight are registered Democrats - true Democrats - and we are all crossing party lines to support Tom who is running on the Republican ticket. To us, it's the right person for the job, not the party, that is important.
Tonight, Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown takes the bold step of announcing its endorsement of Tom Diana for Town Councilman for the Town of Yorktown. We feel that it is critical that he be elected in November to turn the tide of ennui and negativity that now holds Yorktown captive. Join us in supporting Tom and in freeing Yorktown from the shackles of the extremists who may carry the mantel of "smart" growth when their true agenda is "no" growth.
Join us in supporting Tom Diana and voting for him on November 4th! Thank you.
Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown supports strong economic development, while also seeking to preserve the character and natural resources of our area.
Our current projects are listed below. Please click on the project names and get involved. We look forward to hearing from you.
Learn how Costco is good for Yorktown! Download and share our Plain Talk Fact Sheet here.
February 18, 2014
The Character of Our Town is Threatened
A vitally important issue has erupted in Yorktown, which not only violates our basic rights, but also discriminates against a protected class of people: those with disabilities.
Rather than engage in reasoned debate, there are members of the opposition who are stirring up neighbor-versus-neighbor emotions that show our town of Yorktown in the worst possible light. I would not want to be a member of the town they would bring about, and there are many others who feel the same.
Therefore, Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown is adopting the cause of Compass Westchester, a residence for people seeking to overcome addiction.
Please review the information below. We also hope you can plan to come to the informational meeting at Town Hall on February 24th.
A Letter From the Applicants
Examiner News Editorial
June 25, 2013
Progressive Yorktown Promotes “New Aesthetics” for “Downtown”
Yorktown Heights, NY, June 25, 2013 -- Today at a press conference with the announced theme, “A New Vision for the Town of Yorktown,” Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown revealed plans that would enhance the town’s aesthetics and create a new sustainable and “walkable” development for downtown Yorktown.
According to Bill Primavera, spokesperson for Progressive Yorktown, sponsor of the event, “These plans have been developed and advanced by the administration and professional staff of the Town who asked our group to weigh in on the concepts and communicate them to the public. We fully support both visions.”
The first plan is for uniform Town signage in impressive “monument” signs that would present an enhanced image for visitors and would aid in directions to landmarks, services and businesses in town. The second plan is for a commercial and residential complex that would stand where the Highway Department is now situated.
“It’s basically about aesthetics and how our town presents itself to visitors, residents, homebuyers and businesses,” said Michael Grace, Town Supervisor. “I called Bill in to establish a task force to create a signage program that would have us look our best at each entrance area to the town. Also, as a practical matter, it would offer improved directions for visitors.”
Once established with architects and designers, the task force identified a concept which was designed by architect/designer Heike Schneider and Tim Beachak, owner of SignsInk, located in Yorktown. The first monument will be donated to the town by Beachak.
The second project is a complex to be known as Depot Square, envisioned as a new town center, but located where Yorktown’s original town center was, clustered near the Putnam Line Depot. It would be composed of commercial and residential development.
“Interestingly this was the original town center from the 18th century, then called Depot Square,” Primavera said. “In that area was a famous hotel called the Whitney House, long ago demolished.?The inspiration for the new plaza, conceived by architect Michael Piccirillo, is that very hotel.”
Depot Square is part of the overall downtown improvement plan that was addressed by John Tegeder, Yorktown’s Director of Planning.
“With this downtown improvement project, including Depot Square, we would create a new and vibrant town center, exactly where it was originally,” concluded Michael Grace.
Primavera described the overall mission of Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown, composed of business owners and residents, as supporting “intelligent and responsible business growth in Yorktown.”
“Our first project was to examine ‘intelligent and responsible’ business development which we support, but we also added to our list projects involving historic preservation and, now, community appearance,” he said.
(Click here for artists' renderings.)
December 20, 2012
Progressive Yorktown Shares Thought with Planning Board
Dear Members of the Yorktown Planning Board,
Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown did not ask supporters of Costco to write again and again, which the opposition has done, as I understand it, but I would like to offer one last sentiment collectively on our supporters' behalf as we meet the deadline of the open period.
That is, time and again, Yorktown citizens have shared with me their convictions that, should the Costco application not be approved, that would be the death of the "Progress with Preservation" slogan of the town.
As one neighbor shared with me just over this past weekend:
"If the Town does not welcome a great company like Costco with open arms, we will perpetuate our reputation of the last 30 years for being 'anti-business.' What other decent company would want to spend money or time trying to buck the elitist, anti-development forces that want to keep Yorktown in the 19th century?"
Please consider the importance of the Costco question, not only for its immediate benefits for the town but also for its very future as a viable business opportunity for other companies.
Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown
November 16, 2012
MEDIA ALERT: Costco Foe Identified as Gas Gouger by Attorney General
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is accusing three Westchester County gas stations of price gouging after Superstorm Sandy. One of those is the Shell Station at 3709 Crompond Road in Yorktown whose owner has been linked to a group opposed to the Costco development which would feature a fueling station, offering gas at competitive prices.
October 18, 2012
"Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law, Schneiderman said in a statement.
Douglas McGowan, a retired police officer and real estate professional who resides in Yorktown said, "It really annoyed me that any gas station would take advantage of citizens at a time when a major storm has upended their lives. These people are not good neighbors.
Anti-Costco, 24%; Pro-Costco, 74%!
Even though this Daily Voice Poll is unscientific and even though the opposition is much better organized because of its benefactors, the public has spoken loud and clear about who does and who doesn't want Costco. And the pro's have it by a wide margin! Remember to come back to the Public Hearing when it continues on Monday, October 29th, to show our support for this project that benefits Yorktown on so many levels. Same place and time.
October 17, 2012
Adams-Bernstein House: Moving Ahead
An exciting day today in Yorktown, demonstrated by the truly "smart growth" supported by Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown. Here Mark Franzoso of Franzoso Contracting (left) joins Bill Primavera (center), marketing professional and realtor, and Supervisor Michael Grace at a press conference to announce the sale of the historic Adam-Bernstein house, purchased by Franzoso for adaptive use as affordable housing. The barn will be utilized as public performance space for the Town's use, and the property will be subdivided for market-rate housing.
October 16, 2012
Sending a Positive Message!
The headline below shows the great interest our community has for the Costco project. And look at those signs, silently and effectively sharing our message!
October 13, 2012
Supporting Fair Debate
"The opposition is exercising its right to speak out as it sees fit," said Bill Primavera, Costco supporter and member of Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown. "Those of us who know that Costco will be a great benefit to Yorktown on many levels will just rely on the facts as presented for the approval process."
"Costco Protest Continues in Yorktown," Yorktown Daily Voice, October 13, 2012
Find more articles here.
October 6, 2012
Why Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown Was Started
Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown was formed in late September, 2012 to represent intelligent and responsible business development in Yorktown, encouraging economic growth while still maintaining the character and natural resources of the area.
The group first came together in response to a negative publicity campaign by a small group of residents opposed to the addition of Costco Wholesale as a new neighbor in Yorktown. Residents and local business owners were concerned that the benefits of having a Costco in Yorktown, as well as the solutions to the concerns raised by the opponents, were being overlooked.
The group's first project was to develop a "plain talk" fact sheet about Costco that addressed the concerns of the small but highly vocal group of opponents to the plan and to present it at a press conference at the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce on September 28, 2012. In attendance were representatives of the community, including business owners and regular shoppers who shared their vision for Yorktown's economic future, with Costco as its catalyst. The Chamber's president and board members in attendance voiced the Chamber's full approval of the Costco project.
As an orderly process proceeds, Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown will present an astute and aware perspective on business development in the area, which will include other projects on the board. To learn more, please join our mailing list by registering on our “Contact” page, or follow us on Facebook at: www.faceook.com/citizensforprogressiveyorktown
October 5, 2012
An Unexpected "Town-Meeting"
When I walked into my 7-11 in Yorktown Heights to get a much needed cup of coffee near the end of a very busy day, the owners approached me and said that they are very much in favor of a Costco in Yorktown and, within a minute or two, there was a small gathering around me -- people I don't know but who recognized me from the media while I've worked for Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown -- asking me questions about how it's going and is there really any threat that Costco won't come? It was like a mini town meeting, and very gratifying to see that our message with the correct information about Costco has saturated the community.
Member, Citizens for a Progressive Yorktown
October 3, 2012
Great comment about why Costco would be good for Yorktown's image
Bob Rohr made an excellent point in the comments section of the recent Patch.com article:
"Yorktown is very large as Westchester Towns go. We are at the end of the NY metro area, but NYC is the engine that drives our economy and we have no Railroad Station. We have the Taconic Parkway. We are by no means a poor Town. We are a Town which grew in a haphazard way at first and is now maturing. We have almost no shopping. The Heights Hamlet cannot expand commercially, at this point the shopping area is surrounded by homes. Front Street could have become a Village shopping area expanding the Yorktown Commons theme, but that ship has sailed. The Rt. 202 and Rt. 6 corridors are our best shot at attracting some revenue producing commercial development without affecting our residential neighborhoods and our truly rural open spaces. Costco is not Tiffany or Lord and Taylor, but it does send a message to retailers that if you come to Yorktown with a acceptable plan, you will be listened to and be given serious consideration. Once you have opened that door, it is up to the Town leadership to set the bar very high on what that development would look like and how it would benefit the Town. The revenue from these two small strips within a 40 Sq mile space could help fund preserving open space."
Plain Talk fact sheet available
Here's a great fact sheet about why Costco would be good for Yorktown that outlines the benefits and addresses the concerns. Read it here or download a PDF to share here.