Steve Wilgermein - Tarrytown - Trustee
Steve Wilgermein is a candidate running for a trustee position in Tarrytown under the Republican and Tarrytown First slates. Steve has been working for over 34 years at the Yonkers Wastewater Treatment Plant and is currently a supervising plant operator. His position requires that he be trained for various safety routines and ensure the safety of those working under him. As a county employee he is also a member of the CSEA union. He is married and has two sons. He has been in Tarrytown for the last 12 years living in Tappan Manor, prior to that he had been living on College Avenue in Sleepy Hollow. You can find out more about Wilgermein on the Tarrytown First website.
1) Can you name some of your accomplishments or experiences that highlight your ability to function as a trustee?
I am very well versed in all the safety practices. I know what is required, what is needed and what goes into training. I went to fire training in Valhalla 17 years ago, I know what is involved and the physical demand on a body. I'm trained in hazardous material operations, we have our own procedures and protocols. I have specialized OSHA training.
Also, with the union, I know what is involved with contracts and how it works and I would bring that knowledge as a trustee.
I also bring a different perspective. I wasn't really involved in anything, but the tragedy in September motivated me to come forward. I would like to think I'm bringing a different type of attitude, a different sense of what's right and what's wrong.
2) What is something that incumbents have accomplished that you approve of?
That's a tough one. I would say that they've met all the deadlines in their compliance orders (for safety). So far, they've done what they're supposed to. We haven't met any fines, they've complied.
3) Some people have advocated for the removal or village staff and members of the fire department, or, that these individuals should step down. What is your position on this?
The cited four individuals who were all somewhat responsible. I am a little disappointed that it is almost six months later and nothing has been done yet and we're still in the middle of this. I thought more would have been done, I though there were more people accountable. It's surprising that it's six months later and it's still business as usual.
4) Do you approve of using long-term debt to finance capital projects? How do you feel about the current debt burden?
The budget seems to be a problem. We're spending a lot more than we should. I don't like borrowing that kind of money, but there are times that you have to.
Discretionary spending has to be reigned in and we need to work on bringing the debt down. We're mortgaging our children and grandchildren's lives. We have more debt than Sleepy Hollow and Irvington combined. It's unfortunate that it's come to this.
5) How do you feel about the tone of discourse at Village Hall trustee meetings?
It appears that sometimes you are walking into an area where you have to be put on a defensive. You are coming in to speak your mind and there are times when you are being quizzed and interrogated. It should be the other way around. They (trustees) make people uncomfortable, it needs to be more people friendly. At times they come across like they are better than you. A politician is put in office to work for the people, not the other way around. Sometimes just the method of questioning leaves you dismayed, thinking, 'Did I said something wrong?'. It's not supposed to be that way. We're being heard but were not being listened to.
6) What are the biggest problems to overcome in Tarrytown over the next two years?
Getting a grip on the budget. That seems to be the utmost priority now. Bringing that debt down and getting more bang for our buck. Right behind that is the safety of employees in the village.
7) Have you been, or are you currently, involved in any government committees, civic organizations or volunteer efforts?
I really was just a stay-at-home person. I really wasn't involved in anything until this thing in September. I realized if something is going to get done, you have to get involved. You cant just hope and pray that things get done.
Any specific organizations?
Immaculate Conception is our Parish. I was a riding member of TVAC from 2002-2006, I worked day crew. I joined the Fire Department (Washington Engine Company) last December to pass on some of my knowledge to the younger members.
8) Are you in favor of re-starting a lawsuit with Sleepy Hollow over traffic mitigation plans pertaining to the GM development?
I believe if that site gets worked on, it's going to bring a lot of traffic. Traffic will be a nightmare. The roads are too small and too narrow. Route 9 is the only north-south route everything will be funneled through Route 9. The H-bridge, the maintenance will have to be more intense. I'd have to find out more about it though, especially how it would impact the commuter lot.
9) How do you feel about shared services? Do you approve of the proposed plan to consolidate the Parks and Recreation departments of the two villages and the school district under the leadership of TUFSD?
Shared services is worth looking into if we can save taxpayer money. It would help to bring our debt down. But I am not sure about going under the school district, I would have to look more into it.
10) Are there any final comments or issues you think are important that you would like to share with our readers?
I think we need to look at the fire houses and the process in which they were developed. Why we went with two different fire houses when there were plans to do a joint building that could have saved us money.
There is also an issue of safety at Washington Engine going to and coming from calls (due to the lack of a stop light). There have been a lot of close calls with people driving by and almost getting hit. If we had a duel firehouse, a traffic light at the station would have happened.
And Tarrytown Honda. We have to maintain that as a residential area. We want to not overdevelop that to where we have more of a nightmare with the traffic and vehicle problems. We want to keep that a nice quiet little area.