DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- How does your local government work? There are many board and commission meetings each month, so The Daily Dobbs Ferry has taken a look at a few of them to help residents get involved. Arguably three of the most important meetings in Dobbs Ferry are the board of trustees, the zoning board of appeals and the planning board. The board of trustees meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, the zoning board meets the second Wednesday of each month and the planning board meets the first Thursday of each month.
Agendas are normally finalized the Friday before the meeting and posted online a day or two before the meeting. Locals can also go into village hall to see the physical agenda posted on the bulletin board on the second floor.
The time and place of meetings are posted on the village website and its calendar well in advance of each session. Small bios are available online of the village board members and the chairman of the nominating committee. Information on others can be requested through the village clerk. According to village officials, the public is allowed to ask questions at public hearings and in meetings at designated times that are stated by the board. The board advises that comments be no more than three minutes long, but it is not a strict rule as oftentimes commenters persist and make more than one statement.
As reported , a recent Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees meeting involved heated debate over Mercy College's future development plans. Dobbs Ferry resident Sue Sussman made a statement, which was followed by Mercy College representative William S. Null, who rattled off traffic statistics. Sussman stood up and directly challenged the legitimacy of Null's statistics.
"It does get out of control sometimes," said Village Clerk Liz Dreaper. "It's more of the chairman's [decision] to put a limitation on it."
Records are also kept of each meeting in the form of minutes, which can be viewed online and at village hall upon request. The minutes posted online are retroactively updated so more recent minutes can be viewed at village hall. Minutes from each meeting are approved and made final at the following meeting.
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