Windy Warmup on Schedule After Crispy Snow Dust Stops By White Plains on a Snowy Evening

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WPCNR WEATHER SCOOP. From National Weather Service. April 16, 2014:

It was a Dracula night last night that turned into a Russian novel. Driving rain near midnight turned to snow last evening leaving a dusting. Daffodils and hyacinths had a shock.

But warmth is on the way. It was 29 at the White Plains airport and 34 in the White Plains legendary Southend and Mr. Sun was back at 7 A.M.

The forecast:

  • Today: Sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a northwest wind 16 to 21 mph.
  • Tonight: Clear, with a low around 29. North wind around 9 mph.
  • Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 48. East wind 10 to 13 mph.
Posted in Uncategorized

Snow Ball in Fort Wayne!

WPCNR VIEW FROM FORT WAYNE, INDIANA. From Mike Couzens column IT’S ALL RELATIVE April 15, 2014:

White Plains High’s graduate Mike Couzens whose mug heads the It’s All Relative Column reprinted here, is Promotion Director and the Voice of the Fort Wayne Tincaps in Fort Wayne, Indiana. John Nolan guested this column telling of the wonder of a late snow that many players had never seen

 

http://tincaps.mlblogs.com/author/mlblogstincaps1/

Snow on April 14? Snow on April 14.

by It’s All Relative

Monday night at Parkview Field was one of those games you had to see to believe. Early in the morning on Monday, the temperature in Fort Wayne was as high as 70 degrees. Now that shouldn’t be all that surprising given that it’s mid-April, but considering the winter here and the start to spring, it felt even more magnificent than usual.

And then this happened.

http://mlblogstincaps.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/phone-pics-042.jpg

That’s a look at Parkview Field last night around 10:30. The TinCaps and Burlington Bees started on schedule at 7:05 without any precipitation — just cold. The temperature at first pitch was 41. But it only continued to dip as the game went on. A misty rain turned into a freezing rain and eventually the field was covered in snow. During the top of the 7th, with Burlington up, 4-2, the game was finally put into a “snow delay” and then called after the mandatory 30-minute waiting period.

Personally, I’d never witnessed a snow delay or snow-shortened game before. Neither had every player I talked to afterward. The ensuing scene was wild.

http://mlblogstincaps.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/phone-pics-040.jpg

There’s TinCaps outfiedler Ronnie Richardson holding a snowball and having Bees pitcher Garrett Nuss take his picture. Both are from Florida and played together at UCF. The climate’s a bit different in Orlando. (By the way, in the 6th when the snow was starting to pick up, Ronnie drew a walk. Gotta admire that discipline.)

How about this below: Once the game was put into a snow delay and Fort Wayne’s staff was bringing the tarp out, Burlington’s team didn’t sprint to the clubhouse to get out of the cold. Nope. They took a team photo together on the field!

http://mlblogstincaps.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/phone-pics-030.jpg

The only times I’ve ever seen a team pose for a postgame picture have been after championships or major milestones. Snow? I guess why not. It was certainly unique.

On the other side, the reaction of TinCaps players was different than usual, too. Not to say the team wasn’t disappointed to lose, but given the circumstances, most guys weren’t necessarily sulking as much as they were trying to embrace the moment. Fort Wayne’s roster is primarily comprised of players from the Dominican, Mexico, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. Some had literally never seen snow before, let alone played in it.

So here’s what the yard looked like when we arrived this morning (Tuesday) around 9:00. And below is what it looks like right now as we get set for a 7:05 first pitch.

Even Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney is impressed. TinCaps Head Groundskeeper Keith Winter, Assistant Groundskeeper Andrew Burnette, Scott Rhodes, Jake, and crew are as good as it gets in Minor League Baseball.

So now the snow is gone, though unfortunately the cold is not. It’s 33 right now and feeling like 23 with the wind… But we will play ball!

Hope you can join me with Mike Couzens on XFINITY Channel 81 in the local viewing area or Mike Maahs over on The Fan 1380.

Have you ever seen a baseball game played in the snow? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan.

It’s All Relative | April 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1rXtJ-8Vgt
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WPCNR WEATHER SCOOP: Cloud cover obscures Blood Moon Eclipse. Heavy Showers predicted. Sharply Colder Tuesday Evening

WPCNR WEATHER SCOOP.From the National Weather Service. April 15, 2014:

As of 2 A.M. Tuesday morning,  an overcast sky presaging rains forecast for Tuesday was obscuring the moon, making theTuesday morning “Blood Moon” eclipse invisible to viewers in the White Plains area. Next Blood Moon will occur in 2019.

Your White Plains observer could discern an overall orange hue to the sky but that was the only evidence of an eclipse taking place as of 3 A.M.

See video of the eclipse elsewhere here:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/watchtheskies/lunar-eclipse-20 14.html#.U0zSCpu6_XT

The moon was very bright as of 11:30 P.M. Tuesday evening, but by 2 A.M. was totally invisible through the thick cloud cover. Temperature was 60 degrees

The forecast for Tuesday:

  • Tuesday: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 10am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Areas of fog. High near 67. Breezy, with a south wind 14 to 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Tuesday Night: Rain showers before 2am, then a slight chance of snow showers and sleet between 2am and 3am, then a slight chance of snow showers after 3am. Some thunder is also possible. Low around 31. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
  • Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 49. Breezy, with a north wind 14 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

:

Posted in Uncategorized

City Captains Pass in the Night in a Sea of Financial Icebergs City, Schools Must Cut $1.7 Million apiece for 2015-16 Rebate. City Sales Tax Receipts one third of Inflation over last 10 years

Titanic-redo

WPCNR Quill & Eyeshade. Commentary By John F. Bailey  Originally published May 10, 2006 UPDATED TO TODAY April 14, 2014:

Tonight, 102 years ago, the RMS Titanic was steaming across the iceberg strewn North Atlantic. It had received dire warnings of icebergs in its path, yet it was slicing through the waters at 21 knots (25 miles per hour) on instructions by the White Star Line manager, J. Bruce Ishmay, to set a new transatlantic speed record. An ill-fated quest for the Titanic struck an iceberg 102 years ago tonight and sunk 2 A.M. Tuesday morning 102 years ago

Last  Monday evening, the Mayor of White Plains presented his budget to the Common Council.

Meanwhile, in another part of town… not too far away the interim  Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connors advised the school board it would have to cut $5 Million in three years to qualify White Plains taxpayers for a property tax rebate of 2% that is  part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s effort to force cities, towns and school districts to trim spending to ease the property taxes on New York State residents.

WPCNR notes last Monday was a missed opportunity for both leaders to call for  a public town meeting of the minds and exchequers, perhaps form another task force to combine portions of their budgets  as they sail on a financial sea afloat with financial icebergs:

The Captains of the two “ships of the city,” the School District Titanic  (because it has the bigger budget and the constituency that cares the most, and the City Hall as the Carpathia (the Titanic rescue ship),  could have taken that public relations (at the very least gesture)  last Monday  night as an opportunity to entertain possible solutions to steering around their twin financial icebergs:

The first iceberg is the city “roll-over-and-play-dead, never-met-a-certiorari-I-didn’t-grant” response to certioraris popular 7 years ago that crippled the city assessibles. Though certs have fallen off due to the long recession, those companies are due to come back and take back more to reflect their assessments the last 8 years. They do it because they can.

The second iceberg is the school district reluctance to trim staff, attack its bureaucracy, and trim the automatic increase they deliver every year minimum in the school budget. Previously up to 2006-07, the district was raising the budget 6 to 7% a year.

Now the recession and the Governor Cuomo tax cap have cut that annual rollover to around 3%. It’s still a lot.

No, the mutual reaching out between the School district and the City of White Plaind did not happen in White Plains last Monday night.

The Mayor and Superintendent met in separate sites in the same city. Much as the Titanic wallowed for two and a half hours before sinking while the ship California, a mere 3 miles away from the Titanic ignored the distress calls, and five other ships within two hours’ sail, passed her by. Only the Carpathia, 40 miles away steamed to Titanic rescue.

Neither Captain of the two city ships seems particularly interested in working seriously to a joint solution to the laissez faire budget trends of either financial ship.

A joint committee of city and community and school representatives wallowed for a year trying to find services that could be consolidated and managed only to save an estimated $75,000 a  year in savings for the school district (on a $184 Million school budget) with the city handling the district vechicle maintenance. The city throws away that money on studies in the blink of an eye when it suits them and pays millions to legal firms.

One City Captain, the Mayor,  does not jawbone businesses who file certioraris, has not explored a quid pro quo that could protect city taxpayers from bleeding certioraris from business.

Before the Bradley-Roach administration took office, In 2006 in the last year of the “Renaissance”  in the city, statements were made that the city  has had 1,000 businesses have come to the city. I did not get a list then from the city.

Realtor Worry about White Plains Exodus

These days businesses are trying to leave White Plains as soon as they can, because the rents are too high. A commerical broker told me last  Wednesday that within the last month, 7 businesses in White Plains csmr to her, seeking to move out of White Plains. That is just one broker.

While the other Captain, the interim Superintendent of Schools, of course will give the helm to a new leader in July  (candidates are going to be presented to the Board this month). It is not his problem to steer the ship.

That new superintendent will be confronted with the need more than ever  to institute an aggressive program to cut school district budget growth because the Governor wants them to.

Both Captains seem to be imitating each others’ spending policies, while feeding taxpayers, human coal into the boilers of their respective city financial engines, burning up senior citizens’ retirement savings, raising taxes inexorably.

The question is when will they run out of coal (taxpayers)?

Now what could be gained by a public meeting of the Mayor and the new Superintendent of Schools? You never know.

Can the Mayor show some numbersmanship to take hold of his budget? It continues to grow unchecked due to blind faith in development falling short of expectations, while the development creates new spending needs that outpace development benefits.

Can a new School Superintendent embark on budget projections and spending cuts in anticipation of city certioraris before rather than after the fact? Could a certiorari “giveback” penalty be enacted by the city fathers to make cert-filers think twice before “cert-ing”?

Could the city, rather than balancing budget  by selling off assets, cut its budget just a tad?

Will the Common Council refuse to give raises to Commissioners this year? Will they demand cuts? Perhaps a more than a token cut might be made?

Cuomo 2nd and 3rd year  2% rebates a big challenge for the leaders who do not have “cut” in their minds

The Common Council goes into its annual show of worrying over the city budget, Wednesday at six P.M in the Mayor’s conference room.

Here’s something they should talk about;

In order to deliver 1% savings on taxes in 2015-16 to generate 2% taxpayer property tax rebates under Governor Cuomo’s tax rebate plan aimed at making local governments responsible for property tax reform (and not the state) , the city must cut spending 1%.

That will be a new trick the Council has not done in only one year,  the 14 years I have covered the city.

Based on the budget Mayor Tom Roach presented last week, he is passing that buck literally to the Common Council to cut  the budget $1.76  Million next year to  qualify residents for the tax cap in 2015-16. If they cut the proposed budget they are taking up Wednesday,. they would get a jump on next year. I would think that would be wise, wouldn’t you?

Maybe they will not have to cut that much, though, maybe some expenses are exempt under the fine print of the Albany legislation. That may be further explained. But even a $1 cut is difficult for this council to make.

The city, though appears to be taking its cue from the School District 25 year traditional habit of spending and the city is playing great catch up ball.

Let’s look at the way it was 8 years ago: the City combined operating budget for 2006-2007 was $146.3 Million. The city budget was growing at 5.2% a year 2% over the inflation rate at that time. It is continuing to double approximately  the inflation rate

According to John Callahan, the City Corporation Council, this is the rate of city growth in taxes the last four years by the tax rate per $1,000 of accessed valuation:

FY 2010-11: $167.82  UP 6.9%

FY 2011-12: $176.11  UP  4.9%

FY 2012-13: $184.47 UP 4.75%

FY 2013-14:  $191.74  UP  3.9%

and last Monday’s FY 2014-15: $196.14  UP 2.3%

This is what happens when you spend more than your revenues and bet on the next big check, borrow for the future against the present.

Meanwhile in the Southend of town…

The School Budget is $100,000 short of a landmark $200 Million a year Budget

It is conceivable that rising expenses will bring additonal budget increases well beyond $200 Million very quickly to keep the School District Titanic steaming ahead with a full compliment of crew .

It is interesting to note that if that happens the budget will go from $165.8 Million this year (2006-2007) to $200 Million in two years.

If the school board continues raising the budget 4% (assuming 1.5% inflation in rising expenses to the district a year,( a conservative estimate), look where the school budget will go in 5 years:

2015-16: $207,896,000

2016-17: $216,211,840

2017-18: $224,860,313

2018-19: $233,854,725

2019-20: $243,208,914

Scary isn’t it?

Interim Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connors in a memo to the School Board last week on the effects of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “shared services plan,” due from the city and the school district June 1, 2015, wrote:

“For the White Plains School District, the 1% would equal a required savings each of $1,670,627 or $5,011,881 over 3 years.”

That $1.7 Million is very close to what the city has to save  to get you, Mr. and Mrs. White Plains your 2% tax rebates the next three years.

Given the unwillingness to cut spending — a tradition of both the school district and the city administrations– we need an evangelical and patriotic spirit of resolution to slow the two Titanics down.

When both the city and the school district increase spending when revenues are, in the school district case, dwindling, and in the city’s case, not rising as fast as they would like, something or someone has got to give.

Usually it is you and me, the taxpayer. We keep on giving more each year for less. Less performance, less progress, less everything.

Are the financial Captains and the School Board members and Common Council members going to take a look, together?

City and school district financial policy is flooding red ink all over the city books, despite contrived surpluses by counting loans as revenue, by  bonding for doubtful projects, fire sales of land we delay payment for (remember the commuter parking lot we are still owed money for?), and assurances that development will save the day. Maybe development will. It has not so far.

Plugging the monetary gash in the side of the School District Titanic with tax increases, stopgap borrowing, while the Carpathia of the city government steams in circles  instead of coming to the rescue is aggravating the revenue situation for both city and school district.

Both revenue sources are drying up on the city and the school district.

It does not take a Ph.D. or an MBA to figure that out.  Because the Ph.Ds and MBA’s have not figured it out. All you have to do is look at your tax bill.

As a  Mayor of the past was  fond of saying, and some councilpersons and school board members still echo, “it all comes out of the same pocket.” Well it is our pockets. And you keep reaching in for more.

In the future, the city has to find some way to stop the certioraris.

The city has to extract an infrastructure tax of some kind with new development

The school district must cut..

The entire city has to wake up and smell the coffee that development has to be done, but you have to extract a fair amount of taxes out of the developers and commercial taxpayers so the homeowner does not subsidize businesses…which we are.

White Plains economy in slackwater.

A WPCNR review of White Plains City retail sales tax receipts shows that the real increase in city sales tax revenues in ten years is way behind inflation.

The real increase in city development  has only risen $1.6 Million a year since 2002-2003 when the city sales tax collected was $34,413,400  in sales tax

Last Fiscal Year,  2012-13,  the city collected $50 Million in sales tax revenues, $15.6 million  or 45% more than ten years ago — even with sales tax increases.

However the Consumer Price Index in the tri-state metropolitan area according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics has gone up 158% in those ten years.

This I believe is sobering during a period when by inflation alone, if the retail market was being shopped and even with the action generated by the short-lived Renaissance, city sale tax only advanced at a rate  one-third of inflation in the NY-NJ Metropolitan area. That is hard to comprehend.

The city really needs to address this problem of shopper and restaurant-frequenter loss. Either that or the proper amount of sales taxes due is being underpaid or underreimbursed by the state for reasons God knows what. How can the downtown redevelopment White Plains has experienced deliver so little.

Mayors past and present say there is nothing they can do about the certioraris. That is not the answer. Together the two captains should get their ships together soon with the commercial businesses that are creating these financial icebergs because they can. You can hardly blame them.

The question the two captains (city leader and school superintendent to come) have to engage is:

When do the tax increases become too much for the well-meaning and generous White Plains taxpayers to bear? When will the populaces who believe all the city hall and school district hand-wringing and finger-pointing, realize what is happening and why?

Do they care?

As then- Superintendent Connors said Tuesday evening at the Council of Neighborhood Associations back in 2006 , “everything is relative,” noting that the same things were said about the budget twenty years ago.

The only answer is that the people of White Plains simply do not care about competant management. They want to believe the politicians who always claim they are mindful and always say their budgets are lean and barebones, and they are increasing budgets “for the kids.”

It is more comfortable to go to your financial ruin when nice, smart people are saying they are doing all they can.

The alternative that they do not care is unthinkable to comtemplate.

Why update a previously published article?

It shows how the more things are said that things have changed, the more they remain the same.

Posted in Uncategorized

Andy Spano, former Westchester County Executive, Goes Back to Work for the State Board of Elections

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of the Governor. April 14, 2014:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of Andrew J. Spano to the New York State Board of Elections. Mr. Spano was recommended for this appointment by Assemblyman Keith Wright in his capacity as Chair of the New York State Democratic Party. The Board of Elections serves as a bipartisan agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of election laws in New York State.

“By agreeing to join the Board of Elections, Andy will carry on his long career in public service and uphold New York State’s commitment to fair and responsible elections,” Governor Cuomo said. “I want to thank Assemblyman Keith Wright for his recommendation on this appointment and welcome Andy Spano to the State’s Board of Elections.”

“Andrew Spano will serve as a worthy addition to New York State’s Board of Elections,” Assemblyman Keith Wright said. “I am thrilled that Governor Cuomo has agreed with this nomination, and I am sure that Andrew will use his insight and experience to protect the integrity of elections in New York State.”

Mr. Spano said, “I am honored to be appointed by Governor Cuomo to the New York State Board of Elections. New Yorker’s deserve a watchdog at the Board that protects the integrity of our elections and ensures that the voice of the people is heard. I look forward to being that figure and working with the other Commissioners to raise the integrity of elections across the State.”

Mr. Spano has worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator in both New York City and Westchester County for nearly thirty years. He also helped to establish the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, which seeks to raise educational standards and advocates on behalf of fair working conditions for education professionals.

After his educational career, Mr. Spano served as the Westchester County Clerk for four years and then as the Chairman of the Westchester County Democratic Party. In 1998 he was elected Westchester County Executive for three terms. Mr. Spano also served as a member of the Governor’s SAGE commission and is Vice President of the Board of Managers at the Trump Park Residences in Shrub Oak.

As a result of this appointment, Mr. Spano joins Commissioner Gregory P. Peterson as well as Co-Chairs James A. Walsh and Douglas A. Kellner. 

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County Mortgage Tax down in First Quarter. Off 20%, Though “handle” is highest since 2008

WPCNR HOME FRONT. Special to WPCNR from the Westchester County Clerk. April 14, 2014:

While 2013 mortgage tax revenue was the highest Westchester County had seen since 2008, first quarter revenue figures show that 2014 has gotten off to a slow start with only $2,808,388 collected for the county from January 1st through March 31st of this year.

The mortgage tax, considered a major county revenue source, has languished in recent years as the national economy and our local real estate market recovered.

The first quarter collections are the lowest since 2009, and almost 20% below last year’s first quarter collections.

“We are hopeful that the improvement we are seeing in our local real estate market will result in a steady increase in this important revenue source in the second half of the year,” stated Idoni whose office collects mortgage tax for Westchester County.

First Quarter Mortgage Tax Collected (County Portion Only)

 

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

January

2,056,319.02

889,557.74

1,282,613.77

1,220,971.17

921,922.83

1,392,542.95

1,013,744.09

February

1,548,107.56

742,254.33

1,076,926.44

1,053,435.79

983,990.54

954,144.70

889,047.28

March

1,645,935.52

986,920.91

1,004,317.86

1,264,484.45

941,777.86

1,157,556.16

905,596.92

TOTAL:

5,250,362.10

2,618,732.98

3,363,858.07

3,538,891.41

2,847,691.23

3,504,243.81

2,808,388.29

           

The total 2014 mortgage tax for the county is budgeted as $19,826,409, less than half of the $39,836,895 collected in 2005 when the real estate market was at its recent peak.  County mortgage tax collected in 2013 totaled $16,997,949.29.

For more information about the Office of the County Clerk, please call (914)995-3080 or visit www.WestchesterClerk.com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Median Home Price in Westchester up 16%. Co-ops, Single Family Homes Sales up 11%. Condo sales dismal in 1str Quarter. Houlihan Lawrence expects slower 2014 start due to snow. Pessimistic on 2014 Sales for Year

WPCNR HOME FRONT. Special to WPCNR from Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and Houlihan Lawrence realtors April 14, 2014 UPDATED 3: 40 P.M. E.D.T.:

Westchester single home sales spurted 20%  in the last quarter. Houlihan Lawrence of White Plains indicates this may be fool’s gold and attributes this increase in sales and prices to a low inventory of homes available (creating the higher prices).

Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors noted in their report that “In a high sales rate and tight inventory environment, prices could be expected to increase-  and they did. The first quarter median1 sale price of a single family house in Westchester was $600,000, an increase of $85,000 or 16.5% over last year’s median.
Westchester, which accounts for about 60% of the region’s real estate sales, led the way with a powerful 19.4% sales increase in its single family house sector, and 21.0% in its cooperative unit sector.

Westchester condominium sales did not follow suit, however, declining by 15.2% from last year.

The region’s surge in real estate sales since early 2013 continued stronger still in the first quarter of 2014.

However Houlihan Lawrence of White Plains in their report shared with WPCNR Monday afternoon, wrote county closings in first Quarter of 2014 were down 11% because of snow:

“To a large extent, the strong pace of Q1-2014 closings reflects deals that were
originally put together late in 2013. Meanwhile, the snowy conditions delayed the
traditional February start to the spring market. Fewer sellers listed their homes for
sale in February, creating an inventory crunch that kept buyers on the sidelines
waiting for more options. This scenario is most obvious in Westchester County,where we ended February with fewer than 2,600 single-family homes for sale, representing the lowest inventory level at that date since 2005, and a 10% decrease from 2013.

As a result of these delays, pending sales as of the end of the (1st) quarter (2014) were down over 11% in Westchester County compared to Q1-2013

Similarly, Dutchess County saw a 7% decrease in pending sales, while Putnam County only experienced a 3.1% decrease in this time period. Sellers who did test the market during this period found their properties selling at higher prices — and in much less time — as is evident in the16.4% decrease in average days on market.

A surge in activity in late March is helping to make up for lost time. We experienced
strong growth in both new listings and new sales contracts into the close of the
quarter.

By the end of March, inventory levels were down just 2%, signaling the rise
of a busy late spring.


Overall, we expect the year-over-year rate of sales growth to slow in Q2, and indeed
throughout the remainder of 2014. With most of the market area having returned to
healthy sales levels by 2013, the favorable comparisons we saw as the market
emerged from the down turn are now behind us.” (This, from Houlihan Lawrence)

Realtors participating in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc. reported a grand total of 2,552 closed residential transactions in the MLS’s core four-county service territory in January through March, an increase of 10.8% over the 2,304 closings in the same period last year.

The increase from 2012 to 2013 was 8.8%, and compared to the recessionary performance of only 1,582 closings in 2009, the 2014 volume was 61.3% higher.

The first quarter closings resulted largely from properties that were listed and marketed during the late autumn and winter months of 2013.

The next highest year to year increases in residential sales were posted by Putnam  (11.9%), Rockland (7.7%) and Orange (4.2%).  In all three counties the sales gains were largely in the single family house sector.  In contrast – and as in Westchester – condominium sales were lower by about 15% in Rockland and Orange, and were unchanged in Putnam (though Putnam condo sales usually are few in number, e.g.,19 as per this report).

The robust sales levels kept the pressure on to maintain the region’s inventory which, at 10,014 listed properties2 at the end of the quarter, was 3.9% lower than last year at this time.  In the single family house sector, Orange posted the largest decrease (6.3%), followed by Westchester (3.2%), Putnam (2.6%), and Rockland (0.7%).

Not all of the increase derived from competitive market pressure, however.  Some reflected the addition of more high end properties to the real estate market basket. Such properties (defined in this report as single family houses selling for $1,000,000 or more) constituted 23% of house sales in the first quarter of 2014, a level that was more characteristic of pre-recession markets. Last year’s first quarter ratio of high end properties was just 16%.

Rockland and Putnam exhibited the same upward price movement as Westchester, just at lower price levels.  In Rockland, the $380,000 median sale price of a single family house was 6.1% higher than last year’s $358,000.  In Putnam the increase was 11.0%, taking the median price to $318,000.

But Orange closed the quarter with further slippage in its median price for single family houses, to $219,000, down 3.1% from 2013. As previously reported by this MLS, Orange County continues to deal with a higher proportion of stressed properties in its sales mix, which brings the averages down.  However, one current positive indicator for Orange is that its first quarter mean1 sale price – $250,842- was 5.4% more than last year’s, suggesting that some more highly priced properties entered the sales mix there.

Overall, the lower Hudson region’s real estate market appears to be shedding the last of any remaining baggage from the recession that bottomed sales and prices in 2009.

With some few exceptions there is now strong pent-up demand by buyers in most parts of the region, in all price ranges, and among all residential property types.

The larger economy is a supporting factor in our now-recovered market.  Mortgage interest rates are still very affordable at around 4.5% for a thirty year conventional loan.

Unemployment throughout the region is down by one to two percentage points from a year ago.  And the equity markets including the Dow Jones have been setting new records. Real estate can thrive in that environment and based on this first quarter performance the lower Hudson market is poised to do so.

 

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK ON THE MARCH OF MONEY:WHITE PLAINS BUDGETS AND WHAT YOU’LL BE PAYING ON THE NET NOW


THREE ON THE MONEY

2013916-wpw 002

PETER, JOHN AND JIM

THE  REPORTERS WHO STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE

TOLD YOU THE SCHOOL AND CITY BUDGETS LAST WEEK

NOW THEY BREAK IT DOWN FOR YOU

AND HOW MUCH YOU’LL PAY IN NEW TAXES

AT www.whiteplainsweek.com

SEE THE BIG THREE INSTANTLY ON THE NET NOW.

ON

GOVERNOR CUOMO SHAKES UP MAYORS ACROSS THE STATE

BLAMES THEM FOR PROPERTY TAX MADNESS

THE NEW CITY BUDGET DOESN’T CUT A PENNY

THE SCHOOL BUDGET ADDS A MILLION

SAYS THEY WILL HAVE TO CUT $5 MILLION IN THREE YEARS

MR. TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE SAYS FUNDING STILL BEING SOUGHT TO FUND BUS RAPID TRANSIT AND I-287 TRAFFIC SMOOTHERS –NO NEW CONSTRUCTION PLANNED THERE

ASTORINO OPENS HALF THE PLAYLAND BOARDWALK — SUSTAINABLE PLAYLAND HAMSTRUNG ON FINANCES UNTIL BOARD OF LEGISLATURE APPROVES.

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Susan Fox Named CEO of White Plains Hospital, to Succeed Jon Schandler Next Year

 

White Plains Hopistal Portraits 2_17_2014

Susan Fox Tapped as New CEO of White Plains Hospital.

WPCNR CARE. From White Plains Hospital Medical Center. April 10, 2014:

J. Michael Divney, Chairman of the Board of Directors of White Plains Hospital, announced that the Hospital Board of Directors has selected Susan Fox to become President and Chief Executive Officer upon Jon Schandler’s retirement in 2015. Fox will succeed Schandler following his 38-year tenure during which he established the Hospital as a leader in providing quality health care in the region.

Divney confirmed that the Board had approved the succession at a recent meeting. “Since coming to White Plains Hospital three years ago, Susan has been instrumental in advancing our Hospital’s mission of providing high-quality and compassionate health care for the residents of the Westchester community and has demonstrated to the Board that she has the skill and vision to lead us into the future,” he said.

Fox, a longtime Westchester resident, brings more than 25 years of health care management experience to her position. Prior to joining White Plains Hospital in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Administration, Fox served as Senior Vice President, Physician and Ambulatory Network Services at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJHS), where she worked for 14 years.  Prior to NSLIJHS, she was a Senior Manager of Health Care Consulting at Ernst and Young.

“Susan is the right choice to secure White Plains Hospital’s future in the new world of health care,” said Schandler. “She has established herself as a progressive leader, who understands the complexities and challenges that exist in the rapidly changing health care environment, and has a strong vision for the success of our Hospital.”

Schandler was named President and CEO of White Plains Hospital in 1981. In January 2013, the Board voted to make Fox President, while Schandler retained his role as CEO until his planned retirement in 2015.

Connecting with the physician community has been a primary focus of Fox’s since coming to White Plains Hospital in 2010.

“Over the past several years, Susan has aligned the hospital with physicians in a myriad of ways with the intent of supporting each of us to be successful and well equipped to continue providing exceptional and personalized patient care,” added Alfred Roston, MD, gastroenterologist and current President of the Medical Staff at White Plains Hospital.

Among the other initiatives Fox led was the creation of White Plains Hospital Physician Associates, which now includes more than four dozen physicians covering many specialties including: thoracic surgery, orthopedics, medical and surgical oncology, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and internal medicine.

“I am thrilled to be part of White Plains Hospital, an organization that I feel personally connected to, and committed to, because I know the care we provide our community is so special,” said Fox.  “I look forward to building on the foundation of exceptional care that already exists here.”  She continued, “Additionally, I am fortunate to be able to continue collaborating with Jon Schandler during this time of transition and growth. His legacy of three decades of solid leadership is a great asset for us as we ensure the Hospital’s continued success in this new health care era.”

Susan Fox, a resident of Larchmont, holds a B.S. in Nursing from Columbia University and an M.B.A. in Healthcare Administration from Baruch College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  She began her healthcare career as a pediatric intensive care nurse.

 

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