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Restructuring Studies Important for Harter

OSSINING, N.Y. – Town Councilman Geoff Harter said he would like to be elected to another term in office so that he can see various municipal processes, including the study of alternate government structures, come to completion.

"We've started some interesting processes in our three communities," he said, referring to the Village of Ossining, the Village of Briarcliff, and the "town outside" in Ossining.

Within the Town of Ossining, a consultant company, the Center for Government Research, has begun a study to see what alternative structures, or sharing of services could lead to greater efficiency.

Within the "town outside" in Ossining, which refers to the portion of the town of Ossining that is outside the Village of Ossining, residents of two election districts are working to gather signatures for a possible annexation of the districts to Briarcliff Manor.

Within the Village of Briarcliff, officials have discussed the possibility of having Briarcliff withdraw from the Town of Ossining to become its own town/village.

"I'd like to see these things through to some strong and reasonable completion," said Harter, 63, who will complete his 20th year on the Ossining Town Board in December.

Aside from the potential altering of municipal structures, another issue that is important to Harter is local business.

"You have to make sure people know you're a commerce-friendly community," Harter said.

One idea that Harter favors is to hire a central person to be a point person for businesses looking to find out about municipal processes, which can be long and confusing for some.

Harter would also like to do something different with the town's police station, which is currently being used by county police at no cost to them.

"I was very interested in the possible interest of Briarcliff in (buying or leasing) the Ossining precinct on North State Road," he said. "It could be a win-win situation."

Harter joined the Ossining Town Board in January 1992 at the encouragement of Bill Burton, a county legislator who is finishing up his last year in office. At the time, he was an educational administrator at Pace University.

After retiring, Harter became a substitute teacher in the Ossining elementary schools. He has two children, who are now in their 30s, who graduated from Ossining public schools.

Harter is running on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families party lines for one of two seats on town council. His running mate, Eric Blaha, is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines, and his opponents, Stephen Dewey and Kim Izzarelli, are running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

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