In this profile, we hear from Michelle McNally, a 33-year Edgemont resident who has served as the Vice-President of the Edgemont School Board, the President of the Edgemont Community Council, and the Chair of the School Board Nominating Committee. Below, Michelle tells us why her longstanding civic involvement in Edgemont—which has brought her into regular contact with the Town of Greenburgh—has convinced her that Edgemont should become a village.
When did you move to Edgemont?
My husband Charles and I moved to Edgemont in 1985. We live in the Cotswold neighborhood.
Tell us about your family.
Charles is a portfolio manager for an investment firm. We have two children who graduated from Edgemont High School.
What have been your major Edgemont community involvements?
I have been active in the Edgemont community for 25 years, serving on civic associations, committees, and the Edgemont School Board. I was on the Edgemont School Board from 1998 to 2004, and was the Board Liaison to the Town of Greenburgh throughout that time. On the School Board, I also served as Vice President from 2002-2004 and District Clerk from 1998-1999. Also in connection with the Edgemont School District, I served as the Chair of the Edgemont Mandate Relief Advocacy Committee in 2012.
In addition to my work on the School Board, I was involved with the Edgemont Community Council for many years. I served as ECC President from 2004 to 2007 and as Vice President from 2007 to 2010. I chaired the ECC’s Zoning & Planning Committee from 1993 to 1998. I chaired the School Board Nominating Committee in 2009 and 2010. Finally, I was a director of the Cotswold Association from 1990 to 1998, and served as President from 1993 to 1997.
Why do you support incorporating Edgemont into a village?
Edgemont needs a more responsive government. In my many years of working on Edgemont matters and dealing closely with the Town of Greenburgh, I have seen that the objectives of the Town and Edgemont are often at odds. This is evident not only in land use matters—the Shelbourne assisted living facility being the latest example—but also in other governance matters. For example, the Town has twice tried to consolidate the three unincorporated fire districts (Greenville, Hartsdale, and Fairview); its last effort would have resulted in a substantial (20%+) fire tax increase for Edgemont residents. Although we managed to hold that off, Edgemont often ends up losing these sorts of battles, with little it can do (other than litigate) because Edgemont is too small a percentage of the total Town voting population to effect any meaningful change.
Incorporation as Greenburgh’s seventh village will allow for government by Edgemont residents who will represent the needs of our community. Our community has already demonstrated that we can govern successfully: we have excellent school and fire districts. It is time for Edgemont to take control of its own governance.
Are there any specific initiatives that you hope to see a Village of Edgemont focus on?
I’d like to see us work on improvements to Central Avenue to make it more pedestrian friendly, and changes to the zoning code that can enable Edgemont to have more of a community feel.