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Mayor Roach: White Plains Should Attract Young People to Attract Business

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach spoke before The Business Council of Westchester at Vintage Lounge and Restaurant in White Plains Wednesday

 

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach says the future of White Plains includes improving on what it already does best: attract and retain businesses that flourish and create jobs. 

“We really feel we are in a unique position to bring the region into a strong economy,” said Roach, while addressing The Business Council of Westchester’s guests at in White Plains. 

Though the city has about 57,000 residents, the population can grow to 250,000 during the day when those who work in White Plains are in the city, which is an employment hub of the region.

The Business Council of Westchester is an organization that helps businesses market themselves and grow by offering information and seminars, as well as reviews legislation and advocates for its impact on the business community. The council invited members of the local business community to the event as a part of its efforts to stop youth from leaving Westchester.

According to President and CEO Dr. Marsha Gordon, the Business Council of Westchester’s Coalition for Business Development identified 1,000 recommendations for successful business retraction and Westchester’s top three goals were to stop youth flight. The council’s youth flight focus group will begin in early February.

Roach says that White Plains needs to promote itself as a destination, where young individuals and professionals come to live, work and play.

While many people ask him why there are so many bars on Mamaroneck Avenue he explains that, “If this was Stalinist Russia I could say ‘no bars’ only record stores…” but since that isn't the case he says its up to local business to decide how they want to run their establishment. He noted that the city’s bars aren’t something you’d see “out of the Wild West” and that they are nice restaurants and are safe.

“You can’t minimize the fact that the city can be a cool place to go for people in their 20s and 30s,” said Roach. “When corporations are looking to relocate it helps that employees want to be here. I see that as a real value and we want to leverage that.” 

Roach says that the city’s reputation and easily accessible modern transportation will also help attract young families who may want to move out of Manhattan, but still want the diversity of a city and a 30 minute train ride to get back to Manhattan. White Plains has two Metro-North train stations and buses, and is also in close proximity to a state-of-the-art hospital. 

“The brand is strong,” said Roach. “People think of White Plains as fiscally strong, as clean, as safe, as accessible—that’s important. We want to maintain that and raise our profile in some other areas as a progressive and environmentally conscious city.” 

In the spring the city will unveil its first dedicated bike lanes down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to Water Street to the train station and onto Lexington Avenue. Roach said he is also trying to be more flexible with developers and make it easier to do business in White Plains. The White Plains Common Council recently approved zoning amendments that will allow a health club to be in .

“I view not just people who live here as people of our community, but people who do business here, work here and own businesses here. We’re all in this together.”

Roach said that there have been discussions about development in the city, however, the city is still enduring a tough financial climate with the rest of the country. He says he is optimistic that New York State will fix unfunded mandates that are creating financial difficulty for municipalities—for example creating a 2 percent tax cap for municipalities then increasing pension mandates by 19 percent, which create a 5 percent increase in taxes. 

The mayor said he is willing to speak and meet with local business that may be facing difficulties in the city he may be able to assist with.

For membership, event and other information on The Business Council of Westchester visit http://www.westchesterny.org

 

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Richard Panella January 26, 2012 at 04:07 PM
He could also tell people that if they are lucky enough to "WORK" for the wonderful City of White Plains that (God forbid he is still in office) that he or someone just as sleezy as him will change/cancel their retirement benefits agreed upon in their contract. No matter how long they have been retired. A trustworthy man....don't you think?
Kristoff Lukas January 26, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Economic development starts at City Hall from the CEO down with deficit reduction and spending taxpayers money, hiring city positions at $104.000.00, reducing home owner property taxes, not raising taxes 9% every year, and reducing the city operating bottom line costs in every city department. Called cutting the budget infrastructure expenditures and not depending on the "CASH-COW" of the taxpayer and home owner! City Hall fiscal responsible accountability in spending and conserving our capital.
Dina Sciortino January 27, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Don't want to have to delete or censor comments, but please refrain from personal attacks and please do comply with our terms of service. Everyone can say what they need to say and get their messages across without "going there." Thank you =)
Colleen Kirk February 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Young families are going to chose New Rochelle, Yonkers, etc were there is pring for the multi car families. The lack of overnight parking is not going to alhis growth to continue. And quite frankly young people in their 20s and 30s (including myself) are moving out of White Plains because of the parking issue. And we are taking our dollars with us.
Colleen Kirk February 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Also to add, when residents concerned about the overnight parkin reached out to Mayor Roach and his staff. All they received back was an auto reply email that said "All > emails have been forwarded to the Administrative Office." No one has received feedback from the mayor himself.

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