- Sophie Xie
Independence is something that everyone might want at some point in their life. Teenagers become rebellious, populations revolt, and pets might run away (even if it’s just for a short period of time). The revolt of the thirteen colonies against the British Empire comes to mind. Closer to home, the Village of Edgemont continues to try to separate from the Town of Greenburgh.
First, let me offer a quick refresher on the American Revolution. It was caused by high taxes, low representation in Britain’s Parliament, and a need to determine its own future. This situation simmered for quite a few years until the thirteen colonies couldn’t take it anymore and declared independence in 1776. Now, a similar situation has surfaced in Edgemont -- albeit without the war.
Edgemont has been trying to secure its independence for nearly six years, and there have been multiple petitions in support of the cause, the most recent in 2021. As of February 7th, 2023, the Edgemont Incorporation Committee (EIC) is still trying to gather signatures for their third petition.
To prevent Edgemont’s independence, Greenburgh is asking Albany to pass a new resolution to dilute Edgemont’s voting rights called “Saving Greenburgh.” This is eerily reminiscent of America’s situation with Britain, when its interests and opinions weren’t being represented in Parliament. America found its wll suppressed, and Britain kept taxing them, partly to pay for the Seven Years’ War.
Give that Edgemont accounts for 24% of all the taxes Greenburgh collects, it hardly surprises anyone that they want to keep the approximately 18.5 million dollars it collects from the locality we call home, Currently, Edgemont’s taxes are funding many programs and capital projects, some of which are in Edgemont and most of which are not. Despite many petitions, Greenburgh’s hold on Edgemont is as tight as ever.
When you keep bending a stick, it’s eventually going to snap. And when it finally does snap, splinters will fly everywhere. When Edgemont eventually breaks free from Greenburgh, splinters are going to fly. As an independent village, Edgemont would have the option to purchase basic services like police and sanitation from the Town of Greenburgh, instead of paying for an expensive package deal. Edgemont would be able to dictate what public programs it wants and have as little or as much regulation over public services as it deems necessary. Overcomplicated processes for construction and permits would disappear, and life could become much simpler once everything settles down.
America has benefited so much from its independence from Britain, and, in the long run, so has Britain. New ideas, techniques, and objects made their way back to Britain, and the Americans were free to pursue their own interests. Edgemont would benefit from its independence from Greenburgh and so would Greenburgh… eventually.
The residents of Edgemont should be able to decide how the town runs by themselves. Letting Greenburgh control Edgemont is like handing over the keys to your own house or telling a random person all your passwords to everything (bank accounts, Google, etc.) - you relinquish most of your control over your own life, and the person to whom you’ve handed the keys controls practically everything.
Everyone has to achieve independence at some point. Baby birds fly away from their parents, and children leave for college or jobs. If a child remains shackled, both parties will ultimately pay a price. Like America, Edgemont needs its independence to fulfill its potential.