• Petitioned Harrison Town/Village Board

This petition was delivered to:

Harrison Town/Village Board
Town/Village of Harrison
Mayor Ron Belmont
Town/Village of Harrison
Marlane Amelio
Town/Village of Harrison
Joseph Cannella
Town/Village of Harrison
Steve Malfitano
Town/Village of Harrison
Fred Sciliano

Support the Proposed Public-Private Partnership to Save Our Library

    1. Ross Halperin
    2. Petition by

      Ross Halperin

      Harrison, NY

April 2013


Ross Halperin: On April 5, the Town of Harrison signed an agreement committing $1.1 million to the Halperin Library Building renovations and to a June 2014 construction start date.

(Please visit www.HPLF.org to see renderings of the Library of the future)

(As of February 10, we also have at least 400 physical signatures and the Library's petition has 170 signatures)

The Harrison Town/Village Board has until February 14th to enter into an agreement with a private foundation that has offered to make a $1 million plus donation to renovate the Downtown Library. If no agreement is signed by then, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be lost and the Library’s future will be at risk. The question is simple: will the Town Board a) seize a unique, incredibly cost-effective opportunity to solve a major issue, or b) do nothing and forever be responsible for Harrison’s accelerating infrastructure and property value crises.

The Library has been an educational, recreational, and cultural hub for over 100 years and serves all constituencies in our town: children, teenagers, senior citizens, unemployed neighbors, small businesses, and everyone in between. In 2011, there were 198,930 total visits to the Library and 9,145 attendances at children’s programs, both increases of 20% since 2006.

Unfortunately, the Library’s future is at risk given that its 1960’s and 1980’s infrastructure is unable to service our 21st century community. This should not be a surprise, since we have massively underinvested: Harrison ranks 39 of the 42 surrounding communities that we surveyed in terms of the amount of major capital improvements made to library infrastructure in the past 15 years.

Private donors and volunteers are prepared to fix this problem by building a premier, state-of-the-art Library facility with $2.5 million of private funds. They cannot do so, however, until the town first agrees to remedy the deferred maintenance in the building, which consists of HVAC, mechanicals, fire protection, plumbing, and electrical systems. The economics of doing so are incredibly compelling because these maintenance investments will soon become nondiscretionary.

The Library Board first identified the need to modernize this facility in 2004 and absolutely nothing has been done since. Now, nine years later, it is time for the Town Council to take this necessary and obvious step, so that we, with private funds, can fix the problem. In doing so, the Town Council members will make a very clear statement that they care more about education, recreation, culture, and property values than the myth that investing no money in public infrastructure is fiscally responsible. Not acting will destroy this one-time opportunity to make Harrison better.

If you are one of the many who do care, please sign this petition.

(This petition will be circulated in hard-copy format as well. We will periodically update you with the total number of signatures)

Recent signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Kathie Adler HOLBROOK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      Libraries are needed by our kids; hope this will help.

    • Carmen Arguelles FAIRFIELD, CT
      • over 1 year ago

      I grew up in Harrison. I loved going to the library.

    • Peter Beshar RYE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      Richard Halperin was an extraordinary individual and dear friend. This would be a wonderful way to honor an individual who was devoted to his community and his family.

    • Emily Katz HARRISON, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      old school

    • Claudia Hilbert RYE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      The Harrison library is an important part of the town and is provided so much to so many. With the 1million dollar donation, the library facilities can be renovated and provide more for families.


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