Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin landed some ink Saturday in The Wall Street Journal. Carvin, a hedge fund manager, is best known for working to abolish the government entity (Rye Town) he runs. Rye Town is a hodgepodge of assets, entities and functions left over from the early settlement of this area in 1660 and is separate and distinct from Rye City. Its primary function in Rye City is its governance over Rye Town Park.
In the WSJ piece writer Shelly Banjo describes Carvin as "one of a growing number of Wall Street financiers, lawyers and accountants trying a hand at local government as property taxes increase and local budgets get trampled":
""I look at running Rye as a social experiment in good governance," said Mr. Carvin in a recent interview…
Like other entrepreneurs who have turned to politics, Mr. Carvin has proposed big ideas for small-town problems.
Mr. Carvin is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful bid to merge four local entities—the town of Rye and the villages of Port Chester, Rye Brook, and Mamaroneck—into the city of Rye. The plan fizzled, but Mr. Carvin still wants to dissolve his own town and merge services like police and fire departments throughout the area.
The move comes amid a state-wide push to consolidate more than 10,000 local jurisdictions in an effort to reduce layers of bureaucracy that drive up costs and taxes. Few municipalities have actually dissolved or merged since the 2009 law passed.
A completed study for the dissolution of Rye, conducted by outside consultants and financed with a $50,000 state grant, is planned for May 2012…
After almost four years in office, he claims a record of success. Since coming into office in 2008, he has reduced the town's spending by $1 million and its property taxes in half. He says he has raised cash and reduced blight by foreclosing on and auctioning off dozens of properties that owe back taxes….
[Critics] also say he's botched some of his chief responsibilities, including a reassessment of property values and the management of the Rye Town park."