During my Cambridge, NY visit, I stopped by to chat with Mayor Carman Bogle, which gave me a chance to better understand the issues she had identified in her written Q&A.
First, some detail regarding her comment that wastewater infrastructure is acting as a drag on development. She explained to me that homes and commercial buildings all currently rely on septic systems that present a hard limit on how many people can be based on a site. But starting from scratch to create a new sewer system is a major lift for a small village and will almost surely require support from the towns, county, and /or state. There’s no plan yet for how to get it done, but people are thinking about it. The housing stock is there, but the physical restrictions on business expansion limits potential job creation.
The village budget is currently at $1.2 million and it funds the police and fire departments (though the fire fighters are volunteers), DPW, a one-room court that considers both civil and criminal cases, a youth department, and the library.
Mayor Bogle also provided some detail on the village’s electoral system. The candidates in local elections do not affiliate with the national political parties for their run. Instead, they create local parties that reflect the community. Mayor Bogle’s party is “Community Voices of Cambridge,” and she ran unopposed in the most recent election in March 2019. In addition to the mayor, there’s an assistant mayor and trustees.
Last, Mayor Bogle answered a question on the mind of some blog readers. Residents of Cambridge, NY — unlike those in Cambridge, MA and Cambridge, UK — do not refer to themselves as Cantabrigians. They’re “The Villagers,” instead.