For too many years, large commercial properties have sat stagnant in Yorktown. Elected officials from both parties have tried in earnest to entice these property owners to reinvest in their properties but no real results have come to pass. In Yorktown, there are locations that have sat vacant and untouched for more than a decade.

The Yorktown Chamber of Commerce views these chronic vacancies, and their lack of any attempt to be part of our community, not only as anti-business but also detrimental toward the existing investors, mom and pops, and citizens that call Yorktown their home and that strive to make Yorktown a better place.

Despite efforts of the past to fill these vacancies, which have also included the numerous attempts by the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, our community continues to be taken advantage of. It has become clear to our organization that a different approach is desperately needed to have a productive dialogue with owners of chronically vacant commercial properties, provide transparency to the residents and businesses of Yorktown and to finally establish some form of accountability.

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For these reasons, the Chamber supports and applauds the recent proposal by Supervisor Matt Slater to institute required reporting by property owners with chronic vacancies. The Chamber believes this is a fair and measured approach following years of inaction. Rebooting our local economy must include all aspects of our business community. Yorktown has some very exciting projects we hope to see come to fruition, but the fact remains, these chronic vacancies are a proven challenge. Supervisor Slater’s proposal is a strong remedy that protects Yorktown and our business community.

It is important to note that Yorktown welcomes all developers that strive to be part of our community. Together, with a very proactive and business friendly town board these community partners should expect The Yorktown Chamber of Commerce to stand at the ready to help assist and advocate for their interest and dedication to Yorktown.

Sergio Esposito is the president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce.