Supervisor’s Update – February 11, 2022


Happy Friday! Hope everyone is enjoying the warm (well, warm for February, anyway) weather. 


Lots to share this week! Sadly, this week we had another occasion for a moment of silence at the Board meeting. This time for Aristan Garandeau, an EMT with Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Aristan was just 22 and also served in the Cortlandt and Peekskill VACs. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family and all those who knew him.



On a happier note, on Monday we learned that the Town of Ossining has once again received the Tree City designation from the Arbor Day Foundation! 2022 will be our 22nd year receiving this designation and we are so proud of our efforts to care for our most precious natural resources year in and year out.  This year, we were able to include as part of our application the introduction of the Ossining Town Parks Habitat Stewards Program, which in its first year, helped restore part of the natural habitat at Ryder Park by the pond.  We look forward to growing this program in the years to come!  Huge shout out to Patrick Vipperman and Donna Sharrett for their work on the Habitat Stewards and to Mitzi Elkes and our Environmental Advisory Committee for serving as our tree board and always advocating for these important initiatives. Also big thanks to our Town Parks department for helping support these volunteer efforts.


On the subject of trees, we are gearing up for some tree work at Ryder and Engel Parks. Victoria Cafarelli from my office met with Parks Foreman Mario Velardo and the Town’s Tree Warden Craig Stevens this week to finalize the scope of work for some tree pruning, and unfortunately a few takedowns too, in both of these parks. We are committed to caring for our trees, and tree maintenance is a very important part of that work.  We are also hopefully going to plan some tree planting events later this year, to keep our community’s forest healthy and thriving! 


In COVID news, as you may have heard, earlier this week Governor Hochul announced the next phase of the State’s COVID response, in response to rapidly decreasing case counts. The new developments include the following: 

  • The statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirement was lifted starting yesterday, and will remain optional for businesses, local governments and counties to enforce.
  • Mask requirements will remain in place in certain high-density settings. All health care settings regulated by the Department of Health and other related state agencies will continue to require masks. Masks will also be required in nursing homes, adult care facilities, correctional facilities, detention centers, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters, public transit and transportation hubs, as well as trains, planes and airports in accordance with federal regulations.
  • Masks will continue to be required in schools for the time being. The school mask requirement will be re-evaluated in early March, after the midwinter break, to ensure that students can continue learning in-person. The state plans to distribute two tests to every K-12 student before midwinter break, and will distribute more afterward.

Please note that if you are visiting our Town buildings, masks will still be required in common areas, such as hallways, lobbies, and restrooms, as well as any office spaces where people cannot socially distance. You can read more about the State’s plans and updated “Winter Toolkit,” as well as the data that informs it, here


Declining case counts are great news. Here in Ossining, there were 120 cases in the Town & its two Villages as of February 9, down significantly from the last time I reported on this figure in the Supervisor’s Update. Caution is still indicated, and we urge everyone to continue following the guidelines set forth by the state. At this week’s meeting, we also officially authorized an additional $30,000 from the Ambulance District Fund Balance to OVAC to support their community testing operations. This free testing offering has been a critical aspect of our community’s COVID-19 response and serves as a model to communities near and far for how to ensure everyone can access free and easy testing opportunities in this pandemic.  Thank you Chief Franzoso for all of your hard work!! 


County Executive George Latimer formally recognized OVAC and Scarsdale’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps today for their assistance with the County’s testing and vaccination effort. Our State Senator, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, and I were on hand to extend our congratulations and thanks, along with Town Board member Liz Feldman and Village Trustee Manuel Quezada.


In addition to a plaque, OVAC also received these yummy-looking cookies!


Now, who is ready to dive into some fun stuff? Check out the Nonprofits & Charity section for details on this Saturday’s Escape from Sing Sing Polar Plunge, in which I will be participating in support of Gullotta House, along with many others. From there, you can navigate to any other section of the Supervisor’s Update blog using the links at the bottom of the page. Happy reading!


Lastly, please join us next week for a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 via Zoom. The topic of the Town Hall will be the newly released draft of the Comprehensive Plan! Our consultants from WXY studios will join us for an overview presentation of the plan and discussion of next steps, including plans for a public comment period and public hearings on the plan. If you want to do some homework before the meeting, the draft plan is available now on the project website,  And remember, at Town Hall meetings we do invite members of the public to make comment and ask questions, deviating from our normal Work Session process.  We look forward to this discussion! Click here to join the meeting at 7:30 or dial (929) 205-6099 and put in meeting ID 828 4741 1615. 


We will see you soon - stay safe and be well!



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