I hope you will consider kicking off your weekend with the Ossining Jazz Festival tonight! There will be a double bill at 7:30PM tonight (Friday, 6/9) and tomorrow (Saturday, 6/10)-- if you plan to attend on both nights, be sure to pick up a Two Night Festival Pass to see all 4 bands this weekend.
Before I get into all of the other exciting community events coming up this weekend, I want to share some important information about what we've been up to this week.
On Tuesday evening at our Town Board Work Session, we were joined by our Town Assessor Fernando Gonzalez who shared with us some information about the recent mailing of "Change in Assessment" notices. If you'd like to hear his presentation to the Board, you can check out the Town's Youtube site (Fernando's presentation starts about 2 minutes in.) Fernando shared a lot of valuable information, much of which we have consolidated into an FAQ document and an accompanying chart of the neighborhood delineations, which you can find on the Assessor's page.
We were also visited by our Planning Consultant, David Stolman, to review the newest iteration of the Zoning law, which we are hopeful will be adopted as Local Law #5 of 2017. We have been working on this process, which entails exploring some recommendations of the Town's Comprehensive Plan, since June of 2016, and we believe we are close to the finished product. The Public Hearing will continue at our Regular Meeting this coming Tuesday, June 13th at the Court House.
Finally, as part of our Special Meeting agenda, we accepted the resignation of our Building Inspector, John Hamilton. John will be ending his nearly 15 year career with the Town of Ossining on July 1st. John has provided responsive and professional service to our residents and has cultivated a fantastic staff who I have no doubt will rise to the occasion as we seek a new Inspector. I know I speak for my Board colleagues and all of the Town Department Heads when I say we wish John the very best in his future endeavors, and sincerely thank him for his service to Ossining.
On Wednesday, I was joined by Budget Officer Maddi Zachacz and Town Comptroller Tom Warren at the Government Finance Officials Association (GFOA) training on the campus of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, where we learned about specific topics pertaining to human resources and "tax abatement" reporting. These courses are always a wonderful opportunity to hear from experts in our field, as well as make connections with our neighbors who are also working hard to navigate the sometimes murky waters of municipal finance and labor practices. Our class took place in the Marriott Pavilion, which was built in 2014-- our surroundings, as you can imagine, were a bit distracting!
On our way back from upstate, Maddi and I stopped by Ryder Park to take a peek at the pavilion progress. Our crew was hard at work ripping up the blacktop on the basketball court and leveling the sub-base. Looking at the space without the fence, we had a bit of an epiphany-- is a basketball court the best use of this great space?
Over at the Cedar Lane Arts Center, classes are continuing and projects are making their way to the kilns. Keith Gordon, the Arts Center Manager, reported to us that the butterflies and dragonflies that were made at the CLAC Opening back in April are decorating the fence at the Community Garden. Keith and Cathy Carabee-Faiella, our other ceramics instructor, will be at the Ossining Parks and Recreation booth at tomorrow's Village Fair with some hands-on activities for kids and some demos for adults. Interested in signing up for some classes at CLAC? Check out the pdf Spring/ Summer 2017 Recreation brochure (2.92 MB) for more information.
Yesterday, I was joined by Deputy Town Supervisor Kim Jeffrey, Town Councilwoman Karen D'Attore, Village Mayor Victoria Gearity and Village Trustee Quantel Bazemore at the Housing Ossining policy presentation. Kevin Dwarka, the consultant retained by the Village, shared a wealth of information about the Village, with substantive suggestions for paths forward to address the need for more affordable housing as well as downtown development. The material that was presented will also be shared at their June 14th Work Session, which will be held at the Community Center, as well as on the Village website. Following the meeting, the public will be invited to weigh in on each proposed strategy online, so stay tuned for more information. Please take some time to hear more about the needs assessment and weigh in with your thoughts.
Tomorrow is a big day in Ossining-- I hope to see you at the Ossining Village Fair on Main Street! The weather is looking mighty fine for this well attended annual event (we are talking 80 degrees and sunny, with the potential for a short shower.) Aside from the Parks and Rec booth I mentioned earlier, Green Ossining and the Town's Environmental Advisory Committee will each have a booth (don't miss the quiz and plant raffle they have put together!), and the Town will have space at one of these booths with important information about our storm water program, along with upcoming events, including our Summer Concert Series and Mind Body Spirit Ossining. (Remember-- there will be no Farmer's Market at Market Square this week because of the Fair, so check out Croton's Sunday Market across from the Metro North lot in Croton between 9AM and 2PM.)
The Ossining Boat and Canoe Club will be hosting their annual Donald "Hot Pie" Zerrilla Memorial Breakfast on Sunday, June 11th. Come on down starting at 8AM for all you can eat breakfast, $10 per adult and $5 per child 12 and under, with all proceeds benefitting the "Hot Pie" Scholarship Fund, which is awarded each year to a graduating Ossining High School Senior headed to college. Get there before 11AM and chow down until noon!
On Friday, June 16th at 5PM, the Town and Village will be partnering with the Ossining Schools for an end of year celebration of the Ossining Basics Program. This program seeks to engage the entire community in helping to make sure that our 0-3 year olds are as prepared as they can possibly be when they enter our schools for First Steps or Pre-K. The research supporting early childhood exposure to words, numbers, colors, books, music, loving and supportive environments and more cannot be ignored. Every one of us can help make sure our littlest community members have the biggest opportunities. Ossining Basics focuses on 5 simple principles which can be used by parents, siblings, caregivers, friends and others to help babies get the most out of their everydays. Here is a link to the videos that explains all of the principles. Bring a picnic blanket or some chairs and your favorite meal to Engel Park on Friday, June 16th and join in this community celebration. Rose Cohen will entertain us with great children's music, there will be children's books to read, raffles, activities, food trucks and more.
On Wednesday, June 21st, Ossining and Briarcliff will join communities around the world for Make Music Day. 2017 is the third year that Ossining will participate in this great outdoor music event. Celebrate the Summer Solstice with some music in the streets, brought to us by the Mike Risko Music School! You can learn more here.
Finally, Teatown is running a bunch of fabulous events this summer for the whole family-- make a point to visit and spend some time in nature while you learn about our natural environment-- in June alone, you could attend Pollination Station, A Little Moth Magic, and Mighty Metamorphosis! Many of these events are free, but registration is required. Check out the list of upcoming programs on Teatown's Eventbrite page.