It is hard to believe that I am writing this on Friday afternoon and it's pitch black outside! We are all looking forward to a great weekend here in Ossining, but I am looking especially forward to one event in particular-- Westchester Collaborative Theater is having their opening weekend of a collection of four short plays entitled "Fractured Family Tales." My husband, Stephen Hersh, has written one of them, and after having heard all the behind-the-scenes excitement, I cannot wait to see the finished product. Won't you join me? The plays will run through the second weekend in December, so be sure to get tickets soon and visit WCT's still-fairly-new Ossining space with family and friends.

 

We had a jam packed week which started with a birthday bash for yours truly. My office ordered two delicious cakes (one Fudgie the Whale, and one delicious chocolate sheet cake from our friends at Good Choice Kitchen) and we invited all of our friends in the Town and Village to celebrate with me. Not a bad way to kick off a week!

 

 

 

The week also began with a good amount of preparation for our Town Hall Meeting, which took place on Tuesday night at the Ossining Public Library. Several hundred residents attended to hear Dr. Gerald Benjamin and Tom Cetrino from The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz discuss the implementation of the Homestead Option in the City of Kingston back in 1989 ( pdf you can read the study here (3.98 MB) ), and hear about the lessons learned from communities like Kingston around the state. We also were joined by John Wolham from the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services and our Town Assessor Fernando Gonzalez. In case you missed it, the video can be viewed here. The Board remains unconvinced that Homestead is the remedy to the problem created many years ago which resulted in a disparity in taxes on condos versus single family homes, but we will continue this discussion as we all learn more about the process, and the implications, together. Thanks to all of our residents who have submitted their thoughtful comments and questions.

 

 

Over the past several weeks, my office has been working on a grant submission for the Restore NY program, which aims to help communities bring buildings that are vacant or in disrepar back into active use. When we learned of this opportunity, we jumped at the chance to submit a project for the Reuben House at Cedar Lane Park, a beautiful and historic structure that has fallen into disrepair over the past decade. We went out to the site to walk around with a restoration architect and a restoration contractor to get some information about how we could best proceed to try to plan for this grant and rescue the remaining structural attributes ofthe building while potentially readying it for future development into something like a farm-to-table restaurant or event space. At this time, the news is good and we look forward to having a more detailed proposal prepared soon. The Town Board will also entertain a public hearing on the application for a deconstruiction and rehabilitation grant on Tuesday, November 28th at our Legislative Meeting. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will be happy to discuss the application process with you in more detail.

 

 

As I mentioned last week, the Parks Department has been hard at work at Gerlach Park this week getting work done around the pavilion-- the entire retaining wall on the high side of the pavilion was rebuilt, along with a set of steps headed up to the playground. It is incredible how much work has gotten done this week despite the cooler tempertatures (mortar doesn't cooperate as well when it's cold, as we have learned from our resident master masons).

 

 

 

According to our Parks Foreman Mario Velardo, this work should get completed on Tuesday, when the temperature is expected to be in the mid-50s. We are looking forward to a little more warmth almost as much as we are looking forward to finishing our pavilion project!

 

As cool as it is, we had our first meeting today for Earth Day 2018, which is being planned for April of next year. Maddi, Mario and I were joined by Suzie Ross, our Green Ossining chair, along with Rob Lowenthal and George Garland (also from Green Ossining), Ossining Village Mayor Victoria Gearity, and Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester to get the ball rolling. We are potentially looking at a new setup in 2018 which may involve some additional inter-agency cooperation, but starting early should help us get out ahead of it. I look forward to another successful year of this festival and will be sure to keep you updated on its progress as the date grows closer.

 

 

Finally, we ended the week with our second round of departmental budget meetings with the Town Board. It was a long afternoon, but a productive one, and while we have a few tweaks to make, we are feeling quite comfortable with where we are and are looking forward to adopting a tight, sensible budget for the 2018 year that continues to deliver the exceptional services our taxpayers have come to expect while staying below the tax cap. If you have any questions or comments, you can send them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or join us for the 2018 Budget Public Hearing on Tuesday, November 28th at the Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility beginning at 7:30PM. 

 

 

 

Small Business Saturday is coming up next weekend, and there are a variety of opportunities to "Shop Local" right here in Town. Buying from a local business helps keep our taxes low, not to mention that it helps our neighbors to keep their family-owned businesses thriving. Let's all do our part next weekend and get a jump start on holiday shopping without leaving Ossining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the holiday season gets in full swing, many local non-profits and churches are preparing to serve meals and distribute baskets of food to Ossining families for Thanksgiving.  St. Ann's Church is accepting donations for the over 200 families set to receive a turkey and basket of food for their Thanksgiving tables.  St. Ann's is accepting donations of turkeys, canned veggies, boxed mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn bread mix, canned yams, canned cranberries, gravy, and other non-perishable foods from now until Sunday, November 19th.  Please bring your donations to the St. Ann's Rectory (941-2556) at 25 Eastern Ave in Ossining.  The Gullotta House also helps many Westchester families in need throughout the year, and especially during Thanksgiving with a "pre-Thanksgiving" meal at the Doubletree in Tarrytown on November 21st.  Keep an eye out for Gullotta House volunteers collecting donations throughout Ossining this week, or visit the Gullotta House website.  If you know someone that would benefit from the Gullotta House's generosity this Thanksgiving, email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your recommendation.  

 

 

We are excited to announce another special program put together by our wonderful staff at the Cedar Lane Arts Center. Giving a gift made from scratch really shows your love, and with guidance and supplies from our art teachers, you and your children will be in good hands! See below for details.

 

 

 

Finally, don't forget that the Campwoods Holiday Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, December 2nd featuring a wide range of artisanal crafts, candles, soaps, pottery, and jewelry from local vendors. This is one of my very favorite Ossining events each year, and I have spent the last several weeks picturing all of the wonderful treasures I plan to bring home this time!

 

 

As a reminder, the Town Board will not be meeting this coming week. I hope everyone enjoys the weekend and my best wishes for a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with family, friends and good food! I give thanks for all of you, this wonderful community of Ossining and Briarcliff. I hope to see you around Town! It's the last Down to Earth Farmers Market in Ossining before Thanksgiving, so be sure to do a spin through for your last minute cooking and baking needs! Supervisor's pro tip: consider picking out some olives, pickles and other snacks from PickleLicious for an irresistable appetizer platter-- word is they are offering a mix-and-match discount special this week!

 

Happy Turkey/ Tofurky,

 

Dana

 

Town Board Contacts

Town Supervisor: Dana Levenberg - phone (914) 762-6001 - fax (914) 762-0833

Council Members: Karen D'Attore, Elizabeth Feldman, Kim Jeffrey, Northern Wilcher Jr.