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.
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.
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!
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,