We had another great week here in the Town of Ossining, and are working hard on a variety of projects I am excited to share with you. Before we get to that, though, I want to share with you the great Ossining weekend we enjoyed last week.
Marc Berger & Ride finally made it to the Engel Park stage and performed a great show-- it was a little chilly, but the audience had a great time listening to them play against a gorgeous backdrop.
On Saturday evening, Jigsaww played a benefit concert at Engel Park in honor of their former band leader, Phil Ishmael. It was very touching to see everyone get together and rally around Phil's family and it was a fantastic way to honor his memory.
Finally, I was incredibly honored to attend the annual Ossining and Briarcliff 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Engel Park on Monday, September 11th. Thanks to the Ossining Fire Department for organizing such a beautiful tribute to those who were lost on that fateful day, and as a thank you to those who continue to serve us so bravely.
Our Highway and Parks Departments have been working shoulder to shoulder with the New York State DOT and the Village of Ossining as work began this week at the intersection of Route 9A and Route 134. Our crew did some digging to replace a stormwater pipe, and I am glad to say that the Town's portion of the work is complete. The Village crew and the folks from the DOT will likely remain in place through the end of September, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly (the information on detours can be found on our homepage in a post from last week.)
There has also been a lot of work getting done at Dale Cemetery. Earlier in 2017, the Town Board approved a capital plan which included, among other things, an extensive amount of paving at Dale Cemetery, along with some masonry work on some of the walls around the property. Our very own Town Highway Department was able to pitch in and fix up the wall-- big thanks to our master mason Matteo Velardo for all of his hard work and patience. As you can see, this guy knows what he's doing.
Additionally, all of the paving work just finished up earlier this week. We are incredibly relieved to have this work done and make traveling easier for our residents, guests and staff as they visit the different areas of our historic Dale Cemetery.
This past Tuesday, we had the 13/14 Year Old JCYS Little League players and coaches join us, along with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Village Trustee John Codman, at the Town Board Meeting-- you may remember that these guys blew us all away this summer when they were named New York State Champions, and placed 2nd in the East Regional Conference. It was great to be able to personally congratulate all the players, their parents, and our coaches-- you guys make Ossining so very proud, and we wish you all the best in the coming year!
Yesterday, I attended the Senior Fair at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center hosted by Senator David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. They had a fantastic turnout, and I was joined by our Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz, staff from the Town Assessor' Office and the Senior Nutrition Program to share information with our seniors about the extensive services that the Town of Ossining provides. Special thanks to Town Councilwoman Kim Jeffrey (who also works for the Senator) for organizing such a helpful event in our community.
Later that day, I attended the Mid-Hudson Regional REDC (Regional Economic Development Council) meeting at Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster. This County property has been rehabbed into a beautiful farm to table restaurant. The Council announced projects they are recommending to the next level of the State as priority projects and these will go on to get funded. The three categories of projects included Live, Work and Play. The Sing Sing Museum project has twice received this funding but did not apply this round. The Town of Ossining has applied through the Consolidated Funding Application for work to preserve the Superintendent's Cottage at Dale Cemetery, we hope to hear about that project in October.
Last evening, nearly 60 people gathered at Richard G. Wishnie Park in the Village of Ossining for a fundraiser benefitting the Friends of Richard Wishnie Park, a foundation set up by former Town Supervisor Wishnie to supplement the Village's budget for park improvements. We enjoyed some delicious wine tastings, courtesy of Chilmark Wines and Liquor, sampled some craft beer from 6 Degrees of Seperation, and had some delicious food provided by some of our favorite Ossining restaurants, all while accompanied by live tunes courtesy of Mike and Miriam Risko. Special thanks to Melike Mediterranean, Docas Restaurant, Good Choice Kitchen and The Briarcliff Manor Antipasti di Napoli for all of the scrumptious treats (if you haven't tried Perry's eggplant meatballs from Antipasti di Napoli, you haven't truly lived), to former Supervisor Sue Donnelly, Village Trustee Rika Levin, Village of Ossining Water Filtration Plant Chief Operator Steve Ho, and party planner extraordinaire Omar Herrera for putting together such a fun outing highlighting this beautiful green space.
Earlier today, I attended a Shared Services meeting at the Westchester County Center, along with the Chief Elected Official the other Towns, Villages and Cities in Westchester County. Our job today was to vote on the Shared Services Plan designed by the County in order to fulfill a mandate from Governor Cuomo; the County had some suggestions on services they could provide to municipalities to help everyone save money (mostly in the realm of IT/software services and emergency services dispatch), many of which were of interest to both the Town and Village of Ossining. We continue to look for ways to provide service more efficiently, and I look forward to sharing the next steps with you when we hear from the County and State.
This afternoon, I, along with Town Budget Officer Maddi Zachacz and Deputy Town Comptroller Dale Ferreira, met with our first batch of department heads to discuss the 2018 budget. I continue to be proud of our managers as they do the hard work of keeping costs down while keeping service quality high. We will continue meetings next week with our other six departments before we start putting everything together in preparation for our October 30th deadline, where the Supervisor's (or Tentative) Budget is due to the Town Clerk.
"It has come to the Town’s attention that many Ossining residents throughout the Village of Ossining, the Unincorporated Area of Ossining, and part of the Village of Briarcliff Manor have received a mailer this week from a group calling themselves “Citizens of the Town of Ossining for Fair Taxation.” The material enclosed encourages the recipients to contact the Town Board of the Town of Ossining to express an opinion about enacting the Homestead Option in 2018, which would change the way in which condominium units and businesses are valued for tax purposes.
This mailer was independently produced and sent out by a group of private citizens, with no involvement by the Town. No taxpayer money was used to produce or distribute this mailing, nor will taxpayer money be used to pay for the return mailing of the enclosed postcards."
We have some exciting events coming up this weekend-- our Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining program continues tomorrow (Saturday, September 16th) with a Self Defense Class, taught by Tommy Calandrucci and sponsored by Club Fit Briarcliff. This class will be held at Sparta Park at 8:30AM. No sign-up is required for this free event.
Also tomorrow, Councilwomen Feldman, Jeffrey and I will be marching in the Briarcliff Manor Fire Parade. The Village of Briarcliff Manor was chosen to host the 111th Westchester County Volunteer Fireman's Association Convention, which culminates in a parade beginning tomorrow (Saturday the 16th) at 1PM. I hope you will come to wave us on as we celebrate with the BMFD-- the parade begins on Pleasantville Road and will end at Law Park.
Prior to that, I hope to stop by the Fishing Derby at Cedar Lane Park. This is a great event for the whole family-- come with your rod and reel and we will provide the bait, starting at 9AM tomorrow, Saturday September 16th. Then I hope to swing by the Garden Party at Campwoods Grounds, also fun for the whole family, with food, games and a ceremony to commemorate the WWI memorial that they are trying to restore with the proceeds from this event.
Tomorrow night, the Ossining High School JSA (Junior Statesmen of America) will be holding a benefit concert at Engel Park. Proceeds from JSAFest will go towards a scholarship for OHS students, so please give generously while you check out some live music (including performances from OHS students) and visit the food trucks.
And, as you begin to make your Halloween plans, don't forget-- today (Friday the 15th) is the last day to get reduced-price tickets for the 2017 Haunted Hayride at Cedar Lane Park. Prices go up tomorrow and tickets are already getting tight for some of the seatings. Be sure not to miss out, that would be the scariest "trick"of all!
Finally, I encourage you to check out the Ossining Farmer's Market tomorrow, not just for the famous annual corn roast between 10AM and 1PM (although a fabulous way to start the weekend), but our newly appointed Village of Ossining Manager Debbie McDonnell will be visiting the market. Come meet her and learn about her exciting plans for the Village.