Happy Fall! Even as we officially move into the season of pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves and apple picking, the weather is warm and the humidity is high. Enjoy the last remains of summer, but I am looking forward, personally, to the fall weather that is promised for this weekend!

My office has spent the majority of our week in budget meetings with all nine of our department heads. This is the end of the first step in our budget process where we are able to review each department, line by line, and clarify any changes that have been requested. Once this process ends and we update all of the numbers, the hard work really begins. As you know, 2017 will be the 6th year where the Town will be operating under the constraints of the New York State tax cap, which will be less than 1% for the Town of Ossining this year. I believe I speak for all of my colleagues on the Board when I say that we understand the high tax burden in our community, but the fact remains it is extremely challenging to continue to keep the lights on, keep our parks and infrastructure in shape and up to date, and keep our employees healthy so they can provide the services that our residents need. Many of these costs outpace the confines of this 1%, and the longer we remain in this structure, the harder it becomes to find balance without making significant sacrifices. Nevertheless, as always, we have been working hard with our department heads to work on creative solutions to provide additional revenue outside of taxes, and will continue to try and find efficiencies to help lower costs from last year.

The next step in the process is that with the help of the Budget Officer and our Finance Team, I will work on preparing the tentative, or Supervisor's Budget, which will be submitted to the Town Clerk no later than October 28th. It will also be published on the Town website for the public's review. The Town Board will also have a chance to meet with Department Heads to get their questions answered and make whatever changes they see fit and then we will hold a Public Hearing. Once the public has been heard and all changes are finalized, the Town Board will adopt the 2017 budget the second week in December. This has been an exciting process so far and I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday evening, we held a Town Hall Meeting at the Ossining Public Library on a variety of topics, beginning with a presentation by Superintendent of Ossining Schools Ray Sanchez and Director of Elementary Teaching and Learning Carrieann Sipos on the Ossining Basics. This program, derived from the Boston Basics, is a community-wide initiative to prepare children ages birth to three for a lifetime of learning in five specific ways:

  • Maximize Love, Manage Stress
  • Talk, Sing and Point
  • Count, Group and Compare
  • Explore Through Movement and Play
  • Read and Discuss Stories

These activities can take place anywhere, and have been proven to be solid building blocks really creating a community of learners and getting children as prepared as they can be and on board to success with everyone's help. We are so pleased to be part of this campaign in Ossining. If you'd like to learn more, you can check out this video of the Boston Basics to get an idea of what we have planned for Ossining.

We also had a short presentation from Victoria Cafarelli in my office about a project for which we've applied for several grants: an open space corridor connecting various parts of Ossining and beyond in an walkable and bikeable way. We have gotten a lot of local support for this project and we are hopeful that some grant funding will come through to help us get started on the design work later this year. Take a look at the map below: the yellow stars indicate cultural sites in our community, the green are recreation sites, and the purple stars represent our commercial districts. Being able to connect these resources through a system of trails and paths would not only add to the desirability of our community from a lifestyle perspective, but would allow for more job opportunities and open the door for economic growth that our region needs.

Finally, Julia Rivera from LiveOnNY came to Ossining to give a public presentation on Organ Donor Enrollment Day. The Town and Village of Ossining are partnering with the LiveOnNY team to break the national record for most enrollments in a single day, which will be October 6th, 2016. "Team Ossining" will assemble all over town to get folks enrolled on the national registry. We have gotten a ton of support from many local businesses who have offered to host us, including the Landmark Diner, Wobble Cafe, Walgreen's, DD's Diner, and Club Fit, who has generously agreed to donate guest passes to anyone who enrolls! You will also be able to find us at the Community Center or the Ossining Public Library, and we are still looking for a few more locations. Are you interested in volunteering for a few hours? Email Maddi Zachacz in my office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Friday, September 30th, so that we can make sure to get you training materials and a shirt to wear on October 6th to identify you as a Team Ossining member. This is such an important initiative, and I sincerely hope you can join us!

 

 

 

 

Coming up this weekend, we have our final two Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining events of the season. Tomorrow (Saturday, September 24th) at 9:30AM at Nelson Park, bring your kids for an exciting program sponsored by Open Door Family Medical Center. Come and shake, rattle and roll with Recess Rocks, a fun, dynamic movement program for elementary school children! Then on Sunday, September 25th, Sue Radparvar of Studio95 will be holding a Zumba dance party at 3PM at Engel Park-- come get in a great workout accompanied by awesome music. Thanks to our Ossining fitness businesses and all of our participants for an amazing summer full of fitness and fun, I can't wait to see everyone out there next year!

If Zumba isn't your thing, why not take a walk with your Senator? Senator David Carlucci will be leading a hike at Teatown at 8AM on Saturday morning as part of the Hudson River Valley Ramble. Take an opportunity to chat with your Senator and learn about some of the great work he's doing for us in Ossining.

Here are some other Ossining events this weekend. I hope I will see you out and about!

 

Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt This Week at Ossining’s Down to Earth Farmers Market

What: Ossining’s Down to Earth Farmers Market.  Inviting kids of all ages to pick up this week’s activity sheet from the Market Manager this Saturday.  A great way to get to know your market and the great variety of food available.  The first 12 completed sheets handed in will get a prize!  Also, back by popular request is Blue Hudson Jazz from 10am-Noon.   We welcome a new vendor this week- D.C. Farms with all things maple, Ahhh Fall!  Bombay Emerald Chutney will also be at the market. It’s corn season, celebrate with this recipe.  Don’t forget to bring your own reusable shopping bags for carrying home your purchases.  If you forget, there will be a limited amount of reusable shopping bags for sale at $1 each.

When: Every Saturday from 8:30am-1pm.

Where: Intersection of Main & Spring streets, Ossining

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ossining Arts Council - Call to Artists

What:  The Ossining Arts Council is pleased to honor the memory of legendary fisherman and storyteller Henry Gourdine during the month of October with a program we are calling “Fishing On Henry’s Hudson: Henry Gourdine, Ossining’s Master Fisherman”.  As part of the exhibition, all Artists are invited to submit artwork in all media relating to the exhibition’s theme.  To submit your art, please send up to three jpeg files for consideration to: henrygourdine@ossiningartscouncil.org.  A decision regarding your selection will be made on September 26.

When:  Show dates are October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, at 8 PM and 9, 16, 23, at 3 PM, 2016

Where:  OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery, 117 Main Street, ,Ossining, NY

Contact:  The Ossining Arts Council. Bonnie Talluto, (914) 502-4157

 

 

 

Also, it's not too late to register to be part of the Green Ossining Community Tag Sale! If you haven't participated before, it's a great way to get your yard on the map for treasure hunters. Make sure to sign up on the Green Ossining website to be included.

 

 

-Dana

 

Town Board Contacts

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

Council Members: Elizabeth Feldman, Jackie Shaw, Northern Wilcher Jr.