Happy Friday! Hope you’ve been able to enjoy the beautiful weather this week! 

It was an eventful week in the Town. On this Friday the 13th, we commemorated events that began, for us, on another Friday the 13th - March 13, when we began shutting down to distance and adapt to COVID. I along with Councilmembers Liz Feldman and Angelo Manicchio joined the Village of Ossining for the COVID-19 Remembrance Memorial Ceremony at Nelson Sitting Park this morning. Proclamations were presented to our first responders - Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Ossining Fire Department, and Ossining Police Department. Joyce Sharrock Cole (who also happens to be the Village Historian and played an instrumental role in memorializing the history of the pandemic in real time) accepted a proclamation on behalf of Richard Wishnie, Commissioner of Emergency Services for Westchester County.  

 

 

In Ossining, we really all pulled together during the pandemic to do everything we could to ensure that everyone in Ossining stayed as healthy and safe as possible, and it was great to come together now and acknowledge those incredible partnerships strengthened during extraordinary circumstances.  As Chair of the County Board of Legislators Catherine Borgia remarked, we all got into public service to serve our communities.  It was some of the hardest work we've had to do, but it definitely reminded us why we chose to do this work in the first place. 

 

 

In other big news: after two-plus years of work, many Steering Committee meetings, public hearings, surveys, and much more, we are finally adopting our new Comprehensive Plan with Sustainability Elements, Sustainable Ossining!  

 

 

Thank you to my current Board colleagues, as well as previous Town Board Members Jackie Shaw and Northern Wilcher, for supporting this project. Thanks also to the Comp Plan Steering Committee, and to all the members of our public who came to meetings, put stickers on poster boards, emailed, called, or participated in some way in shaping this plan. And of course, a big thank you to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for helping to fund it with a grant from the Climate Smart Communities program.  

This plan sets forth laudable goals in the areas of Connectivity & Mobility, Open Space & Natural Resources, Housing, Preservation & Development, Sustainable Infrastructure, Community & Culture, and Economy.  We now have a fantastic roadmap to make the Town of Ossining more sustainable in every sense of the word, and we can’t wait to get the work going. 

At next week’s Work Session, our Town Planner, Valerie Monastra, will be back before the Town Board to discuss next steps to bring this plan to life.  We do not intend for it to sit on a shelf collecting dust; we want to work towards implementing the goals it sets forth and make our community better for the future.  Let’s get to work!

In other Town news, we celebrated National School Nurses Day this week. On Tuesday, the nurses were presented with a proclamation at the school board meeting, and on Wednesday I attended a virtual luncheon with the nurses to thank them for all of their hard work. Especially in these most challenging times, we are extremely fortunate to have the caring, intelligent, dedicated staff that we have taking care of our children. 

We also participated in the State’s Climate Action Council draft scoping plan process. NYS is leading the way on climate with the adoption of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), and this scoping plan will serve as a roadmap for meeting climate goals. Last week, the Town Board held a discussion of the plan. We are happy to support it, and yesterday I voiced my support at a public hearing in Peekskill at the Paramount theater. We all need to do our part to reduce emissions and curb climate change. The scoping plan will give us much-needed guidance to take more impactful steps. 

 

You can learn more about the CLCPA and the draft scoping process at a lunch-and-learn webinar coming up at noon next Wednesday, May 18. Sustainable Westchester and the New York League of Conservation Voters will be hosting a panel of experts. Click here to register.  

 

As you’re going about your weekend plans, consider taking some time to think about the Village of Ossining’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), and how the different project ideas might enhance our local area. Last week, the Town presented to the community and the Local Planning Committee of the DRI our request for funding for a new performance space at Louis Engel Park. It was great to hear that the project was well received by the community members and LPC members, and we are now working on refining our vision with concept plans for the new stage. You can review our plan and all of the project plans in the Virtual Meeting Room, and share feedback using this link. The survey is open until May 20, 2022. 

Other things you might do this weekend: browse the Westchester Craft Crawl; attend the rescheduled I Love My Park Day at the Old Croton Aqueduct on Saturday; take the Westchester County Health Survey; and swing by Fable’s Farm Fest this Sunday! For more ideas, keep scrolling!

--Dana

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Town Board Contacts

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

Council Members: Elizabeth Feldman, Jennifer Fields-Tawil, Angelo Manicchio, Gregory G. Meyer