Before I get into what a busy week it has been in the Town of Ossining, I wanted to share with you a picture from an event I attended last Friday. I had the honor to meet Evelyn Partalis, the one Ossining resident that was inducted into the Westchester County Senior Hall of Fame as part of their class of 2019. Evelyn had an inspiring career as a teacher, and has gone on in her retirement to share her love of education and volunteerism with fellow teachers and the community as a whole. Evelyn is quite a remarkable lady, and I am so proud she calls home. Congratulations Evelyn!
This was a bittersweet week in the Town, as we started saying goodbye to our Town/Village Clerk, Honorable Mary Ann Roberts. Mary Ann has decided to retire this year after 20 years in her current role as Clerk, and 10 years of service to the Village of Ossining as Trustee and Mayor before that.
Mary Ann has lived in Ossining since she was a young girl, and has dedicated most of her adult life to serving her neighbors and making Ossining a better place to call home. Mary Ann and her late husband Fred, raised their children Kim and Sarah here, and both worked so hard in their professional and volunteer roles to serve their community.
As Clerk, Mary Ann touched the lives of so many in Ossining, literally from birth to death, marriage, and everything in between including dog licenses, FOIL requests, Town and Village Board Meetings, hunting and fishing licenses, parking permits, all sorts of other licenses, and much, much more. The Clerk’s office is often the face of Town and Village government and Mary Ann has done an excellent job at serving her neighbors.
At our Regular Meeting on Tuesday night, we presented Mary Ann with a proclamation, recognizing her decades of service to our community.
We also enjoyed a little bit of strawberry shortcake -- Mary Ann's favorite -- illustrating all of the many functions the Clerk serves in our community!
We declared Thursday, December 12th as Mary Ann Roberts Day in the Town of Ossining -- a truly deserving honor. On Thursday, we gathered with our colleagues in Town and Village government to celebrate with Mary Ann as she enters the next chapter of her life. So many people stopped by to wish her well and let her know how much she is appreciated.
We are sad to see Mary Ann go, but we know she will keep busy spending time with her grandchildren and volunteering with many Ossining organizations, like IFCA and the Historical Society Museum. Mary Ann will be in the office until December 30th, so plan to stop by the Clerk's office before then to give her great sendoff!
We received some exciting news last week, when we found out that the Town of Ossining’s Credit Rating had been upgraded from Aa2 to Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s indicated that the upgraded credit rating reflected our sizable tax base, strong resident wealth indicators, ample reserves and liquidity, as well as our low debt levels and manageable fixed costs. It was so exciting to receive this upgrade as it shows that the Town’s continued efforts to employ fiscally conservative yet proactive budgeting tools are paying off. This improved rating will help reduce the burden on taxpayers when we go out to the bond market, getting the most bang for our buck when we need to finance capital projects. Thank you to our Town Comptroller Tom Warren, Deputy Comptroller Dale Ferreira, Budget Director Maddi Zachacz, all our department heads, and current and previous Town Board Members and Supervisors for all of the tough decision making, sound policy setting, and hard work that contributed to our upgraded credit rating. A job well done by all!
Today, I had the opportunity to attend the Westchester County Police Academy Basic Recruits Graduation with Chief Sylvester, Lieutenant Giorgio, Lietenant Zimmerman, Sergeant Donohue, and other members of the Ossining Police Department to witness Ossining's newest officers, Michael J. Juliano and Luke W. Malone, graduate from the academy. We are so excited to have these young men join the force to serve their community. Congratulations to Luke, Michael, and their families!
Have you gotten a little overzealous with your reading material and racked up some fines with the Ossining Public Library? OPL is offering a very cool program this holiday season -- for one donated non-perishable food item you bring from December 8th through the 21st, one dollar will be wiped from your overdue fines. What a great way to give back -- and clear up those fines before the New Year. That sound you hear is my entire office stampeding to Shop Rite to stock up.
While everyone else is heading to the movie theater to see Frozen 2, stay local and check out Mike Risko Music's Frozen Jr! Performances started last night, but are continuing through the weekend with a performance tonight, Friday, December 13th at 7pm and two performances on Sunday. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.
Head to Bethany Arts Community this evening at 7PM for their Winter Exhibit opening and share some holiday cheer. Come peruse Bethany’s beautiful galleries and walk through their winter exhibit. The show displays works in varying types of medium from our local area talented artists. The group show is curated by Ossining artist, Lindsey Francis. Admission is free!
If you missed Santa at last Friday’s tree lighting, he will be back in Ossining this weekend for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 14th. Looks like they added some additional spots to both the 10am and 11am seatings, so reserve your space now before they sell out again!
On Saturday, December 14th, Neighbors Link is offering a New Drivers Workshop from 9:30am to 11:30am at St. Ann's Church. This workshop will help new drivers learn the history of drivers licenses in New York, how to start preparing for the new process for obtaining drivers licenses that begins this month, requirements for permits and drivers licenses, and much more helpful information. This workshop is free, but space is limited – please call (914) 666-3410 ext. 212 to register.
OHS grad, Anthony Ibanez has his larger than life paintings on display at the Ossining Public Library during the month of December. Check out his amazing pieces during the show opening this Saturday, December 14th from 2pm to 4pm.
On Saturday, December 14th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, join the Gullotta House for their Goodwill Gala at OPL’s Budarz Theater, celebrating the organization’s fifth anniversary of serving our community. There will be light appetizers, drinks, special recognitions for Community Advisors and Board Members, as well as entertainment from the Westchester Women’s Chorus. Reserve your tickets online -- $15 for Gullotta House Community Advisors and Board Members, and $20 for Community Supporters and Residents.
Save the date for the Community Menorah Lightings in Ossining and Briarcliff on Thursday, December 26th --
There are some informative community events scheduled for the first few weeks of the New Year. Mark your calendars now!
Finally, the holidays are right around the corner-- while you are out and about this weekend, consider picking up some extra toys, clothing, or books for those in need. There are Toys for Tots boxes all over the community, including right here at 16 Croton Avenue. Please also consider purchasing some extra gifts for our other community service organizations and make the holidays a little brighter for folks here at home. Open Door, IFCA, & Neighbors Link are collecting for their families, and Ossining Boat & Canoe Club also has a program to distribute toys to kids in Ossining and has boxes at Bob’s Army Navy, First Village Coffee, Fred’s Auto Repair, Mike Risko Music School, Moonbeam Café, Ossining Boat & Canoe Club, OVAC, Trinity Church, Sing Sing Kill Brewery and Value Drugs. Give generously and have a great week!