Happy New Year!
First of all, I would like to thank the community members, Town and Village staff members, current and former elected officials, and our families and friends that joined us, all of the newly elected or re-elected officials, for the annual Town and Village of Ossining Inauguration for 2020. It was a great way to start the new year, as we reflected upon our goals for the community.
As I was sworn in for my third term as Town Supervisor, (by my son, Caleb, who is a Notary Public -- thanks Caleb!), I shared some of my priorities for 2020. One of my primary goals in 2020 for Ossining is to ensure that we get an accurate count as part of the 2020 Federal Census. An accurate count will ensure we receive our fair share of funding on the County, State, and Federal level. With literally millions of dollars on the line, it is so important that we all do our part to complete the census questionnaires ourselves, and encourage our friends, family members, and neighbors to do the same. Here in the Town of Ossining, we have partnered with the Village of Ossining to form the Ossining Counts committee, with the sole focus of ensuring an accurate count during this census. The Village of Briarcliff Manor has also formed a "Full Count for Briarcliff" committee, and we look forward to working with our partners in Briarcliff on these efforts as well. We know in 2010 Ossining was not counted accurately, and we simply cannot afford to allow that to happen again. The census also employs many people throughout the process -- visit the 2020 Census Jobs page to learn more and apply.
We are kicking this initiative off in January with several important events, starting with our first work session of the year next Tuesday, January 7th. Norma Drummond, Commissioner of the Westchester County Planning Department, will be visiting us to deliver a presentation on the census and all Westchester County has planned to ensure we are all counted accurately.
Then on Wednesday, January 8th, the Ossining School District will be holding an informational meeting on the census at the Ossining High School Library at 7pm. Yes -- the census count even has an impact on school district funding! If you have any questions or concerns about this process, I strongly encourage you to attend either or both of these presentations, or catch the Town Board Work Session on GOTV.
We have a lot of other exciting projects coming up in 2020, including the Comprehensive Plan. Our goal is to try to engage as many different facets of the community as possible during this project, so we can vision for the future of Ossining with as much input as possible. You might remember that we solicited applications for the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee in December, and received a number of impressive applicants! In late January, we will be interviewing these candidates and appointing the committee as soon as possible, so we can get to work. The first order of business will be to review a request for proposals for a planning firm to help us along with the process. In the meantime, check out the Comprehensive Plan page of the Town's website and stay tuned for ways to get involved and engaged in the near future.
Yesterday was the first day for the latest addition to the Town of Ossining team -- Alban Sylaj started as our newest Parks Groundskeeper. Alban might look familiar to some of you -- before coming to the Town of Ossining, he worked for the Village DPW for five years, so he was ready to hit the ground running this week. We are excited to have the Parks Department fully staffed once more, as we prepare for the spring (it is coming faster than you think!). So if you see Alban around the parks in the coming weeks, be sure to say hi and welcome to the Town!
Start 2020 on a sweet note tonight at the Ossining Community Center for a free ice cream party! Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Saturday is the first week of the Ossining Farmers Market winter market. The hours change a little -- the market will be open from 9am to 1pm, still at Market Square. The loyal local vendors of the Ossining market continue through the winter with lots of fresh veggies, seafood, meats, baked goods, prepared foods, and more. Their harvests may not be as plentiful as in July, but the vegetables are more sweet and flavorful as they "harden" to survive the colder weather. If your New Year's resolutions include eating healthier or choosing to eat locally sourced foods, the Ossining Farmers Market is the place to start!
The Ossining Public Library Ancestry Group returns this Saturday, January 4th with a workshop on creating family trees at 1pm in the Conference Room of the Ossining Public Library. Facilitated by the Little Bertie County Genealogical Society, this group is a great way to learn more about your heritage and research your family history.
Want to try and learn a new language in 2020? The Ossining Public Library has just the program for you! Starting next week, there are Spanish language classes for every level of student, including a Spanish-English conversation group for those learning Spanish or English.
Or, if you would prefer to learn at your own pace, the Mango Languages app is free to all library cardholders, including on your own device! Learn more about this offering at one of the workshops detailed below later in January.
New York State Senator David Carlucci will be holding a Senior Advisory Meeting on Friday, January 10th from 10am to 12noon at the Ossining Public Library. Senator Carlucci and his staff are always looking for opportunities to engage the community, especially our seniors, so this is sure to be an informative and helpful meeting.
The Ossining School District's Saturday Explore and Learn series kicks off again for the winter session on January 11th. Register now for the many offerings for your entire family.
Get ready for Eagle Fest with a free film screening of "Bird of Prey" at the Ossining Public Library on Saturday, January 11th at 2pm, sponsored by Teatown Lake Reservation. This film by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology focuses on the Great Philippine Eagle and the efforts to save this species from extinction. I have heard great things about the beautiful cinematography -- you won't want to miss this!
We will be back to our regularly scheduled Town Board meetings next Tuesday, January 7th with our first Work Session of the year at 16 Croton Avenue. Our Reorganizational Meeting will be the following Tuesday, January 14th, but we will have a Special Meeting on January 7th to take care of a few pressing personnel matters as we enter the new year. I hope you will join us either in person or through your TV or computer for these first meetings of the year!