Tonight is the last night of 2020. It is amazing to think this year is finally over. Though COVID and many other challenges will not disappear at midnight, we are all looking forward to the start of 2021.
We all accomplished a lot this year. On Tuesday, January 5th we will have a Town Board meeting which will include a discussion about what was achieved in 2020. Board meetings are aired live via Zoom. You can join us using the zoom link here and meeting ID 822 5825 0368 (password 768303). Recordings are later posted on YouTube and Facebook.
The approaching New Year has felt like a double edged sword for many people who have anxiously waited to hear whether protections would be extended into 2021. Starting next week, an additional $300 to be available through unemployment. Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending rent relief to tenants until May, and the state has expanded rent relief, paid sick leave, and the moratorium on utility shutoffs.
Government offices at many different levels are offering services. If you need help please do not hesitate to reach out. If we do not know the answer, we will connect you with someone who does. The Find Services Feature provides an easy-to-use starting point for information related to Paid Family Leave, tax relief, accessing addiction services, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), the COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline, mental health resources, Child Health Plus, COVID-19 resources for New Americans, NY State of Health (Official Healthcare Marketplace), Medicaid, and the NYS Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Hotline. If you would like to reach out to a more local office for this information, you can use the County information hotline by dialing 211 or call my office at 914-762-6001.
Living room spread is still the largest contributor to new cases in New York. These cases are contracted when people from multiple households gather in private settings, unintentionally spreading the virus to our family and friends. Following Thanksgiving there was a large spike in cases and health experts expect the positivity rate will continue to climb as new cases from Christmas and New Years are recorded. Please avoid gatherings as you celebrate tonight’s holiday. Our emergency response and healthcare workers have been on the frontlines since February, and they will work through the holiday, away from their own families, to help people infected by COVID-19. We must all work together to bring our case numbers down. We are looking forward to a happier and healthier new year.
The Town and Village of Ossining Inauguration of Local Elected Officials will be virtual this year. All are welcome to join this Zoom event on Friday, January 1 at noon. Click here for the Zoom link. The meeting ID is 942 7543 4613. To call into the meeting, you can dial (929)-205-6099 and then enter the Meeting ID.
The Ossining Farmers Market will be closed on Saturday. The Market will re-open outdoors at Market Square, from 9am-1pm on Saturday, January 9th, 2021.
As vaccines become more widely available, we expect scammers to come out of the woodwork. New York State is overseeing the distribution of vaccines, which are being further distributed to healthcare “hubs” across the state. There are no sign-up lists for the vaccine. The Governor’s office is making it available to frontline workers first, then vulnerable populations, before it will be available to the general public. Medicare or Social Security (or other government agencies) will not be calling you about getting your vaccine. When it is released more widely, it will be free for all New Yorkers. This time of year scams tend to increase, regardless of our current health crisis. Always protect your personal information, you do not need to provide your social security number, credit card number, or any bank info to qualify for the vaccine.
The Town’s Comprehensive Plan survey was extended through January 1, which is in just a couple of days. Please take some time to complete the survey to help us map out our next Comprehensive Plan, which is a blueprint for land use over the next decade plus, and lays out priorities, goals, and suggestions for how to move forward. One of our early steps has been to reach out with this survey to collect your opinions and suggestions! We extended the time to respond through tomorrow, so get started now and complete the quick survey here. The survey is also available in Spanish.
Thank you all for your dedication and hard work during this most difficult year. Ossining is truly an amazing community and I know we are all looking forward to harnessing our power to work together in the new year ahead. As we ring in 2021 and launch our individual New Year’s resolutions, I am honored to have served you this year. We undertook a lot, as we had to rise to the occasion. We can all resolve to do the same and even more as we wave goodbye to 2020. Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe.