Supervisor - Dana Levenberg

Dana Levenberg, Town Supervisor
phone (914) 762-6001
fax (914) 762-0833
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

16 Croton Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562

The Supervisor's Office is located on the third floor of the Town offices. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:30 pm due to COVID restrictions.

 


Supervisor's Update - May 15, 2020

You may have heard that today is the day when New York PAUSE expires. However, as of yesterday, much of the PAUSE has been extended to May 28, with other requirements extended until June 13th for our region. There are a few relaxed restrictions for our area, but otherwise, our region is not quite ready to enter Phase one of New York Forward. The Governor’s regional approach to re-opening is based upon specific criteria and metrics. The Town of Ossining is located within the Mid-Hudson Region, which is comprised of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange Counties. So just to clarify, at this time, the Mid-Hudson Region is NOT eligible to re-open today, May 15 pursuant to the directives of New York Forward.

 

 

New York Forward establishes seven criteria which an entire region must meet in order to advance to phases of re-opening. These criteria include:

1.   Decline in hospitalizations;

2.   Decline in deaths;

3.   Reduced new hospitalizations;

4.   Hospital bed capacity;

5.   ICU bed capacity;

6.   Diagnostic testing capacity; and

7.   Contact tracing capacity.

 

 

More specific information regarding this criteria and our region’s progress on these metrics can be found online. At this time, the Mid-Hudson Region meets five out of the seven criteria, and is therefore not in a position to re-open business. We must experience more days of declined hospital deaths and reduced new hospitalizations prior to moving to Phase One of New York Forward. Each region has been assigned a “regional control room,” largely comprised of County Executives and other stakeholders, tasked with closely monitoring these metrics and reopening efforts.

 

 

We have received a number of inquiries from residents and business owners asking how this impacts the Ossining community. When New York PAUSE expires for upstate regions today, the underlying restrictions of New York PAUSE for our area will not change. Most businesses that have been closed, will remain closed. If you are a non-essential employee, you will continue to work from home. You must maintain a six foot distance from others when in public and wear face coverings when not able to do so (also, specifically, these distance restrictions have been extended through June 13). The only state-wide change that will go into effect on May 15 which includes our region is the re-opening of certain low-risk businesses including landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities like tennis (subject to certain restrictions), and drive-in movie theaters.

 

When NY PAUSE expires

 

Once the Mid-Hudson region meets the benchmark required to enter Phase One, only certain businesses will be allowed to open. The State is gradually releasing templates for workplace safety guidelines and FAQs for businesses owners and employees, which include what the mandatory requirements will be. Any business that opens is required to institute health and safety practices to protect the public. We strongly recommend starting now to prepare a plan for how to institute these practices. We will be sharing guides and guidance for businesses in the coming weeks to help businesses before Phase One begins. The graphic below details the following phases of the plan. According to New York Forward, we must wait at least two weeks in between phases to closely monitor how that phase of reopening impacts the various public health metrics we must continue to meet. We are still a long while out before a full reopening, so I would not recommend booking reservations yet for your favorite restaurant or an appointment with your hair stylist (I know, I know, we are all so tempted at this point!). Instead, order some takeout tonight, buy a gift card to support your favorite local business, but still maybe avoid breaking out the kitchen scissors to cut your own hair! I promise it will be worth the wait – especially for my fellow curly girls out there!

 

NY Forward Phases

 

 

I know this is a lot of information to navigate and fully understand. We will remain in close contact with our County Executive, George Latimer, as he begins his new role as our representative to the “regional control room.” We will also be watching closely as some other regions in New York State enter Phase One today, including the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and Central NY. The Town is also in the process of developing its own safety plan, as we plan for slowly introducing more of our employees back to reporting to work in person. We will also continue to keep our community apprised of developments as we learn them. I encourage you to share with your neighbors how to receive e-mail updates from us, and sign up for daily e-mail updates directly from New York State. They really are so informative. 

 

 

One of the core tenets of the re-opening phases is the establishment of teams of contact tracers. Tracers will help monitor spread of the virus and are the first step in connecting those exposed to the virus to the New York State Health Department for information and testing. The state is now hiring contact tracers. You can learn more about this opportunity and apply online.

 

 

As we are constantly reminded, COVID-19 is not a virus we fully understand yet. As we consider re-opening, it is imperative that we continue to seek information from official news sources and follow health experts’ advice to avoid a second wave of the outbreak. We learned about a disturbing new trend this week regarding children. While initial impressions of the virus seemed to spare children from severe symptoms, the Governor has noted a series of symptoms parents should carefully review. Information is still incoming and not all the symptoms are necessarily a sign of immediate urgency. Parents that notice symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and actively monitor the symptoms.

 

Symptoms Children

 

In order to protect children, vulnerable populations, and essential workers, it is important to continue to wear masks when in shared public spaces. Masks are easy to make and we are proud to announce we will be taking part in the #MaskMonday initiative, sharing pictures of our community members showing off their masks.

 

MaskMonday

 

This is also the time to share those great how-to videos. Nancy Adelman, who has been coordinating a team to make masks for a variety of those who need them (everyone!), shared this helpful graphic showing how to make a mask from a t-shirt. [I should have two videos from her later today too!] Not so crafty? Health experts have indicated that those bandanas lying around will do the trick for most of us – as long as you are not a first responder or healthcare worker.

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If you are an essential service business, charity, or organization the Town and Village have masks for you. So far we have distributed over 2600 washable and reusable masks! If your business needs masks please complete our easy online form in EnglishSpanish, or Portuguese or contact Carina Scorcia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The masks are being distributed by appointment only.

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I would like to pass along a sentiment to everyone who is struggling with the emotional toll this pandemic has taken. Time homebound, in social isolation, can be draining and feel overwhelming. Last week, Westchester County unveiled a memorial commemorating our collective loss during this outbreak. Families, many of whom have not been able to mourn under traditional circumstances, can add a purple ribbon with the written name of a loved one. The Ribbons of Remembrance memorial is at Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers.

 

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It has now been a few weeks since property owners received preliminary change of assessment notices in the mail. I would like to remind everyone that you can still schedule an informal review with Tyler Technologies by calling 800-829-4235 Monday through Friday 9:00AM to 4:00PM or by logging on to www.tylertech.com/schedule to schedule an appointment. These meetings will help clarify any concerns you may have if you feel your assessed value does not accurately reflect your property value as of July 1, 2019. This informal meeting may result in the lowering of your preliminary assessed value. Prepare by looking online to compare your property to sale prices (within the past year) for similar properties. These informal reviews are essential to the re-appraisal process – we recognize you know your property better than anyone, so these meetings help ensure the accuracy of our roll. This week, the Town voted  to extend the Tentative Roll filing date from June 1 to June 30, 2020, and moved Grievance Day to July 21, 2020, instead of June 16. We hope this extension will allow property owners ample time to review, investigate, and challenge their preliminary assessed value, if necessary. You can call the Assessor's Office at (914) 762-8274 if you need any help or have questions. 

 

 

As you know, the Town worked with the County Board of Legislators and the County Executive to find ways to ease the burden of paying property taxes at this time. However, the actual date that taxes were due was not extended.  Therefore, those who were not able to pay their 2020 Town and County taxes by April 30th will receive late payment notices from the Tax Receiver’s office in the coming days.  Remember: the two options available are to pay late with greatly reduced penalties (.5% if paid by May 30, and 1% if paid by July 15), or for those property owners who meet the hardship criteria established by the Westchester County Executive, a full waiver of penalties if paid by July 15. Learn more and download the request for hardship exemption on our website.

 

 

In Census news – the unincorporated Town broke 60% response rate this week. Woohoo! Ok that’s all the celebrating we are going to allow ourselves – that still means 40% of you still have not responded! Now is the time to get on it – you can respond today by visiting the Census websiteor by phone (844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, 844-474-2020 for Portuguese). The Census is available in approximately 60 different languages, with the survey also available in Braille and large print. So basically that means no excuses! As a reminder, all Census responses are confidential and a citizenship question is not included. The Village of Briarcliff Manor is up in the top 6 municipalities at 74% (go Briarcliff!) and the Village of Ossining is at 56%. Please encourage all of your family, friends, neighbors, Zoom happy hour attendees, Instagram followers, Facebook friends, co-workers via conference call – did I leave anyone out? – yes basically everyone you know, to respond to the Census today.

 

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We are so glad to share this weekly restaurant list. Help us keep our beloved restaurants in business by circulating this list and supporting them when you can.

 

List of Businesses Open during COVID19 May15update

 

While restaurants have been some of the more visible businesses adapting to the crisis, other businesses have risen to the challenge as well. Be sure to support these neighbors too – they are part of what makes Ossining an amazing place to live.

 

Adaptive Businesses May8update

 

I am thrilled to see the community coming together to support one another. Sewing groups have sprung up all around the country – and quite a few locally – to teach residents how to make their own masks and make masks for others in need. Local volunteer Nancy Adelman and her team are organizing mask sewing for EMTs, nursing homes, and those in vulnerable populations (like homeless residents). Check out their GoFundMe page to see how to get involved or donate. 

 

 

An increased interest in sending food to first responders also warms my heart! Hop on board this Meal Train designed to provide meals to hospital workers and OVAC. This is even more appreciated as we prepare for EMS week next week. This program may be winding down soon, so jump in before the train leaves the station.

 

 

As financial hardships grow due to the Coronavirus crisis, food insecurity rises with it. There are a lot of options available for hot meals in Ossining and Briarcliff – many meals cooked by our favorite restaurants and donated!  The Village and Town and Feeding Westchester host a food distribution program every Tuesday across several locations.

 

Meals.May 14.May 20 2020.ENGLISHMeals.May 14.May 20 2020.SPANISH

 

Gullotta House serves hot meals in Ossining from local restaurants on Fridays from 4-6pm at Stop & Shop. Donations keep the engine in motion so please support if you can by visiting www.gullottahouse.org. The dates and locations for food distribution change weekly, so we recommend residents follow them on Facebook to get specific information. We are also sharing the info on our Town of Ossining Facebook page.

 

Food distro 5.19.2020

 

The Ossining Food Pantry is also doing all they can to serve those in need in Ossining and Briarcliff. The Pantry is expanding their list of recipients, delivering meals and gift cards to residents who need an extra hand. Ossining and Briarcliff residents are eligible to be included in their program. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply or for more information.

 

OFP DLevenberg Supervisor Town of Ossining

 

The Ossining Community Action Program is connecting parents with diapers and wipes during this difficult times. These days are tough enough without rationing diapers! You can contact 914-488-2277 for more information or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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In their continued effort to balance great food with health and safety, the Ossining Farmer’s market rolled out a preorder option. Treat your cart like a virtual shopping list throughout the week and pick-up on Saturday.

 

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The Mike Risko Music School is hosting Thursday Open-Mic Nights! Email the school for Zoom log-in info and prep your set list for a good time.

Risko May 21

 

For those of you whose New Year’s Resolutions were adapted into Quarantine Resolutions, the Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining program may be right up your alley! This program is designed to connect you with local wellness businesses and highlight how you can use our local parks and open spaces to stay fit in mind, body and spirit, help ease stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now more than ever, health is in the national spotlight and in the forefront of our minds. Check out this week’s mindfulness lesson from the Crossover Yoga Project, recorded at the Crawbuckie Nature Preserve.

 

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The Ossining Schools made an announcement this week regarding events for High School Seniors. The end of the year is full of milestones for Seniors and I know it has been particularly difficult to see those traditions be postponed, cancelled, or downsized. I want to take a moment to thank all our students for their dedication to public health – even at the expense of their prom, graduation, and end of year goodbyes. Parents should review a copy of Superintendent Sanchez’s letter here in English and Spanish.

 

 

I know many of us look forward to our great summer events – many of which are going to have to adapt this year. I held a meeting today to brainstorm some ideas for a fun summer in Ossining. Stay tuned!

 

Summer 2020 Discussion

 

Finally, we are looking at some beautiful weather this weekend! We are so happy to see so many of you getting out and enjoying our parks and open spaces, but we would like to remind you to please wear a mask when out in public. Also, please do your best to carry out what you carried into our parks. For the past few weekends, we have seen an increased amount of litter and overflowing garbage cans in our parks. Our parks crew is rather small, and they cannot be everywhere, especially on the weekends. We appreciate you helping to care for these public spaces we all love and treasure, perhaps even more so during these difficult times. Also, we cannot seem to keep up with wrapping our playgrounds with caution tape. As much as we wish they could be open right not, we are not ready for that yet. Please keep yourselves and your kids/grandkids off the playground and exercise equipment in our parks.  Until we establish safe protocols for use, they just are not ready. Playgrounds in Ossining are closed. And if you can, please try to enjoy the great outdoors at your own house, it will help ease the stress on our shared open spaces. Westchester County has shared many ways to get outdoors and enjoy spring. Or, maybe try your hand at digging up a part of your backyard or gathering up some pots on your porch or balcony to plant a garden this weekend! Many local nurseries are well stocked with plant starts and topsoil, and are offering curbside pickup or delivery. The folks at Stone Barns Center for Agriculture (just down the road from us in Pocantico Hills) are also on standby with your gardening questions as part of their Kitchen Farming Project – just e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tag @stonebarns #kitchenfarmingproject on Instagram. What a great way to enjoy this beautiful weather and grow some delicious food you can share with your friends, family, and neighbors.

 

--Dana

 

If your business, non-profit, or community group has an event that you would like to submit to be a part of the Supervisor's Update, please e-mail a flyer and brief description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to pass along events that provide a benefit to the community and support our local economy. Thank you for helping us to highlight all the best Ossining has to offer!

Supervisor's Update - Friday May 8, 2020

I would like to start this week by wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day. There is never an easy time to be a mom – even without a global pandemic. Thank you to all the moms – and that includes biological moms, adoptive moms, step-moms, grandmothers, furry moms, aunts, big sisters, role models, and all other mom-figures -- making this work.

 

 

I would also like to extend my thanks to teachers and nurses this week. Teacher Appreciation Week and Nurses Appreciation Week is especially noteworthy this year, with our dedicated teachers and nurses going the extra mile during this crisis.

 

 

This week, Governor Cuomo announced his re-opening strategy. No area of New York is currently prepared to open, but the plan will allow businesses to prepare before the start date. We are expecting the finalized version of the re-opening strategy will be released soon. The preliminary blueprint laid out by the Governor divided the State into distinct regions, aligned with the regions some of us are familiar with from the Regional Economic Development Councils. Each region will be judged independently of the others, and based upon specific, data-guided measures. Since New York City was a hotspot, and is its own REDC region, it will be judged as its own region. Ossining is included in a region, Mid-Hudson, with Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, and Westchester. Reopening comes with its own challenges, especially since schools remain closed. The plan is structured into four phases, with different businesses in each phase. Between the phases are a strict set of criteria the region must meet. Before entering Phase 1 our region must demonstrate a steady, consistent decline in new cases. Among other guidelines, we must also build a security net into our hospitals by giving them time to restock supplies, as well as increased testing capacity and contact tracing. The phases are anticipating a potential second wave. In the absence of a second wave, hotspots are expected as people begin to interact again. The Governor has stressed the need for continued social distancing and mask-wearing to avoid losing the progress we have made. 

 

 

The State has also announced opportunities for contact tracers to be hired. This is an essential aspect of any region in New York State being able to be reopened – we must have a better handle on evaluating positive cases and those with whom they may have come in contact. You can learn more about this opportunity and apply online.

 

 

As cases increase nationwide, new evidence shows that New Yorkers have successfully flattened our curve and are on the down slope. However, we must bear in mind that 231 New Yorkers died from this virus just on Thursday this week alone. That is 231 families, neighborhoods, communities, workplaces, and more with a tremendous loss to face. Now is not the time to become less vigilant. As the weather warms I am happy to get to see your faces again in our public spaces. Please be respectful of your neighbors, and those that we have lost during this pandemic, by wearing a mask if you are moving through spaces where social distancing is not possible (which, in my opinion, is pretty much anywhere you go!  At the very least, have the mask around your next so you can put it on if you have to get within six feet of another).

 

 

There is virtually no reason to not wear a mask. If you do not have one at home, they are super easy to make! All you need is an old t-shirt and a paper towel, and you are good to go. Not so crafty? Grab a bandana or scarf you have lying around and use that instead. For those of us not in the medical industry, and who are just looking for some protection while going out for a walk or run, that should be sufficient.

 

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Governor Cuomo has also announced a fun challenge – make a video about why it is so important to wear a mask, tag #NewYorkTough on your social media channels, and New Yorkers will be able to vote for their favorite! The winning video will be used as a Public Service Announcement. Come on Ossining – can we do this? Submissions are due May 15 – get on our creative juices to help promote healthy practices in New York State! Learn more here

 

 

Local Coronavirus cases across the County appeared to increase this week after a backlog of unsorted results were appropriately distributed. A large number of cases state-wide were not properly filed upon initial intake or required additional information to be confirmed. These newly sorted cases reflect additional results spanning back to the March tests. As the backlog continues to be sorted, our numbers will become more accurate and more aligned with the State Health Department’s information. The filing error resulted at the State level from tests processed without attaching an address to a resident’s name. New York State made a significant dent in the backlog this week – we are expecting case numbers all across the county to rise to reflect this newly allocated information. We are, however, also backing out cases that were active for more than 14 days to try to show a more accurate picture of how many cases are presumably still active, of the total positives. The County is now supplying those numbers to us, which is helpful as a guiding document.

 

 

The Town and Village distributed over 1500 masks to local essential businesses in the past few days. The cloth masks are a donation from Hanes (the cotton undershirt company) and are washable and reusable up to 15 times. If your business needs masks please complete our easy online form in English, Spanish, or Portuguese or contacting Carina Scorcia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The masks are being distributed by appointment only.

 

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A note on the upcoming School Board and Budget election – pursuant to Executive Order 202.26, the annual vote on school budgets and board members will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The election will be entirely held via absentee ballot. The requirement to request an absentee ballot has also been suspended, all registered voters will receive a ballot automatically in the mail. Absentee ballots will in both English and Spanish. For the Ossining School District, the ballot will include two propositions pertaining to the budgets of the Ossining School District and Ossining Public Library, as well as the names of individuals running for three seats on the Ossining Board of Education and two seats on the Ossining Public Library Board of Trustees. For the Briarcliff School District, the ballot will include a proposition for their budget, as well as the names of candidates running for seats on the Briarcliff School Board. When you receive your ballot, fill it out, and return it via mail to the District Clerk of the district you live in, and ballots must be received by the District Clerks by June 9, 2020 at 5pm. No in-person voter registration or voting will be allowed. For further information, you can reach the Ossining District Clerk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the Briarcliff District Clerk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

This week County Executive George Latimer unveiled a Ribbons of Remembrance memorial at Leonoir Preserve in Yonkers. I know the restrictions on funerals have been a burden on grieving families. Ribbons of Remembrance allows families to write the name of a lost loved one on a purple ribbon and then add it to the memorial site, hopefully offering some solace. If extended family will be joining you at the memorial, please continue to wear masks and social distance to protect others.

 

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The Deadline for Paying your 2020 Town and County taxes due April 30th has passed. However, if paying by April 30th posed a financial hardship, please take advantage of the reduced penalty options:

  • Pay between now and May 31st - .5% penalty (previous penalty 2%)
  • Pay between June 1 and July 15th – 1% penalty (previous penalty 5%)

PAY ONLINE at https://www.townofossining.com/cms/receiver-of-taxes/tax-bill-online-payment or through the mail or at Ossining Post Office mail slot. 

 

 

Additionally, you may be eligible to defer payment until July 15th 2020 without any penalty if you are suffering through a financial hardship directly caused by COVID-19 crisis. Please see the qualifications here. The forms necessary to be submitted WITH your payment by mail can be retrieved here.  Please note that the form is due with your payment and did not have to be submitted by April 30th.

 

 

Calls to our Assessor’s Office continued this week following the mailing of the Preliminary Change of Assessment Notices for property owners. The re-appraisal process of properties maintains the accuracy of our tax roll and is coordinated by our Assessor’s Office and Tyler Technologies.

 

 

I would like to reiterate, an increase in assessed value does not necessarily mean a proportionate increase, or even an increase at all, in taxes. Taxes are determined by many factors, including the budgets of the various taxing jurisdictions. Property owners know their properties better than anyone, so participating in an informal review if you feel we might have been off in the valuation will help ensure the accuracy of our roll. If you feel your preliminary assessment does not accurately reflect the value of your property as of July 1, 2019, we encourage you to schedule a remote informal meeting with Tyler Technologies by calling 800-829-4235 Monday through Friday 9:00AM to 4:00PM or by logging on to www.tylertech.com/schedule to schedule an appointment. Prepare by looking online to compare your property to sale prices (within the past year) for similar properties.

 

 

As we have mentioned before, the first step should be an informal review with Tyler Technologies before the Tentative Roll is filed, normally June 1. Tyler Technologies may determine it is appropriate to lower the assessed value you received in your notice. However, if you are still not satisfied with the accuracy of your assessed value, you may file a grievance prior to Grievance Day, normally the third Tuesday in June, or June 16 this year. These deadlines are set by New York State law, and normally not able to be changed at the local level. However, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.22 on April 20, allowing individual municipalities to extend deadlines associated with the Assessment roll by 30 days. Following our discussion last week, the Town Board intends on extending the Tentative Roll filing date from June 1 to June 30, 2020, and holding Grievance Day on July 21, 2020, instead of June 16. We hope this extension will allow property owners ample time to review, investigate, and challenge their preliminary assessed value, if necessary. This extension will be formally adopted by the Town Board at our next Legislative Session, scheduled for May 12, 2020. You can call the Assessor's Office at (914) 762-8274 if you need any help or have questions.

 

 

Also, I would like to remind everyone to be vigilant of scams during this difficult time. Unfortunately, tough times can also bring out the worst in people, as much as it brings out the best, too. We received a report this week from a resident of a potential scammer masking their caller ID to read “Town of Ossining” – so scary! As a reminder, do not give out personal information over the phone and verify any call that does not seem legitimate, even if it may seem like the call is coming from someone you know or a trusted source. Unfortunately, people are able to spoof phone numbers with easily accessible apps these days. Also be wary of phishing attempts via e-mail. Do not open links or attachments from e-mail addresses you do not recognize, or seem a little bit off. Use your best judgment, and if you suspect you may have fallen victim to a scam, you can always contact the Ossining Police Department at (914) 941-4099. If you receive a phone call from someone who may be pretending to be a Town of Ossining staff member, you can always call the Supervisor’s Office directly at (914) 762-6001 to verify the caller.

 

 

Census outreach also continued this week. If you have received your Census mailing, please complete the survey and return it right away. We currently have not quite reached a 60% response rate and are way behind many of our neighbors who have surpassed 70%. C’mon Ossiningites! Get your Census on!!!   Remember: more than 400 billion dollars in federal and state funding can be traced back to Census results and in the last Census Ossining lost nearly $2500 for each uncounted resident. Now more than ever we see the importance of programs and services we rely on every day. If you haven’t completed your Census by mail, you can fill it out online or by phone (844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, 844-474-2020 for Portuguese). The Census is available in approximately 60 different languages, with the survey also available in Braille and large print. All Census responses are confidential. They should be completed by each household and account for every resident, regardless of citizenship or age. Preschoolers remain consistently under counted nationwide, so don’t forget the little ones. If your college student would have been away at school this semester, they will have already been counted by their college (so there’s no need to include them in your count). my2020census.com gets you started!

 

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Many of us are used to kicking off the month of May with I Love My Parks Day, helping with park clean-ups throughout the State, or locally along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and Louis Engel Park. It is so hard to believe we are unable to gather this year for this fun, educational, and helpful initiative! But I guess it might even be better this year, since the New York State Parks has deemed all of May I Love My Parks Month! Join in the virtual photo challenge and tag #ShowParksLove. There are weekly themes and prizes from retailers like LL Bean and Patagonia. As we have all begun to see, our parks definitely need some extra love this year. Next week’s theme is “Give Back,” through volunteering, donating, and speaking out. Get more details online, and get your submission ready for next week! And please, if you see an overflowing garbage can, or even one about to, carry out your refuse and bring it home, and safely deposit it to reduce to possibility of contagion spread, and to help keep our parks looking beautiful.  

 

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We are expecting some chilly weather this weekend -- and maybe some severe winds and possibly even snow tonight into tomorrow -- but next week is supposed to have a few nice days. Our Mind Body Spirit - Ossining (MBSO) program was designed to invite local residents into our beautiful parks. Local wellness businesses host free events in the parks for group participation. We have had to adapt a bit this year, but you can still enjoy the beauty of the parks and participate in solitary wellness activities like hiking, yoga, mediation, and more. Check our this mindfulness instruction class from the Crossover Yoga Project filmed in Crawbuckie park!

 

 

Restaurants continue to open this week – and we are so glad to have them back! We update the color of this list weekly to help the current version stand out. Help us circulate this list by posting on your Facebook page. 

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While you are sharing posts to help support local businesses, let’s boost this one too! While restaurants were deemed essential services, other businesses have also had to adapt for their homebound customers. Your input is imperative to keeping this list updated. Quarantine can be stressful, these businesses are prepared to help by offering their amazing services. You will notice we don’t change the background color on this graphic – that’s because each business has a distinct type of adaptive service available and we want you to see that first!

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I am thrilled to see the community coming together to support each other. Sewing groups have sprung up all around the country – and quite a few locally – to teach residents how to make their own masks and masks for others in need. Nancy Adelman and her team are organizing mask sewing for EMTs, nursing homes, and those in vulnerable populations (like homeless residents). Check out their GoFundMe page to see how to get involved or donate. 

 

 

An increased interest in sending food to first responders also warms my heart! As a reminder, always contact an organization before making food donations (having pizzas anonymously delivered to a hospital is a lovely gesture but can be overwhelming for staff and does not account for schedules already in place). Hop on board this Meal Train designed to provide meals to hospital workers and OVAC.

 

 

As financial hardships grow due to the Coronavirus crisis, food insecurity rises with it. There are a lot of options available for hot meals in Ossining and Briarcliff – many meals cooked by our favorite restaurants and donated! The Village and Feeding Westchester host a food distribution program every Tuesday across several locations.

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Gullotta House serves hot meals in Ossining from local restaurants on Fridays from 4-6pm at Stop & Shop. Donations keep the engine in motion so please support if you can, by visiting www.gullottahouse.org. The dates and locations for food distribution change weekly, so we recommend residents follow them on Facebook to get specific information. We are also sharing the info on our Town of Ossining Facebook page.

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The Ossining Food Pantry is also on top of its game! The Pantry is expanding their list of recipients, delivering meals and gift cards to residents who need an extra hand. Ossining and Briarcliff residents are eligible to be included in their program. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply or for more information.

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The Ossining Farmer’s Market has shifted to allow for pre-orders! Add to your cart throughout the week and pick-up on Saturday.

12

 

May is Membership Month for one local fitness center. Like many others, they have converted to an online regiment during the NY PAUSE orders.

13

 

Finally, in our virtual world, there are fun events to remote into! Locally, celebrate Mother’s Day with a livestreamed Cabaret presented by the Bethany Arts Center.

 

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The fan-favorite Mike Risko Band is offering Singing Telegrams for local Moms! Performances on the front lawn keep everyone safe – and having a good time.

15

 

There are many fun and creative ways to celebrate Mother’s Day in quarantine. Here are some fun ideas, but make yours personal! 

 

 

--Dana

If your business, non-profit, or community group has an event that you would like to submit to be a part of the Supervisor's Update, please e-mail a flyer and brief description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to pass along events that provide a benefit to the community and support our local economy. Thank you for helping us to highlight all the best Ossining has to offer!

 

Supervisor's Update - May 1, 2020

 

A new day, a new month. Welcome May flowers, there have been lots of showers to coax you out.

 

 

I want to thank so many of you who were able to make your Town/County tax payments on time.  We know how hard it has been for all of us, and no matter what your situation, these are difficult payments to make. We know many of you will take advantage of either the hardship waiver the Town opted into or the greatly reduced late fees passed by Westchester County. But, 91.6% of our overall warrant was collected by the due date, down only about 3% from last year at this time.  As you know, these funds go to pay for so many of the critical services provided by municipal government to protect public health and safety.  We truly are all in this together!

 

 

Additionally, the first of the month may bring anxiety about rent payments.  As a reminder, renters cannot be evicted from their residence due to inability to pay rent. For homeowners, nervous about mortgage payments, lenders cannot evict you and must provide an “opportunity for a forbearance of payments” for anyone facing financial hardships. Both of these protections have been put in place by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders. As always, you can reach out to my office or visit www.townofossining.com if you have any questions about programs and services available to you, as many of the links you would need to find them are also available through our dedicate COVID webpage.

 

 

Before we jump in to the numbers for this week, there are a few items I would like to go over. We received a donation of cloth masks from Hanes (the cotton shirt and undergarment manufacturer), which has been passed down through the county to us to distribute. The masks are washable and reusable, and have been designated for essential service workers. If you are the owner of an essential business in the Town or Village, you can request masks for your workers through a Google form in English, Spanish, or Portuguese or by contacting Carina Scorcia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are a limited number of masks so high-traffic, public interaction jobs may be prioritized.

 

 

coronabanner

 

 

I know we fielded many, many phone calls last week and this week about the Preliminary Change of Assessment Notices which went out to property owners via mail last week. We were joined by our Assessor Fernando Gonzalez during this past week’s Legislative Session to explain this process in further detail and why we sent these letters out when we did.  To view Fernando’s presentation, visit our YouTube pageWe hope this video is helpful and informative.  As you might recall, the process of re-appraising all properties in order to maintain the accuracy of our tax roll, started several months ago.  We hired Tyler Technologies to coordinate with our Assessor’s office closely and facilitate this complicated process.  If you feel your preliminary assessment does not accurately reflect the value of your property as of July 1, 2019, we encourage you to schedule a remote informal meeting with Tyler Technologies by calling 800-829-4235 Monday through Friday 9:00AM to 4:00PM or by logging on to www.tylertech.com/schedule to schedule an appointment.  We recommend prepping before – take a look online at sale prices for similar properties within the last year and compare to your own.

 

 

We understand that for many facing unprecedented hardships due to the Coronavirus pandemic, receiving this notice was unsettling. Bear in mind that an increase in assessed value does not necessarily mean a proportionate increase, or even an increase at all, in taxes. Taxes are determined by many factors, including the budgets of the various taxing jurisdictions.  Additionally, these notices and the reviews with Tyler Technologies are vital to the integrity of the re-appraisal process.  Property owners know their properties better than anyone, so participating in an informal review if you feel we might have gotten it wrong will help ensure the accuracy of our roll.

 

 

As I mentioned, the first step should be an informal review with Tyler Technologies before the Tentative Roll is filed, normally June 1.  Tyler Technologies may determine it is appropriate to lower the assessed value you received in your notice.  However, if you are still not satisfied with the accuracy of your assessed value, you may file a grievance prior to Grievance Day, normally the third Tuesday in June, or June 16 this year. These deadlines are set by New York State law, and normally not able to be changed at the local level.  However, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.22 on April 20, allowing individual municipalities to extend deadlines associated with the Assessment roll by 30 days.  Following our discussion last week, the Town Board intends on extending the Tentative Roll filing date from June 1 to June 30, 2020, and holding Grievance Day on July 21, 2020, instead of June 16.  We hope this extension will allow property owners ample time to review, investigate, and challenge their preliminary assessed value, if necessary.  This extension will be formally adopted by the Town Board at our next Legislative Session, scheduled for May 12, 2020.  You can call the Assessor's Office at (914) 762-8274 if you need any help or have questions.

 

 

As I mentioned earlier, this week also marked the deadline for Town and County Taxes.  I referred to two options for those who were unable to pay on time this year.  The County Legislature approved a Tax Penalty Reduction option to reduce the financial strain caused by the pandemic. Penalties for late payment have been reduced for all taxpayers. Penalties are reduced to .5% until May 30, with penalties rising to 1% from the first of June to July 15. So, on an average Town/County tax bill of $4000 if you pay by May 30 you would owe an additional $20, or by July 15 an additional $40. You do not need to apply for this reduction in penalties, it is automatically available to all taxpayers.

 

 

For those who require further flexibility, landlords, businesses, and individuals can apply for the elimination of all penalties until July 15 under "Hardship Requirements" established by the County. This action was approved by the Town in a Legislative Session this week and we’ve created a chart (below) to help taxpayers find which reductions are available to them. You can click on the chart below for a high resolution copy.

 

 

Hardship certifications can be found on the Town’s website here. We ask that if you are requesting the hardship exemption, you submit the certification form with your payment.  Payments with hardship certifications can only be made via check in the mail, or by check at the mail slot at the Ossining Post Office (envelopes sent via the mail slot must be stamped and put through the slot before 5pm to be postmarked by that day).  All other payments can still be made via those methods, or online: https://www.townofossining.com/cms/receiver-of-taxes/tax-bill-online-payment.

 

 

If you have further questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also call and leave a message at (914) 762-8790. As you can imagine, the number of questions we're receiving is very high and emailed questions are preferred. You can also email your question with a phone number if you feel a further explanation will be necessary. The staff in the Supervisor's Office is also ready to answer any questions you may have about these new relief programs, you can reach us at either (914) 762-6001 or (914) 762-6002.

FINAL TownCounty Prop Tax Relief Chart 4 2020

 

 

Relief continues to pour in from generous neighbors lending a hand. For isolated seniors, and their separated families, I know there are a lot of unanswered questions. This Resource Guide with senior services and entertainment options may help connect you with the information you need.

 

 

Our beloved farmers market continues to adapt to the outbreak. Vendors are sharing their order/delivery options for everyone’s convenience in the Order From the Farmer’s Market Facebook group and their @downtoearthmkts instagram. Keep the locally sourced food coming and freshness on the table. The Farmer’s Market is also sharing their Recipe Box for everyone who needs a great new meal to lighten the evening (who doesn’t these days).

 

 

We are especially appreciative of artists during the outbreak – they have brought us great comfort. Subscribers of ArtNews from Westchester County may recognize the photographer on this month’s issue. Congratulations to Ossining resident Alan Haywood! ArtNews is sharing information about art events (virtual for now) and the artists who are helping keep us sane while we’re stuck inside.

 

 

Census outreach also continued this week. If you have received your Census mailing, please complete the survey and return it right away. We currently have only about a 50% response rate – lots of room for improvement. More than 400 billion dollars in federal and state funding can be traced back to Census results and in the last Census Ossining lost nearly $2500 for each uncounted resident. Now more than ever we see the importance of programs and services we rely on every day. If you haven’t completed your Census by mail, you can fill it out online or by phone (844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, 844-474-2020 for Portuguese). The Census is available in approximately 60 different languages, with the survey also available in Braille and large print. All Census responses are confidential. They should be completed by each household and account for every resident, regardless of citizenship or age. Preschoolers remain consistently under counted nationwide, so don’t forget the little ones. If your college student would have been away at school this semester, they will have already been counted by their college (so there’s no need to include them in your count). 

 

 

censushealth

 

 

Since testing began, we have seen numbers climb in Ossining.  However, we know we are seeing a leveling off of new positives in the last two weeks. As the warm weather starts to shape up, I want to remind you not to let “Quarantine Fatigue” set in. We must continue to remain vigilant so we do not see an uptick. Handwashing is still critical to keeping spread of the virus at bay, as are face masks for trips out of the house. If you go out, remember to social distance at all times. We do not want to have done all this work just to go backward in two weeks.

 

 

We are continuing our Zoom Town Board meetings next week with a Work Session on Tuesday, May 5. We have some exciting topics on the agenda, including a proposal by Ecogy Energy for a carport style solar system installation at Maryknoll, 75 Ryder Road Town Planner Valerie Monastra and Town Building Inspector John Hamilton will also be “on the line” so we look forward to receiving their input as well, as the Town Board will be considering forwarding this proposal to the Planning Board for thorough review.  John will be staying on for a departmental report, then we will have a preliminary discussion on what the future may hold for Ossining as we look towards phased re-opening of some industries.  Following the lead of Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward guidelines, we look forward to starting the conversation as we look ahead to our new normal.

 


Our Planning Board will also be starting up Zoom meetings next week, with a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 (you can view their agenda here).  We know this is a new forum for many, so I encourage you to participate in some Zoom trainings, available online. Not only will you be able to engage with your Town government using this new platform, maybe you can put it to use for a virtual Mothers’ Day brunch next weekend with your family, or virtual book club with your friends!  The possibilities are endless and so vital to maintaining connections during this unusual time.

 

 

Alphabetized by popular demand, here is this week’s restaurant list. For those of you following along at home, this is our fifth edition – coming to you in a celebratory May-purple! Each week we update the list based on who is jumping back in. Please help circulate this list and any information provided by local businesses. These are strange times, I am so inspired to see everyone pitching in to support our neighbors any way they can.

 

 

List of Businesses Open during COVID19 april30update

 

 

Here is a newly updated version of the other fantastic businesses that are offering services to customers during these strange times. Want to learn to play an instrument, organize your workspace, meet a fitness goal, or try something new?  These businesses are really saving the day so be sure to take advantage of their services and help save them as well!

 

 

Adaptive Businesses may1update

 

 

Contribute to keeping Coronavirus at bay by connecting with these great programs. Nancy Adelman and her team organizing mask sewing for EMTs, nursing homes, and those in vulnerable populations (like homeless residents). Check out their GoFundMe page to see how to get involved or donate. If cooking (or baking!) is your thing, check out this Meal Train designed to provide meals to hospital workers and OVAC.

 

 

If you are worried about food security, know that there are options out there for you. Every Tuesday, the Village and Feeding Westchester host a food distribution program across several locations. Gullotta House has gone above and beyond, providing hot meals in Ossining from local restaurants on Fridays from 4-6pm at Stop & Shop. Need is increasing, so donations are appreciated. To help support them, please visit www.gullottahouse.org. The dates and locations for food distribution change weekly, so we recommend residents follow them on Facebook to get specific information. We are also sharing the info on our Town of Ossining Facebook page.

 

 

The Ossining Food Pantry delivering meals and gift cards to residents who need an extra hand. The Pantry is expanding their list of recipients to help meet the growing need. Ossining and Briarcliff residents are eligible to be included in their program. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply or for more information.

 

 

OFP DLevenberg Supervisor Town of Ossining

 

 

For some lighter news, Sing Sing Kill Brewery is continuing its weekly Virtual Happy Hour tonight at 6! Connect with others and catch up – there’s so much going on, take some time to check in with everyone.

 

 

May1

 

 

Let some music into your day. Alexis Cole has launched “Virtually, Yours” a livestream via Zoom with requests in real time, original pieces, and other fun content. For everyone missing the arts, this is a great way to immerse yourself. Tickets are ten dollars, available at www.alexiscole.com/shows

 

 

ACole

 

 

For every family that was planning a trip away, we have an interesting option to share – Universal theme park, Disney, Coney Island, and others have created Virtual Roller Coaster rides! These first person views of a rider let the creative imagination into these otherwise closed parks. Hold on tight!

 

 

Rollar Coaster

 

 

For those of you looking ahead, May is Membership Month for one local fitness center. Like many others, they’ve converted to an online regiment during the NY PAUSE orders.

 

Stepwise

 

 

In the fall we are used to celebrating Giving Tuesday to support local charities. As the Coronavirus challenges our dedicated non-profits and community groups, the effort is being launched with a spring edition this year #GivingTuesdayNow. Seek out your favorite charities on Tuesday, May 5th to contribute to their needs. Special thanks to IFCA for reminding us of this important event. IFCA provides much-needed services, housing for over 200 people, and assistance to neighbors in need.  There are many local and not so local non-profits participating, including Open Door Family Medical Centers, so I encourage you if you are in a position to do so, to consider supporting one of your favorite causes this coming week. So many organizations are finding themselves without their normal sources of income, and would be so appreciative of the donation. 

Giving

We have asked a lot of our kids this year. Seniors have adjusted their prom and graduation plans to say the least. In honor of our graduating seniors, and our first responders, the lights at the Ossining Football field will light up at 8:20 tonight (20:20 military time). The lights will stay on for twenty minutes.

 

 

Grad

 

 

New York City residents have been joined by millions around the country clapping at 7pm in honor of healthcare workers on the front lines. The cheers from balconies and windows is a moving tribute at the time hospital day shifts end and the night shift begins. This week, Maryknoll church bells joined the chorus. If you cannot hear them at 7, you can listen via livestream.

Maryknoll

 

 

Stay safe Ossining -- and enjoy the weekend!

 

 

--Dana

 

If your business, non-profit, or community group has an event that you would like to submit to be a part of the Supervisor's Update, please e-mail a flyer and brief description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to pass along events that provide a benefit to the community and support our local economy. Thank you for helping us to highlight all the best Ossining has to offer!
   

Supervisor's Update - April 24, 2020

Relief is on the way! The Town is continuing to offer programs, services, and support to residents during the Coronavirus crisis. This week we coordinated with the County to ensure a reduction in penalties or waiver of all penalties for taxpayers with specific or no specific hardships, hopefully providing some extra flexibility in cashflow for you. We have provided more detail (and an easy visual) later in the Update. Also included, mask making programs to help essential services workers, meal train options for those on the front lines, exemption application info, absentee ballot information, and more!

Before jumping in to the Coronavirus numbers for this week, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of the Census. The resources we use to combat the current crisis are tied directly to the results of the last Census. Each decade this national survey helps distribute more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding, all allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation, and much more. In 2010, Ossining lost nearly $2500 for each uncounted resident – per year. Now more than ever, an accurate count is a necessity.  The fourth and final mail reminder was received by many residents this week. You can also complete the census online or by phone (844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, 844-474-2020 for Portuguese) even if you have not received your mailing. If you know someone who needs to view the Census information in another language I recommend visiting the Census Website’s Language Support page. The Census is available in approximately 60 different languages, with the survey also available in Braille and large print. The Census should be completed by each household and account for every resident, regardless of citizenship or age. College students and preschoolers are consistently under counted nationwide, and all Census responses are confidential. If your college student should have been at school this semester, they will have already been counted by their school so you should not included them in your count.

 

Coronavirus remains in the forefront of our minds. The number of cases in Ossining grew to 101 in the Town of Ossining, 706 in the Village of Ossining, and 65 in the Village of Briarcliff Manor, as of yesterday, which are the latest numbers we have received thus far.  Please bear in mind these numbers are cumulative and reflect both active and inactive cases.  It is likely the number of active cases are approximately 50% less than these numbers.  Thankfully, it appears the State has finally turned a corner and flattened the curve, meaning that valuable healthcare services will not become overwhelmed. Of course, we are not out of the woods yet. Healthcare workers are still working around the clock and our efforts to social distance and stay home are what is keeping the system afloat. Governor Cuomo is coordinating with neighboring states in crafting a plan for the downward slope of the curve and the eventual reopening. A few states with lower case numbers have lifted some restrictions, we are closely monitoring how their numbers react. Please join me in continuing to adhere to the guidelines in place until an official all-clear is issued from the Governor. It takes the participation of the entire community to keep us healthy.

The County Legislature approved a Tax Penalty Reduction option this week. The Town Board and I wrote a formal letter of support along with several other Supervisors asking the Legislature to adopt the option for taxpayers. The money received from these taxes is used by the County to pay for the much-needed essential services and ongoing emergency response. However, to offer relief to anyone, the following structure is now in place (see chart below). Penalties for late payment have been reduced for all taxpayers. Penalties are reduced to .5% until May 30, with penalties rising to 1% from the first of June to July 15. So, on an average Town/County tax bill of $4000 if you pay by May 30 you would owe an additional $20, or by July 15 an additional $40. You do not need to apply for this reduction in penalties, it is automatically available to all taxpayers.

Additionally, earlier this week, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.22 suspending some of the laws regarding penalties for Real Property Taxes in Westchester County, empowering the County Executive to establish hardship criteria for some taxpayers to receive a complete waiver of penalties through July 15, including residents, landlords, and small businesses. For those who require further flexibility, the taxpayer can apply for the elimination of all penalties until July 15 under specific "Hardship Requirements." The hardship requirements are different for individuals, businesses, and individuals with rental properties. Please review the requirements to see if you are eligible. I am happy to report that the Town of Ossining has indicated to the County Executive's office that we will participate in this opportunity for our taxpayers, and our participation will be formalized via a resolution at next Tuesday's Legislative Session.

We have begun to see many questions from taxpayers asking how these new relief programs will be implemented. Those requesting hardship will be required to complete a certification form to be submitted with payment, received and/or postmarked by July 15. You do not need to request the hardship exemption prior to April 30. Certification forms will be available to taxpayers that meet the criteria for hardship in the near future.

In the meantime, please note the deadline for payment without penalty remains April 30 for all those who do not meet the criteria for hardship as set forth by the County Executive. Non-hardship payments can be made online, and all payments can be made via check in the mail, or by check at the mail slot at the Ossining Post Office (envelopes sent via the mail slot must be stamped and put through the slot before 5pm to be postmarked by that day). If you have further questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also call and leave a message at (914) 762-8790. As you can imagine, the number of questions we're receiving is very high and emailed questions are preferred. You can also email your question with a phone number if you feel a further explanation will be necessary. The staff in the Supervisor's Office is also ready to answer any questions you may have about these new relief programs, you can reach us at either (914) 762-6001 or (914) 762-6002.

pdf Download Town-County Property Tax Relief 2020 - Chart and Description (735 KB)

FINAL TownCounty Prop Tax Relief Chart 4 2020

Our Assessor's Office also has news. This week, property owners should begin to see a Preliminary Change of Assessment Notices in the mail.  If you do not agree with the value assigned to your property, you can schedule a remote informal meeting with Tyler Technologies to review.  I know a lot of you have many questions about these notices.  Assessor Fernando Gonzalez will be joining our Legislative Session Tuesday evening with a Departmental Report to hopefully explain this process in detail to you.  Additionally, the Assessor's Office continues to process exemption applications. Please remember to file your exemption applications before the deadline of May 1 and applications are also being accepted via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Give the Assessor's Office a call at (914) 762-8274 if you need any help or have questions.

I know these past few weeks have been particularly difficult for seniors and their families. If you’re nervous about isolation, or travel, or any number of things during this pandemic, we’ve come across a wonderful Resource Guide full of senior services and entertainment options. With information coming at us from all different angles, it’s important to have a central place with reliable and straightforward information.

Last night, I attended a Zoom meeting of the Mid-Hudson Ambulance District.  We hold these meetings quarterly, primarily to review various statistics generated by the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps and discuss ways to better serve the communities within and served by the District -- Ossining (Town and Village), New Castle, Croton, and Sleepy Hollow.  I was encouraged to hear from Captain Nick Franzoso how the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps has been extraordinarily well-equipped to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.  They have been working tirelessly to respond to medical emergencies, with most attributed to confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 these days, as well as to support many other community organizations at the same time.  We are so lucky to have dedicated first responders, under the great leadership of Captain Franzoso.  Thank you OVAC! 

This past week marked a number of important holidays, some of which we usually get to celebrate as a community.  Tuesday, April 22 was Earth Day 50 years since the first one!) and today, Friday, April 24 is Arbor Day. Of course, that does not mean we cannot continue to celebrate with our families at home! The tenets of environmentalism, individual and collective action to make this world a better place to live, ring true today, and perhaps even more so, as we grapple with the impacts of a pandemic.  Get outside (maybe bring your rain boots and umbrella along today!) to celebrate the great outdoors and even educate your children about the importance of Earth Day and Arbor Day. Here are some great ideas for celebrating Arbor Day at home, and some for Earth Day as well.  Before you know it, we will be back together for belated celebrations -- we have planned a tree planting in the fall, stay tuned.  Sing Sing Kill Brewery also has a special Earth Day beer release and virtual tasting party scheduled for tonight, what a fun way for those 21+ in your household celebrate Earth Day!

 

 

Holocaust Remembrance Day was also this past week.  This was a day to pause and remember the senseless killing of groups of people who somehow represented a threat to those in power, and their followers. I know I lost relatives, and others, including my mother and grandparents, had to go into hiding to remain safe. As we think about what is going on in our world today and how people are coming together at a distance to help their neighbors or others imperiled by this disease, even as we fear those who are sick, we can recognize the hope we have that humanity can rise above demagoguery and hate. We must always remember.

We also celebrate the beginning of the month of Ramadan this week, a peaceful and reflective time with family.  I know this is an incredibly difficult time to be unable to share with our extended family, friends, and faith communities.  I hope Ramadan in the environment of Coronavirus remains a spiritual time of reflection and retreat for Muslims in our community and throughout the world, and serves as a reminder to all of us that our time of isolation can also be a time of seeking inner peace, gratitude, and comradery.

Though money may be tight for some, anyone who can support our local businesses should check out some of the amazing options throughout town! This week we've updated our restaurant list for the fourth time - including some that were closed that reopened for take out and delivery. Thanks for your input.

 

List of Businesses Open during COVID19 april23update
 

 But wait, there's more! Restaurants are not the only places that have adapted to these unprecedented times. Thank you to everyone who emailed and commented to help us expand our list of businesses offering no-contact deliveries, phone consultations, and remote learning.

 

Adaptive Businesses april22update

 

Mask maker, Mask maker, Make me a mask. We're proud to share two growing initiatives by our residents to help keep our neighbors healthy. For anyone skilled with a needle and thread, a team is creating masks for EMTS, nursing homes, and those in vulnerable populations (like homeless residents). Check out their GoFundMe page to see how to get involved or donate. The second initiative is a wonderful Meal Train designed to provide meals to hospital workers and OVAC. Check out their food-fastic plan to see how to contribute.

I know money has been tight for a lot of residents. Please know, we do not intend to let any resident go hungry. Every Tuesday, the Village and Feeding Westchester host a food distribution program across several locations. Also, the not for profit Gullotta House has been amazing in helping to coordinate volunteers for these efforts and additionally, has provided hot meals to the Ossining Community and beyond, here in Ossining on Fridays from 4-6pm at Stop & Shop. So far they've distributed over 12,000 meals. To help support them, please visit www.gullottahouse.org. The dates and locations change weekly, so we recommend residents follow them on Facebook to get specific information. We're also sharing the info on our Town of Ossining Facebook page.
 

 Gullotta 4 28

 

Also providing meals, the Ossining Food Pantry is back in action, delivering meals and gift cards to those in need! They are expanding their list of recipients due to the crisis. Ossining and Briarcliff residents are eligible to be included in their program. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply or for more information.

 OFP DLevenberg Supervisor Town of Ossining

 

As we keep our eyes on the future, I know a lot of you have questions about the primary election. Governor Cuomo moved the primary date to June 23rd and expanded the voting by mail criteria. Registered voters affected by the Coronavirus crisis can now request an absentee ballot based on the "temporary illness or physical disability." Additionally, the Governor has just announced today that absentee ballot application will be mailed to every registered voter in New York for the primaries (with postage for envelope to mail back to Boards of Elections). Please note, this option has been extended for the June primary election only, not the November general election. To request an absentee ballot today, if you do not want to wait please fill out the application here.You can email your application in too.

Absentee Ballots must be Requested by 4.3.2020

 

Stay safe Ossining -- and enjoy the weekend!

 

--Dana

 

If your business, non-profit, or community group has an event that you would like to submit to be a part of the Supervisor's Update, please e-mail a flyer and brief description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to pass along events that provide a benefit to the community and support our local economy. Thank you for helping us to highlight all the best Ossining has to offer!
   

Supervisor's Update - April 17, 2020

Stopping the spread of Coronavirus remains our top priority in the Town, but I would like to start today's update with an important reminder about the Census.  Our Census response rate for the Town of Ossining remains significantly under our total response rate for the 2010 Census.  Three reminders to participate have already been sent in the mail, and you should be receiving your fourth and final reminder in the mail shortly.  There are three ways to respond -- online, via phone, or by paper form by request.  You can still respond today online, but now the paper response forms should also show up in your mailbox to complete.  Westchester County Department of Planning reported to us that this week, we started to see numbers of paper responses increase throughout the County, indicating that those forms have indeed reached people's mailboxes.  An accurate count in the Census is extremely important, so we have continued to partner with the Village of Ossining and the Ossining Counts committee to get that message out.  The flyer below will be distributed with next week's Feeding Westchester food distribution, mailed with all receipts for tax payments starting today, sent home with children picking up breakfasts and lunches at Park School, and incorporated into any other appropriate messaging from the Town and Village.  It is also important to educate your children about the Census because in 2030, they will be ten years older and may be responding for themselves for the first time as independent, young adults.  Westchester County Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond shared with us how many people who were school aged children in 2010 are now young adults but are nevertheless unaware of the importance of the Census, or even what it is!  The Census Bureau has a YouTube page with helpful videos for adults, but also with educational videos for students.  I think this is a great resource for all the parents out there who have suddenly become remote learning teachers.  Now you can incorporate educational videos from the Census into your math and statistics lessons for all ages!

 

 

 

 

 

This week has brought some encouraging, yet still sobering news.  As of yesterday (we have not yet received updated numbers today), the number of confirmed cases are 79 in the Town of Ossining, 54 in the Village of Briarcliff Manor, and 547 in the Village of Ossining.  However, as County Executive George Latimer reminds us, this number is cumulative.  It is likely that a good portion of those individuals included in this count are no longer active cases, hopefully having recovered.  Unfortunately, also as the County has noted, it is clear that this pandemic has hit hardest our minority communities, which is so devastating.  I have been in touch with Neighbors Link and Open Door about how we may partner to continue to improve those statistics and hope to have information about that in the not too distant future.  These organizations are working around the clock to get personalized information and education, as well as resources to our local communities.  It remains important to be vigilant in our efforts to stay home as much as possible, only going out for absolutely essential trips, and to isolate or quarantine when any symptoms present themselves in ourselves or our families, plus seek medical assistance if needed.  We owe it to our entire community to make these sacrifices to ultimately save lives.  These families that have been impacted by this virus, especially those that have lost loved ones, remain in my thoughts every day.  

 

 

Governor Cuomo continues to issue regular Executive Orders, including those issued within the past week or so that apply to the functions of the Town -- extending New York PAUSE through May 15 and closing boat launches, including the Town-operated launch at Louis Engel Park.  Yesterday, Governor Cuomo also announced that all New Yorkers are now required to wear face masks or coverings when outside and when social distancing measures are not possible.  See below for a refresher on social distancing when getting outside for solitary exercise.  Again, masks are not an alternative to staying home!  This follows an Executive Order from earlier this week that all essential employees must be provided masks free of charge by their employers when interacting with the public.  The Town does still have essential employees working in the field, with limited contact with the public.  Through our channels, we have been able to secure masks to make sure we keep everyone safe, and we thank all those who were able to help us with that. 

 

 

NRPA Covid

 

 

This upcoming week we will be resuming our normal meeting schedule for all Town Boards and Committees via Zoom.  Our Environmental Advisory Committee held their first virtual meeting last night, we have planned a meeting of the Mid-Hudson Ambulance District board coming up next Thursday, and all of our remaining Land Use Boards are gearing up their agendas for May.  We hope that this new platform will help us regain some sense of normalcy, and continue to allow us to engage our public for these meetings.  We recognize that Zoom may be a new concept for most, so I would encourage you to check out these video tutorials from Zoom to help familiarize yourself with this new platform.  On a personal note, I have used Zoom to gather with my own family remotely, as well as my gym buddies who I now work out with a couple times a week, and my girlfriends who connect to relax and rewind Friday evenings, so I hope that by learning Zoom to engage with your Town Board, you will also look to use video conferencing to connect with your family and friends near and far while we are all in isolation.  Many of our local businesses have also started using Zoom or other similar platforms to continue to provide their services virtually now (check them out below), so you should also consider using your new skills to support our local businesses! 

 

Adaptive Businesses

 

 

At last Tuesday's Board Meeting, we discussed legislation that is currently before the Westchester County Board of Legislators and aims to provide relief to taxpayers currently experiencing hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and may be finding it difficult to pay their Town and County taxes on time.  You can view our meeting on the Town's YouTube page, if you were unable to join us live.  I hope that our discussion of this legislation, which reduces the current penalty structure from 2% to one-half of 1% if taxes are paid in May and from 5% to 1% if taxes pare paid between June 1 and July 15, clarifies why my fellow Town Supervisors and I have stood in support of this legislation.  The Town Board also submitted a letter of support as part of the Board of Legislator's public record on this legislation.  The existing penalty structure would resume as of July 16, with the penalty raising back up to 5% for the rest of July.  To put this in terms of real numbers, on the average tax bill of about $3,000, the penalty in May amounts to $15 and in June to $30.  In essence, this legislation effectively extends the deadline to July 15, aligning with the extension of the State and Federal tax filing deadline.  However, at the same time, by keeping the actual deadline of April 30 in place, we hope this encourages taxpayers that can pay their taxes on time to do so.  As a reminder, only the Governor by Executive Order has the authority to extend the deadline for taxes, but some of the laws governing penalty structures for late payment of taxes are governed by Westchester County law.  This tax bill due in April directly pays for many of the essential services we are relying on so heavily right now, including the Mid-Hudson Ambulance District, our sewer infrastructure, and many of the Westchester County agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Senior Services that are truly on the front lines of the pandemic.  It is possibly more important than ever to pay your taxes on time (if you can) so these much needed services, agencies, and programs remain fully funded and ready to serve us all during these trying times. 

 

 

We also discussed briefly in last week's meeting how this pandemic has begun to impact our budget and the budget of many of our neighbors and Westchester County.  Over the past week, Deputy Comptroller Dale Brennan, Budget Officer Victoria Cafarelli, and I have met with nearly all Town Department Heads to evaluate our budgets, identify potential cost savings, and discuss continuity of essential services.  At next Tuesday's Work Session, Dale, Victoria, and I will summarize these meetings for the Town Board and the public, to hopefully reassure all that we are doing everything we can do save to taxpayer dollars, put off nonessential projects, and more to ensure the Town remains operational to the fullest extent possible.  We will also discuss information we have learned from our State and Federal partners about disaster relief programs hopefully coming soon to help local municipalities recoup what we have lost.

 

 

Also at next Tuesday's Work Session, we will be joined by some staff for departmental reports.  Valerie Monastra, the Town's Planning Consultant, will join us to discuss all she has been working on since joining the Town team in January, as well as some strategies she has observed elsewhere for Land Use Boards to adapt to our new normal.  Kathy Asaro, our Senior Nutrition Program Site Director, will also be joining us for a quick update on what her hardworking team has been doing for the past few weeks to ensure that our community's senior citizens do not go hungry during these difficult times.  Town Clerk Sue Donnelly will also present to the Board some new online platforms she hopes to implement in her office to make even more services available remotely to our residents.  I hope you will join us via Zoom to hear more, or catch the video on YouTube later.

 

 

The rest of our departments continue to chug along, working hard to continue to provide the services we have all come to depend upon.  As a reminder, you can always check the Coronavirus Page on the Town's website to learn of any changes in our departmental offerings, as well as ways you can get in touch with our departments or conduct business online.  For example, our Assessor's Office has been hard at work continuing to further this year's Town-wide revaluation of properties.  Next week, property owners should begin to see a Preliminary Change of Assessment Notices in the mail.  If you do not agree with the value assigned to your property, you can schedule a remote informal meeting with Tyler Technologies to review.  Remember to do your homework!  Check out recent sales in your neighborhood as comparisons.  The Assessor's Office continues to process exemption applications.  Please remember to file your exemption applications before the deadline of May 1 and applications are also being accepted via e-mail.  Give the Assessor's Office a call at (914) 762-8274 if you need any help or have questions.  You will find possibly our nicest and most helpful Town staff member on the other end of the phone, our paralegal Jerry Sullivan!  Jerry loves to hear from our residents and help in any way he can, so he has been answering all phone calls to the Assessor's Office at home, while he also prepares legal documents and resolutions for tax certioraris and small claims cases.  Thanks Jerry!

 

 

We are so grateful to our departments that are essential workers, still reporting to work on a regular basis.  Together with the Village of Ossining Manager's Office, we have placed "We Heart our Essential Workers" window clings on the buildings where our essential workers are still hard at work.  For the Town that includes our Senior Nutrition Program, Highway Department, Parks Department, Building Department, and Clerk's Office.  Thank YOU!  Please join us in expressing your appreciation for these amazing individuals any time you interact with them. 

 

 

 

New York State has also announced that any voter can vote by mail in the upcoming June local and presidential primaries.  You still must fill out and submit an absentee ballot application -- check "temporary illness" as the reason and request a ballot for the Primary Only.  Per Governor Cuomo's executive order on this topic, you can submit this application online.  In Westchester County, you can e-mail your application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Victoria from my office and her whole family submitted their applications this week, and they promise it only takes a few minutes (and if you have an iPhone, you can try out this neat trick to scan documents though the Notes app -- shout out to Fern from our Highway Department for discovering this!). 

 

I received an e-mail today this week from Altice USA, which has been offering their Altice Advantage broadband service for free for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students for those that do not have home internet access from Altice USA, since March.  Altice has also partnered with school districts to offer a Student WiFi product free for 60 days to allow students with school-issued devices the ability to connect to the Optimum WiFi Hot Spot Network to access school's network and resources.  That is such a helpful resource to many families.  Today, they announced the extension of both the free Altice Advantage Internet program and school offering through June 30 to ensure that students can stay online for the remainder of the school year.  You can visit the Altice Advantage Internet website for details on how to sign up. 

 

 

We are looking for ways to continue some of our favorite programs and activities this spring, including Mind, Body, Spirit - Ossining.  This year, our fourth annual season of MBSO will be adapting for this crazy new world. Instructors will be hosting sessions from our beloved Town parks and streaming them directly to you. Always wanted to learn Zumba but were too shy to try out in the open? Now is your moment. In past years MBSO has held calming waterfront yoga, spirited belly dancing, nature-engaged hiking, and much more. This year the teachers will guide from afar. This is a great way for us to stay apart but connected!  If you know of a local wellness expert that would like to get involved, they can reach out to Carina Scorcia in my office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up for a class.  Stay tuned for more information on this program, we hope to see you virtually in one of our beautiful parks and open spaces this season!

 

 

In the meantime, the Ossining Recreation Program has launched many virtual events and sends out daily "Boredom Busters."  Sign-up for these daily fun ideas here.  You can also check out past offerings and other upcoming events, including today's family handprints collage idea. 

 

STAY HOME

 

 

There continue to be many organizations pitching in to help Ossining families keep food on their tables during these difficult times.  The Village of Ossining, in partnership with Feeding Westchester, will have their weekly food distribution next Tuesday, April 21.  See below for specific times and locations.  The Village Manager's Office has also prepared a comprehensive Resource Guide regarding many of the assistance programs available to our community now.  The Gullotta House will be back at the Ossining Stop and Shop tonight, Friday, April 17 from 4pm to 6pm with free meals.  The Ossining Food Pantry is closed, but is providing emergency food supplies and financial assistance to their current clients.  The Ossining Food Pantry is also accepting new clients, call (914) 762-5510 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you or someone you know needs additional food assistance.  Neighbors Link is also making sure families they work with have access to food, also through Feeding Westchester, and a big shout out to Ossining School Board President Lisa Rudley, and Westchester East Putnam Region PTA Liaison Beth Sniffen for all their good work coordinating food distribution in partnership with many of these agencies as well as with the Ossining School District and Megan Mastrogiacomo.

 

 

 

 

There are also local efforts to donate meals to our first responders and healthcare heroes.  There are two Meal Trains being organized, one for the staff at the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps and one for the staff at Phelps Hospital.  This is a great opportunity to show your appreciation for those on the front lines, while also supporting local restaurants with food delivery!  Thank you to our friends and coworkers Sue Donnelly and Maddi Zachacz for organizing these efforts.

 

 

Tonight, join Sing Sing Kill Brewery for a virtual happy hour from 6pm to 7pm.  Get those ghost stories ready!

 

 

 

The Ossining Farmers Market will be open again tomorrow, Saturday, April 18.  Please remember the social distancing guidelines for the market and be sure to don your masks before you go out!

 

 

 The Ossining School District and PTA have launched a Virtual Learning Academy with many fun classes for children.  There are many ways to have fun and secretly learn about important topics at the same time!

 

 

PTAactivities

 

The Ossining Public Library has launched a number of live and virtual offerings to get your library fix from home.  Via Instagram and Facebook, you and your children -- from littlest ones to teens -- will be able foster their love of reading thanks to our friends at the Ossining Public Library. 

 

 

 

Remember to continue to support as many local businesses as you can during these tough times.  Many of our restaurants and cafes are still open for delivery and/or takeout -- please let us know if we are missing any on our list!

 

 

List of Businesses Open during COVID19 april15update

 

 

These events are just a sampling of all that has been going on in the greater Ossining community to provide some entertainment and relief from the current environment.  I encourage you to sign up for e-mail blasts from other organizations to learn of even more resources.  One that I have found very interesting is ArtsWestchester.   There are many virtual arts events scheduled throughout the County, from poetry readings to film screenings, and everything in between, plus resources for local artists. 

 

 

Finally, I would like to remind you once again to sign up for updates direct from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo -- it is one of the best ways to remain up to date on the almost daily changes to the pandemic response, as well as some fun reminders.  Yesterday's message highlighted a virtual visit to the Bronx Zoo via Instagram, did you know there is such thing as a Tree Kangaroo?  Maybe you can also take a quiet moment this weekend to engage in one of the State's many innovative partnerships by listening to a meditation from Headspace's "A NY State of Mind" free playlist.   I know we could all use a practice with mindfulness right now, thank you Governor Cuomo for thinking about or mental wellbeing in addition to our physical wellbeing during this incredibly difficult time.

 

 

 

Stay safe -- and enjoy the weekend!

 

--Dana

 

If your business, non-profit, or community group has an event that you would like to submit to be a part of the Supervisor's Update, please e-mail a flyer and brief description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to pass along events that provide a benefit to the community and support our local economy. Thank you for helping us to highlight all the best Ossining has to offer!

Town Board Contacts

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

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