Monday night the Ossining Democratic Committee endorsed my reelection with resounding clarity. With that first political hurdle under my belt, I’m turning my campaign focus to individual voters.
Great things are happening for Ossining. I’d like to build on our momentum. The Village has a clear set of recommendations for strengthening our economic strategy and our affordable housing policies. Key priorities were highlighted for us by the community-led Downtown Redevelopment Working Committee. The recent Village Housing Needs Assessment drew heavily on community engagement and empirical data. It recommends a policy framework where step one is an effective economic development strategy and step two is strengthening code enforcement. Ossining needs Village government to move forward decisively with implementing these priorities.
As I reflect on these first two terms as Mayor, are there moments where I wish I could get a re-do? You bet. Have I learned from my experience in office? You bet! I dedicate myself to this job full-time, and everyday I learn more about our community and how to serve it well. My teachers are Ossining residents, community leaders, municipal officials and staff, local first responders, and activists and experts throughout the region. Ossining Village and Town share services in almost every department, and the relationship between our two teams is better than ever.
The accomplishments of my tenure as Mayor that I’m most proud of are related to communications. Initiatives like Open Office Hours and Weekly Walks have dramatically increased accessibility, allowing me to connect with residents in less formal settings. Improved transparency of our public meetings began by creating our Village YouTube Channel that resulted from a simple request I made to our technology department. And the change to keep cameras rolling during Visitor Recognition ensures that when residents speak with their officials during a Legislative Session, the whole community can hear their concerns. The Monday Mayor’s Message helps residents understand the context of agenda items and updates readers on key initiatives being considered by the Board. The launch of the new Village website was a long time coming. It is already making information easier to locate, and plans are underway to expand its value for residents with online fillable forms, online payments, and friendlier access to materials up for consideration by the Board of Trustees.
Serving as your Mayor is a responsibility I take seriously, and an honor I appreciate deeply. It’s my job to represent the needs of all Ossining residents–whether you have lived here five generations or five months, whether you are a tenant or a landlord, a millennial or a retiree, a business owner or a fellow parent. The best part of being a candidate is that it can prompt conversations about our community and our priorities that might not otherwise happen. I look forward to the thoughtful and constructive parts of campaigning. If I knock on your door or show up at your favorite community event, tell me what matters most to you about Ossining and please ask me any questions you have about Village government. Together let’s build on the great things happening in Ossining.
Victoria Gearity, Mayor