Progress You’re a Part Of

Do you have a good idea for what could be done better in Ossining?  Do you ever feel people in village government aren’t listening to you?  Whether it’s economic development, collaboration with schools, safe streets, parking, parkland, recycling, trash, or taxes—everyone in our community has something they think could be better.  And the best ideas for improvement may already have been figured out by community members.  Please take a moment to complete this survey and tell me how we can better serve Ossining.

None of us knows as much as all of us.

This phrase was offered by a speaker at last month’s Pace Land Use Annual Conference of 2013.  This simple truth was at the core of every successful initiative discussed that day—initiatives already happening in other communities.  Borrowing ideas that work for other municipalities can save us money and make us stronger.

When I was a trustee-elect, Eric and I traveled to Washington, DC to attend a conference led by the New Organizing Institute.  I immersed myself among grassroots organizers who dedicate much of their lives to fighting for issues.  The message that most strongly resonated with me then as I prepared to take office for the first time was…

Do not seek elected office so you may wield power over the people you represent, rather, seek elected office so you may empower the people you serve.

Have you driven through the Avalon development on North Highland?  The fences are down and a good chunk of the buildings are up.  Please share your thoughts on development in the survey...
Have you driven through the Avalon development on North Highland? The fences are down and a good chunk of the buildings are up. Please share your thoughts on development in the survey…

Together, these two themes inspire and guide my work for the village.  Can you help me in this effort by spending a few moments responding to this brief survey?…

Keeping Connected…

Do you want to know more of what’s going on in village government?  Do you want more opportunities to impact decision making in the village?

Sign-up here to receive emails of upcoming meetings and community events.

Follow Victoria Gearity, Trustee on Facebook.

Get Nixle Alerts with emergency messages by texting 10562 to 88877.

Receive an email with any new post I put on my website by adding your email address to the “Follow this Blog” box in the upper right corner of VictoriaGearity.com.

If there is a particular village committee/council/board where you would like to serve, contact Assistant Village Manager, Christina Papes (cpapes@villageofossining.org) and ask if there are any available seats.  Even if there are none currently, you can submit your letter of interest and resume to be considered when a spot becomes available.

Come to a Village Board of Trustees meeting.  We meet Wednesdays at 7:30.  The 1st & 3rd Wednesdays are at the Birdsall-Fagan Court, 86-88 Spring Street.  These are legislative sessions and the public is invited to speak on camera to make organizational announcements or to comment on any resolutions the board will consider that night.  When the camera goes off, the public is invited to comment on any issue of interest to them.  The 2nd & 4th Wednesdays are at Village Hall, 16 Croton Ave.  These are work sessions.  This is when the board members ask questions about potential upcoming issues/initiatives, and we decide what will be the next steps.  You can also watch meetings on tv or online.  Let me know what we can do better.

If you are one of the many folks who has contacted me this year to share an idea or concern, thank you.  If you haven’t already completed this brief survey, please do.  Perhaps I’ll see you soon at a Wednesday meeting!

Wondrous Wet Wednesday

PM PreK means Levon spends his mornings with Mama.  Today was a great one.
PM PreK means Levon spends his mornings with Mama. Today was a great one.

Our morning outing started with disappointment.  The plan was to pick up DVDs at the Ossining Public Library that Levon would watch while I met with someone at Quimbaya.  I’d forgotten that on Wednesdays the library doesn’t open until 1:00.  So, my 5-year-old was just going to have to be polite and patient during my meeting.  (That’s what little boys are known for, right?) By the time we got to Quimbaya the rain was torrential and our parking spot was on Church Street—all the way across the Sassinoro triangle and up half a block.  We waited in the car a few minutes for the rain to let up.  Then I scolded myself for being so ridiculous as to think walking that distance from my car to Quimbaya was an inconvenience.  Heck, when I lived in Manhattan and Queens as a young adult, I would have considered this distance from a subway exit to my destination to be unbelievably close.  Something about living in a home that frequently requires getting in a car and driving someplace, a place that often provides a parking lot, shifts ones expectations of “convenience”. Walking down Main after an inspiring conversation with a fantastic woman in our community, during most of which Levon quietly and slowly ate a bowl of ice cream, I gave him a choice.  If we turn left, we get in the car and go to Stop n Shop.  If we turn right, we walk to the Joseph G. Caputo Center and see an exhibit.

Levon tells me the story of his favorite painting, the Magical Parrot.
Levon tells me the story of his favorite painting, the Magical Parrot.
Help!  I can't get out!
Help! I can’t get out!

Yippee!  We turned right.  Perhaps it was the spring blooms and brilliant greens glistening from rain that had thankfully taken a break that prompted my greater than usual appreciation of the beauty of the aqueduct path—this tucked away little patch of nature that meets history and ingenuity, right in the heart of our village.  Upon arriving at the Caputo Community Center, we were treated to two exhibits.  The first was paintings  by senior citizens who study art every Thursday at the community center.  The second was the Sing-Sing Prison exhibit.  I was relieved that Levon passed right by Old Sparky, and instead we spent some time discussing the Croton Aqueduct and looking at the model which helped him make sense of this landmark in engineering.

On Sunday Eric and I visited the Firehouse Gallery.
On Sunday Eric and I visited the Firehouse Gallery.

On this gloomiest of days, my heart sings with gratitude that I live in Ossining.  Right now our village is bursting with art:  the remarkable Bicentennial Sculpture Exhibit; the rotating Ossining Art Council exhibits at The Firehouse Gallery at 117 Main Street; the Ossining School District Art Exhibit at the library illuminating the talents of our youngest community members; and the exhibit at the Caputo center showcasing the talents and passions of Ossining’s senior community members.

Paxton's Self Portrait on display now is his first public showing.
Paxton’s Self Portrait on display now is his first public showing.

Sometimes I write because I want to let others know about an upcoming event.  Sometimes I write because I want to be on the record with my position.  Sometimes I write to try and convince others to see things my way.  Today I write for me.  Today I write because I sometimes hear myself starting to sound like a bureaucrat, a small thinker, a pessimist.  Today I write to wash away the negativity and nay-saying that I hear so often from folks who feel disappointed in their village and tell me their concerns in hopes that I’ll fix them.  Today I write to nourish my determination with the optimism and joy that was shared with me by the woman I met with this morning at Quimbaya.  Today I write.

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