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!

The Developer We’ve Got

At tonight’s village board meeting I cast my vote on the Resolution Calling for Approval of Harbor Square Request for Amended Site Plan and Special Use Permit.  I had a few notes scribbled down, but no script.  Here is more or less what I said…

Ossining CoastlineThis was not an easy decision to make.  It took a lot of researching and a lot of soul searching.  Not just because after well over a decade there is a lot of information to unwind and attempt to make sense of.  But because I believe, since its inception, this scheme has been unworthy of the people of Ossining.

Last week Martin Ginsburg visited the Board of Education.  It was a long and intense meeting.  There was one statement that stood out to me.  I watched it a few times online and wrote it down so that I wouldn’t misquote him,

This is a very committed Town and it’s a very committed village.  And yet with all their effort, I don’t believe they will be able to do what they wish to do without our help of doing this type of development on the waterfront.

Hmmph.  That got my Irish up.  After a few minutes I considered the question he implied, does Ossining need Martin Ginsburg?  The answer is no.  But we do need something.  And he’s the developer we’ve got.

My support of this resolution tonight is my plea, my demand, my emphatic request—no more financing schemes, no more renegotiation of things already negotiated.  Build your building.  Build that world class restaurant.  Create a beautiful park on our waterfront.  Build it now.  Build it well.  Make it worthy of the people of Ossining.  Make it worthy of that gorgeous location of the Hudson River that we all love so much.

And if you can’t make it happen, cut your losses and walk away.  Because we do need something to happen.

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