Next Town Hall Meeting: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
7:30 PM – Ossining Library (Downstairs Entrance)
I apologize for (yet another!) lengthy update, but we have so much to share! The Town Board believes that having facts available to you on every issue is crucial to the operation of a functioning government, and while you may not have the time to read the whole update at once, we encourage you to save it and refer back to it should questions arise at a later date.
The Town Board has decided not to go ahead with this purchase of property from the schools. However, we found it to be an excellent example of taxing agencies (in this case, Town and the school system) working together to determine if a project is beneficial to all tax payers in the community. The following excerpt comes from a letter written by the Town of Ossining to the Ossining Schools, to this end:
"The Town Board has met several times on this issue and has determined that it is not in the best interest of the Ossining taxpayers (current and future) to move ahead with this process; in an arrangement requiring revenue sharing with the School District, would not provide a satisfactory return on investment for our constituents.
The Town Board wishes to thank the Administration of the Ossining Schools, as well as the School Board, for participating in the investigation and the due diligence each group required to examine this process. Further, we appreciate the input from the public and believe that this process has truly been an example of transparent government."
17/20 District Annexation
We are in receipt of petitions submitted by a group of residents living in the Unincorporated Area of the Town who are interested in becoming a part of the Village of Briarcliff Manor. Annexation is a lengthy process that can become quite costly. It is important that you, the residents of the entire Town of Ossining, have all the facts so that you can participate in this process where and when you are permitted by New York State law.
The submission of signed petitions effectively presses the “start” button on an entire process, and does not simply put item on the ballot (as has been implied by some). Over the next few months, we will keep you updated as to the step we are on and the cost of the consequent action as we proceed.
In a nutshell, the steps (dictated by law) are as follows:
1. Petitions are received by the impacted municipalities (in this case, the Town of Ossining and the Village of Briarcliff Manor).
2. Both municipalities must do a complete analysis of how the change will impact all shareholders including all the residents of the Unincorporated Area, and the Town of Ossining residents in the Villages of Briarcliff and Ossining.
3. The two municipalities will hold a public meeting for anyone who wishes to speak or ask questions.
4. Each municipality will determine whether or not they believe the proposed change is in the best interest of all the impacted residents.
5. If there is not an agreement between the two municipalities, then the matter is presented to the NYS Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, which appoints an evaluator to do an in-depth financial, legal and structural analysis of the impact of annexation on all stakeholders. The analysis must also determine whether the remaining areas of the Unincorporated Town of Ossining would be able to continue to sustain necessary municipal services if the annexation were to proceed.
6. If the Appellate Division determines that the proposal is indeed beneficial for the districts requesting the annexation without harming any district within the overall community, the Town schedules a vote. Only residents in Election District 17 and 20 are permitted to vote on the measure.
FACTS and FIGURES You Should See:
· In Election District 17, there are 540 Registered VOTERS. In Election District 20, there are 550 Registered VOTERS, combining for a total of 1090 Registered Voters.
· The petitions had 275 valid signatures, which represents 25% of the VOTERS in those two districts.
· There are 4,209 Registered VOTERS in the entire Unincorporated Area of the Town of Ossining. The two districts (17 & 20) represent 25.9% of the Registered VOTERS in the Unincorporated Area of the Town of Ossining.
· The Taxable Value of all properties in the Unincorporated Area of the Town of Ossining is $ 49,922,084. The Taxable Value of all properties in District 17 & 20 is $ 16,705,798. This represents 33.4% (or roughly, 1/3) of the value of the Unincorporated Area.
· The remaining districts in the Unincorporated Area DO NOT automatically become part of the Village of Ossining in this case of 17 & 20 annexation. Should this be something that people who reside in those districts wish to effectuate, they should contact the Town Board via the Supervisor’s Office as soon as possible.
· The remaining Election Districts in the Unincorporated area are Districts 13, 14, 24, 25 and 28.
Ossining Boat and Canoe Club Building
As many of you are aware, we are conducting a Feasibility Study on the Town-owned building in Louis Engel Park that houses the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club. We have met with the OBCC membership, and our architect is moving forward with the study to determine the Town’s next steps for the property. It is essential that the Town Administration and Board do everything within their power to protect the residents of the entire Town of Ossining; we are examining this situation not only for the people who use the building, but in order to protect all Town residents from any liability over and above what is deemed practical and necessary by our insurers.
We have visited the building with inspectors, and will be returning for a complete and thorough inspection this Friday. As we have noted before, we are working on a “Town Projects” page for the Town Web page so that residents can monitor our progress, which we hope to have up and running by the beginning of next week. We will store all pertinent information on this page so it can be easily accessed by the public.
BDC (Business Development Committee)
Calling all residents of the Town of Ossining!!! We are looking for a few good people to “step up to the plate” and work with us on the Business Development Committee. We will be accepting resumes until Monday, November 25th from interested residents of the Unincorporated Area of Ossining. Please submit a brief description of why you’d like to be involved, along with your resume of pertinent experience, to Maddi Zachacz in my office (email@example.com), and read more about the BDC on the Town’s website (see the agenda and minutes from the Town Board meeting held on September 10th, 2013).
Mission Statement of the Business Development Committee (BDC)
To work with all of the commercial property owners and/or businesses within the Town of Ossining, as well as with the Ossining and Briarcliff Chambers of Commerce in the Unincorporated Area of Ossining, to determine their needs and how the Town of Ossining may assist them through their purposes, including the development of educational programs, facilitating government contact for purposes of discovering funding opportunities and sharing community-specific news, and the production and enthusiastic promotion of activities designed to engage residents and business owners while spreading positive public relations throughout the community.
To work with all taxing agencies involved in the Unincorporated Area to develop programs sharing of services, business education, internships for students, and the development, promotion and enactment of a “Shop Local” program.