New Normal For Now
OSSINING, NY — March 23, 2020 — Just as our families are figuring out how to find some stability during this challenging moment, Village government is adjusting to what will be our new normal for a while. Many of our employees need to report to work to keep our village safe and functioning. Whenever possible, staff works remotely. While municipal buildings are all closed, you can call and make an appointment for some services, including reaching out to the clerk’s office for a marriage license. While some government initiatives are on hold, many are moving forward.
We are very pleased that soon the building permit process more user friendly. In anticipation of folks soon being able to apply and pay for building permits online, click here to view a tutorial about the new building department portal.
If you leave your house to make an essential purchase or get some fresh air, remember to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet apart from anyone outside your household. I took this picture at Richard Wishnie Park on Sunday afternoon. It is a large enough space that the several of us who walked along the path were able to maintain ample distance between us. No group activities are permitted at Village, Town or School parks or fields. And all playgrounds are closed.
Many local businesses are deemed essential services and remain open. You can support local businesses by ordering take-out or delivery, or by purchasing gift cards to use at a later date. To help families that are experiencing food insecurity, the Village has partnered with Feeding Westchester to provide grab-and-go groceries on Tuesdays and Fridays at three different times and locations (9-11am @ the Community Center; 12-2pm @ Market Square; and 4-7pm @ Star of Bethlehem Church). Also, click here for details about the Ossining Schools’ grab-and-go breakfast and lunch.
Information is changing daily, sometimes hourly. Click here to access local updates as well as links to resources beyond the village. If you are on Facebook, follow the Village Facebook page for daily updates and links. Governor Cuomo is providing daily updates. Click here to subscribe to updates from the Governor’s office.
Open Office Hours with the Mayor are suspended until further notice.
To reach out by email:
- Mayor Victoria Gearity (email@example.com);
- Board of Trustees (firstname.lastname@example.org); or
- Village Manager Karen D’Attore (email@example.com).
This week’s work session will take place virtually. Click here to view the full agenda which includes a link to the Zoom meeting which will take place at our usual time of 7:30pm.
County Executive George Latimer will be joining us for the start of the meeting as we discuss the latest updates of the virus. The meeting will be recorded and shared on our YouTube channel within a day. If you would like to attend it live, you may log in to watch and listen. Work sessions are forums when the Village Board meets with staff and experts to become informed on potential action to be taken, and generally is not open for public comment.
A crisis often brings out the best in people. We are seeing that in big and small ways. Neighbors helping neighbors, shoppers appreciating cashiers, volunteers raising funds for local organizations, and nurses and doctors acknowledged as heroes on the front line. Part of what makes the current situation so difficult is that social distancing is the opposite what how we usually deal with a crisis. Instead of coming together in groups, people of all ages are finding ways to connect virtually and by phone. Crisis is the mother of invention. It is my hope that the creative methods for connection that we are learning now will strengthen our community bonds even once this time of isolation has passed.
I look forward to seeing you virtually for now.
/s/ Victoria Gearity
Even during this time of social distancing, there is allowance for solitary outdoor enjoyment. Ball fields and playgrounds are closed, and no group activities are permitted. If you are out for a walk in your neighborhood or at a park, please follow the guidelines provided here by the National Recreation and Park Association.
Click here to view the full list of restrictions during this time that NYS is on PAUSE. People who do not feel well or are in vulnerable populations should use particular caution and stay home as much as possible.