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Irvington: Late in Coming with Comp Plan, but Getting There

by Barrett Seaman –  The draft report from Irvington’s Comprehensive Planning Committee is late by five months, and it’s still only just a draft. But a copy obtained by The Hudson Independent offers a generally clear picture of the direction the eight-member committee wants the village to take going forward—and it’s not a lot different from what village officials outlined ... Read More »

Third Public Workshop Set for Tarrytown’s Comprehensive Plan

Photo by Tim Thayer - eyebuzz.com

by Robert Kimmel –  With the completion of Tarrytown’s new Comprehensive Plan expected by May, the village is providing another opportunity for residents to offer their input toward its advancement. The Plan’s consulting team has scheduled its third Public Workshop for Tuesday, February 27, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Warner Library. As a starter, attendees will hear a formal ... Read More »

Sleepy Hollow Seeks Public Input as it Kicks Off Comp Plan

by Rick Pezzullo –  More than 150 residents turned out January 11 at the James Galgano Senior Center in Sleepy Hollow at the kickoff meeting for the village’s comprehensive plan. Mayor Ken Wray stressed it was vital for residents to participate in the estimated 18-month process since Sleepy Hollow’s population of 10,000 is expected to grow by a third in ... Read More »

Where, Oh Where, Should the New Bridge’s Toll Gantry Be?

by Barrett Seaman –   You may recall the Norwegian fairytale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, featuring an ugly troll that threatened to devour any creature that dared cross over his bridge. In the end, the three billy goats vanquished the troll but not without considerable delay and a great deal of angst. Bridge crossing has become decidedly more civilized ... Read More »

From El Salvador to Westchester: An Immigrant’s Journey

by Charlene Weigel –  Camila and her son Paul crouched silently behind the door. Camila’s husband pounded and kicked. “Open the door. You’re going to pay for this.” The attack followed a domestic violence report that Camila filed with the San Salvador police. Their response was to tell her to change the locks on her door. Camila had nowhere to ... Read More »

U.S. Postal Service Problems – We Want To Know

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There has been an increase in reports of problems with the U.S. Postal Service lately. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has taken it up with representatives and officials in Washington. The Hudson Independent would like to know of any problems readers in our core villages of Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington have had with mail delivery or mail service. If ... Read More »

Edge-On-Hudson Progresses Toward Phase-One Construction

by Robert Kimmel – Naming a road “Legend Drive” is surely an appropriate action for the Village of Sleepy Hollow. As the major mixed-use development Edge-on-Hudson progresses, that is the name given recently to the first street completed on the 67-acre complex being built on the village’s riverfront. Legend Drive leads to Phase One, the first of three districts to ... Read More »

Tax Reprieve Insignificant for Westchester Homeowners

by Barrett Seaman – However else they might feel about the recently enacted federal tax package, homeowners in Westchester County, where property taxes are the highest in the nation, are decidedly unhappy about the law’s sharp curtailment of the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). With the new limit of $10,000 of deductible property taxes, Greenburgh Township homeowners, 87% ... Read More »

Latimer Ready to Tackle Challenges Ahead as Westchester County Executive

by Rick Pezzullo Westchester County Executive George Latimer will celebrate his election victory on Sunday, January 7 at Westchester Community College during an inauguration ceremony, and the Rye Democrat is ready to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead. “Westchester is not owned by the county executive of the moment,” Latimer said last month at a Business Council of Westchester ... Read More »

$250,000 Grant to Fund Bike Lane Study for Route 119

by Barrett Seaman –    Once again, the New York State Thruway Authority is doling out money to study the feasibility of adding bike lanes to a major thoroughfare coming off the New NY (Mario Cuomo) Bridge. This time, the money ($250,000) is going to the Town of Greenburgh, the City of White Plains and the villages of Tarrytown and ... Read More »

Prepayment of 2018 Town Taxes Set by Greenburgh & Mt. Pleasant

By Robert Kimmel – Property owners in  Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow may make their coming year’s Town tax payments early, in the few days remaining  before the end of  2017. The prepayment applies to all residents of  the Towns of  Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant, according to information released by both Towns on this date, Tuesday, December 26.  The early ... Read More »

Letters – Don’t Shed a Tear for Governor Cuomo on Bridge

To the Editor: Don’t shed a tear for Governor Cuomo complaining about a petition against naming the bridge for his late father Mario Cuomo.  Motorists and taxpayers are more concerned about how Governor Cuomo will find $2.6 billion outstanding balance of $3.9 billion needed to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge rather than naming rights. Don’t shed a tear for ... Read More »

Letters – Goals for Greenburgh for 2018

 To the Editor: Thank you to the river villages of Irvington and Tarrytown for re-electing me as Greenburgh Town Supervisor. On election day I received 17,482 votes and am most appreciative.  The time to celebrate is now over. We’re proud of our Aaa bond rating (the highest rating possible), the fact that the portion of the budget impacting the villages ... Read More »

Petition Circulating Opposing Naming of Tappan Zee for Mario Cuomo

by Rick Pezzullo –  An on-line petition, spearheaded by a Port Chester man that opposes naming the new bridge for former Governor Mario Cuomo, has attracted more than 101,000 signatures to date. Dr. Monroe Mann, 40, started the petition on Change.org on November 2 and stated the public should have had input before the state Legislature voted in June to ... Read More »

Latimer leads Democrat Sweep

George Latimer

by Barrett Seaman   – With most of the incumbent trustees and mayors running unopposed, an off-year like this would normally leave lots of voters at home on election day. But the 2017 race for Westchester County Executive drew a record turnout—largely in support of Democrat challenger George Latimer of Rye, who beat incumbent Rob Astorino by 57% to 43%. The ... Read More »

Senator Latimer Seeks to Oust Astorino as County Executive

by Rick Pezzullo –  The two candidates running for Westchester County Executive on November 7 have a combined 52 years of experience as elected public servants. Incumbent Republican Rob Astorino, 50, who resides in Mount Pleasant, is vying for a third four-year term in the county’s top post, which carries an annual salary of $160,760. “I still have the fire ... Read More »

Constitutional Convention Ballot Question at a Glance

by Charlene Weigel –  The November 7 ballot will include a deceptively simple question, “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” If New Yorkers accept that invitation, they will elect delegates to a 2018 drafting convention, and likely vote on a new state constitution in 2019. The Federal Constitution is brief, about the length ... Read More »

Tarrytown Mayor Fixell Eager to Tackle Challenges in Next Term

by Rick Pezzullo “We’re always looking to maintain services and make improvements and at the same time keep taxes as low as possible.” —Drew Fixell Since 2000, as a village trustee for five years, and the last 12 years as mayor, Drew Fixell has been a mainstay in helping shape the Village of Tarrytown, but he’s not looking to rest ... Read More »

County Board Falls Short of Overriding Astorino Veto

By Rick Pezzullo The Westchester County Board of Legislators fell one vote short of overriding County Executive Rob Astorino’s veto of the controversial Immigration Protection Act. Legislators voted 11-6 on September 25, squashing the bill that would restrain Westchester from using its resources for immigration enforcement. All nine Democrats supported the effort, along with Republicans Jim Maisano (New Rochelle) and ... Read More »

Tarrytown Residents Give Input on Revitalization Project

by Anna Young As Tarrytown continues its multi-faceted project to revitalize the village, the individuals behind the Comprehensive Plan and Station Area Zoning Project held a workshop last month to receive input from residents. During the September 17 workshop at Warner Library, hundreds of residents and business owners gathered to discuss the visions, goals and areas of interest the village ... Read More »

Local Children Traumatized by Threat to End DACA

by Elaine Marranzano There is fury in the voice of Ana Lopez when she talks about the children threatened by the demise of DACA, the Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to live, work and study in the country. “This is a social justice issue and these children are being traumatized,” said Lopez, ... Read More »

Two Marches for Justice, Two Days, One Town

March for Justice

On Monday night, August 28th, more than 150 mostly local citizens lit candles and walked from Temple Beth Abraham on Leroy Avenue up through the center of Tarrytown to Patriot’s Park under the banner, “Say No to Hate.” On Tuesday, a hardy group of about 25, under a similar “March for Justice” banner, arrived at Christ Church on South Broadway ... Read More »

Astorino Vetoes Westchester Legislature’s Immigration Protection Act

— by Barrett Seaman As expected, County Executive Rob Astorino vetoed the Immigration Protection Act that passed the County’s Board of Legislators by a 10-5 vote on August 7th. Though the bill, based on similar measures passed by governments in Irvington and other Westchester villages earlier this year, was written to avoid categorizing the county as a “sanctuary,” County Attorney ... Read More »

Tarrytown Incumbents Endorsed by Democratic Committee

by Rick Pezzullo The Tarrytown Democratic Committee has endorsed Mayor Drew Fixell and trustees Tom Butler, Becky McGovern and Doug Zollo for reelection in the November election. Fixell is running for a seventh term. He has been on the Board of Trustees since March 2000, having served five years as a trustee before being elected mayor. An executive of a ... Read More »

Irvington: Three Seats, Three Candidates … So Far

by Barrett Seaman  There are three open slots on the November ballot for seats on the Irvington Village Board of Trustees: one for mayor and two for trustees. With little more than three months to go, there are exactly three candidates vying to fill those seats: Mayor Brian C. Smith is seeking a fourth term as the village’s chief executive; ... Read More »

Tarrytown’s Trustees Mull Lengthy List of Topics

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by Robert Kimmel In addition, the regular meeting was preceded by a briefing on the status of the village’s Comprehensive Plan by David Aukland, chair of the project’s steering committee, and William Brady, project manager. A contingent from the Tarrytown Fire Department, led by Fire Chief David Goldstein, appealed to the board to initiate bids for dredging a channel in ... Read More »

Four Vie for Two Seats on Expanded Irvington BOE

by Rick Pezzullo In May, residents in the Irvington School District voted to expand the Board of Education from five to seven members. A special election was set for July 11 and four individuals have stepped forward to vie for the two additional seats: John Dawson, Brian Friedman, Maura Gedid and Della Lenz. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. ... Read More »

Community Leaders Mobilize Against Trump Policies with Focus on Immigration

by Robert Kimmel At a recent meeting described as a “Rivertown Gathering for Future Social Action,” community leaders spoke out in opposition to a range of Trump administration policies and particularly those dealing with immigration. Those policies came under fire from Congresswoman Nita Lowey who highlighted the session, held at a private Tarrytown residence. She described what she and her ... Read More »

Local Residents Take Part in Women’s March on Washington

by Krista Madsen Hundreds of local women – and men and children – heeded the call to march the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, most heading to New York City while some embarked on one of several chartered buses bound for Washington D.C. Mistrella Murphy organized logistics while Sara Levine took care of programming on a bus they booked ... Read More »

Irvington Trustee Candidates, Village Justice Running Unopposed

by Rick Pezzullo “If you love your community there is no greater honor than to play a direct role in its preservation, especially at such a local level.” —Christina Giliberti “As we confront the issues of further development and rising taxes, we must be mindful of our volunteers and public workers, the fabric of our community.” —Larry Lonky Two Board ... Read More »

Boak, Falk Square Off in Senate Democratic Primary

Two Democrats are vying in the September 13th New York State primary election for the opportunity to face the Republican incumbent, State Senator Terrance Murphy (Yorktown), who will be pursuing his second Albany term representing the 40th district in November’s general election. The district includes Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff, and 12 other Westchester communities, as well as towns in Dutchess and ... Read More »

Public Input Welcomed for East Parcel Site in Sleepy Hollow

by Rick Pezzullo Two public hearings are scheduled to be held in September at Sleepy Hollow Village Hall to gather input on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding the redevelopment of a 29-acre parcel east of the Metro North railroad tracks that was once part of the General Motors site. On September 12 and 20, starting at 7 p.m., ... Read More »

Local Reassessment Moves into Its Final Phase

by Barrett Seaman Passed by the state Legislature, signed into law by Governor Cuomo and adopted by the Greenburgh Town Council, the three-year phase-in for homeowners saddled with more than a 25% increase in their assessments is now in effect, both in Greenburgh’s 10 taxing districts and in Ossining as well. Those who are likely to qualify are concentrated in ... Read More »

Irvington Democrats Endorse Three for 2016 Election

On June 2, the Irvington Democratic Committee endorsed three candidates for the 2016 election this fall: two for the Board of Trustees, and one for Village Justice. In a unanimous vote, the committee selected incumbent Mark Gilliland, 61, who is up for reelection, and Larry Lonky, 59, longtime chair of Irvington’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee, as Trustee candidates. As ... Read More »

Greenburgh Moves to Repair Reassessment Damage

by Barrett Seaman Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner’s efforts to mitigate the political damage and financial pain caused by a town-wide property reassessment this spring produced at least some payoff in June. Though some homeowners whose projected property taxes were bumped up by 30% or more in the initial valuations by Tyler Technologies won relief during the informal appeals phase ... Read More »

Irvington Democrats Nominate Three Candidates For Village Elections: Two For Trustee and One For Village Justice

June 2, 2016 – Irvington, New York.  Members of the Village’s Democratic Committee gathered tonight at the Irvington Public Library to officially endorse three candidates for the 2016 election this fall: two candidates for the Board of Trustees, and one candidate for Village Justice. In a unanimous vote, the committee selected incumbent Mark Gilliland, age 61, who is up for ... Read More »

Thousands of Area Residents Get Verdicts on Reassessment

by Barrett Seaman The first week in June was promising to be an anxious one for thousands of Greenburgh and Ossining homeowners who had appealed reassessments promulgated by Tyler Technologies last March. The week was sure to vex another 400 in Greenburgh who were to receive unexpected notices that they had been identified as being underassessed, and that their projected ... Read More »

Hundreds of Unhappy Irvington Residents Hear Out Greenburgh’s Feiner and McCarthy

–by Barrett Seaman More than 100 homeowners filled every seat and lined the walls of the Irvington Senior Center meeting room Tuesday evening, while police turned almost as many away because of potential fire code violations. They were all there to hear Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and Assessor Edye McCarthy explain how so many had seen their projected property ... Read More »

Irvington Homeowners Stunned by Tyler Reassessments

by Barrett Seaman The couple, independent writer/actors, had moved from Brooklyn to Irvington because the public school system would cover much of the cost of educating their special needs child. They bought a cozy 1,200-square-foot house on one of Irvington’s side streets and settled into the life of the village. “We’re part of the community. I do lots of volunteer ... Read More »

Tax Payments See-Saw for Sleepy Hollow Residents

by Robert Kimmel Property owners in Sleepy Hollow are facing variable school tax payments for the current and subsequent tax year because of a miscalculation by the Town of Mount Pleasant when it assessed Edge-On-Hudson, the planned riverside development in the village. While taxpayers experienced taxes lowered by 12.3 percent for the 2015-16 tax year, they will be confronted with ... Read More »

Tarrytown First/GOP Slate Running to Offer Choice to Voters

by Rick Pezzullo Three volunteer firefighters and longtime village residents are running on the Tarrytown First and Republican party lines on March 15 to offer voters a choice in the race for three seats on the Board of Trustees. “We’re hoping to give the people an opportunity to make a choice and see what happens,” said Terence Murphy, current chief ... Read More »

Sleepy Hollow Village Board Race Uncontested

by Rick Pezzullo Unlike neighboring Tarrytown, voters in Sleepy Hollow will only have one slate of candidates to choose from in the general election on March 15. The Unite Sleepy Hollow ticket will feature Rachelle Gebler, Sam Gonzalez and Sandra Spiro. They will be replacing current trustees Jennifer Lobato-Church, Dorothy Handelman and Karin Wompa, all of whom decided not to ... Read More »

Tarrytown United/Dem Slate Aims to Build on Accomplishments

by Rick Pezzullo The slate endorsed by the Village of Tarrytown Democratic Committee and Tarrytown United have a combined 30 years of experience in elected office and government service in the village and are looking forward to building on their accomplishments. Trustees Robert Hoyt and Mary McGee are running for their sixth two-year terms on March 15, while 10-year Zoning ... Read More »

United Sleepy Hollow Slate Running Unopposed in March

by Rick Pezzullo The Village of Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees will have three new members following the March 15 election. Current trustees Jennifer Lobato-Church, Karin Wompa and Dorothy Handelman are all not seeking reelection, opening the door for political newcomers on the Unite Sleepy Hollow ticket, who are running unopposed. Mayor Ken Wray wholeheartedly supports the Unite Sleepy Hollow ... Read More »

Democratic Slate Chosen for Tarrytown Board Race

by Rick Pezzullo Two incumbents and an active community member were chosen by the Village of Tarrytown Democratic Committee to run for three available seats on the Tarrytown Board of Trustees on March 15. Trustees Robert Hoyt and Mary McGee will both be seeking their sixth two-year term on the board, while Karen Brown, who has served on the village ... Read More »

Tarrytown Shortchanged by Hotel Occupancy Tax Veto

by Rick Pezzullo Governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would have allowed the Town of Greenburgh and its six villages to impose a 3% hotel occupancy tax was a costly decision for Tarrytown. Village Administrator Michael Blau said Tarrytown would have received approximately $320,000 annually from the room tax. Meanwhile, Greenburgh would have pulled in an extra $1 ... Read More »

Governor Proposes Freezing Tolls on TZ Bridge until 2020

by Rick Pezzullo Tolls for motorists driving over the Tappan Zee Bridge would not increase for at least the next five years under a plan outlined in mid-January by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his annual State of the State Address. To ease the financial burden of passenger and commercial traffic, Cuomo proposed a three-part Thruway Toll Reduction and Protection Plan ... Read More »

Legislators Pass County Budget with No Tax Increase

by Rick Pezzullo A bipartisan coalition of Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a 2016 budget in mid-December that freezes taxes for the sixth straight year. In a 10-7 vote on December 14, legislators approved a $1.8 billion spending plan that restored some proposed cuts to non-profit organizations, parks and public safety. Eight Republicans and two Democrats, including board Chairman ... Read More »

Construction on New Bridge on Target to End in 2018

By Rick Pezzullo The New York State Thruway Authority announced last month that construction of the new $3.98 billion Tappan Zee Bridge is on target to be completed in 2018. Meanwhile, there will be no toll increase on the span next year, and a task force has been formed to review toll rates, potential commuter discount options, and a resident ... Read More »

Astorino’s Proposed County Budget Hitting Hurdles

by Robert Kimmel Opposition has been rising to County Executive Rob Astorino’s 2016 proposed operating budget since he presented it to the Westchester County Board of Legislators last month. The budget totals $1.802 billion, and as Astorino pointed out, “For the sixth year in a row, my budget contains no increase in the property tax levy.” The budget maintains the ... Read More »

Sleepy Hollow LDC Pursues Varied Village Projects

| by Robert Kimmel |  Created about a year ago, the Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation is looking at a number of potential projects in the village, but its most immediate task deals with the land it acquired from GM at the automaker’s former riverfront site. The east parcel, as it is known, was designated for village use in the ... Read More »

Irvington Dems Endorse Kehoe, Silverberg for Board

Irvington Democratic Trustee Nominees Incumbent Trustee and Deputy Mayor, Connie Kehoe Candidate Janice Silverberg

|  by Rick Pezzullo  |   The Irvington Democratic Committee endorsed Trustee Connie Kehoe and village Housing Committee Chairperson Janice Silverberg for two available seats on the Board of Trustees this fall. Kehoe, who doubles as deputy mayor, is running for a fourth term. Silverberg previously served three terms on the Irvington Board of Education. Trustee Kristen Woll is not ... Read More »

Fixell Proud of Accomplishments as Tarrytown Mayor

| by Rick Pezzullo |   With the village doing well financially and many projects underway, Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said he was somewhat surprised to be challenged this year, particularly by the person he unseated 10 years ago whose only attempt to return to public service since then was an unsuccessful run for the Irvington Board of Education. However, ... Read More »

Incumbent Tarrytown Trustees Feel Board Cohesiveness is an Asset

| by Rick Pezzullo |   The three incumbent village trustees running unopposed for reelection in Tarrytown have been working together on a bipartisan board that hasn’t seen any personnel changes in the last eight years, an accomplishment the trio believes has served residents well. “I think we’ve done a good job getting a lot done,” said Trustee Becky McGovern ... Read More »