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June 29, 2021

By Barrett Seaman—

For nearly a year and a half, public meetings in the rivertown villages have been conducted by Zoom, with board members, whether Trustees, Planning, Zoning or Architectural Review Boards, appearing on Hollywood Squares-like panes, while members of the public who wished to address these boards were veiled behind black screens, with only their voices heard.

On Monday night, June 28th, the veil lifted as the Tarrytown Planning Board met in person in Village Hall with interested public there with them in person—not a mask in the room.

It wasn’t a big crowd, and it was supplemented by Zoom, making it a hybrid public meeting. Roughly a dozen citizens appeared in person to hear reports on projects that included an assisted living/memory care complex on rte. 119 and plans for new zoning in the Station Overlay Area—a subject of considerable discussion throughout the spring.

Government by electronics 2020-style

For the first time since March 2020, public voices emanated from mouths, not speakers.

Government in person: Mark Fry questions the board

No decisions were made, but there was an inkling of a return to the symbiosis between citizen and government that has been hard to sustain while the coronavirus shuttered so much of public life.

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