Happy New Year! Again, congratulations to the newly sworn in Town Councilmembers Victoria Tipp, Tara Kassal and Christian Hildenbrand, and to Jeremy Saland who is returning in his Councilmember role. We have lots of exciting things in store for 2022, and I can’t wait to get started with all of you!
I wanted to take this opportunity to set the tone for the coming year. Each new year brings with it promise, anticipation and hope for the future. Certainly, we are all hoping for the end of this pandemic and for a new year filled with peace, health, and joy. I also hope we can collectively decide to turn the page on provoking our neighbors via social media and return to civil discourse. Because at the end of the day, we are a community of friends and neighbors who are here for one another. That’s what makes New Castle so special.
When I began campaigning last year, I discussed the issues facing our Town. But I also wanted to focus on something that could make a difference in our everyday lives. My hope was we’d all be reminded of the importance of treating each other with kindness and respect—two things that seem to have fallen by the wayside over the past few years. I believe that no matter the differences in our passions, values, or opinions, we all want what’s best for each other and our community.
So, I will lead to foster a kinder community. I also will stand my ground to fight for the greater good when needed. We must pick and choose our battles on the important issues that face us and learn to negotiate, collaborate, and compromise while we seek common ground with each other. I plan to increase dialogue and opportunities for face-to-face discussions with Town government. As an initial initiative, I will be holding informal “Sip with the Supervisor” coffee talks on the last Friday of each month. We will rotate around the community, so watch the Town’s official Facebook page for details each month.
We are also adding a “New Castle Community Corner” segment to each Town Board meeting agenda. This will be an opportunity for the Town to announce birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and other celebratory events that keep us connected with each other. No political posts please! You can email your submissions to CommunityCorner@mynewcastle.org.
Thank you for reading! I’m excited for 2022 and what we can do together. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any other Town Board member to share your thoughts or ask questions. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you!
All the best,
The Supervisor’s 1/4/22 Town Board Meeting Recap
Last night we held our first Town Board meeting of 2022. It was relatively ministerial, but there are some important things I wanted to highlight here:
The Town Board appointed Christian Hildenbrand to fill the vacancy created by Andrea Sanseverino Galan’s relocation from New Castle, which made her ineligible to serve on the Board. Chris, Tara Kassal and Victoria Tipp were all sworn in as Town Councilmembers yesterday. The official inauguration ceremony will be held on Wednesday, January 12th at 6PM. It will likely be a virtual event for Town residents to view, and I will send additional information in the upcoming days.
I appointed Councilwoman Victoria Bayard Tipp to serve as Deputy Town Supervisor.
I then announced my hopes for what we can accomplish in the FIRST 100 DAYS of 2022. Clearly this list is not exhaustive, but I believe it will be a good start to the year! These items include (1) the establishment of a Student Advocacy Committee, (2) the adoption of a Social Media and Communications policy for the town (including for Town Board members in their official capacities), (3) a revision of the Town’s Sign Ordinance, (4) the adoption of an affordable housing requirement for the commercial business district in the Chappaqua hamlet, (5) working with the Town Planning Board to streamline their processes and procedures, and (6) filling vacant seats on the Town’s Ethics Board, CRE and other committees.
I also announced the establishment of a new, recurring Town Board meeting agenda item called “New Castle Community Corner.” This will be an opportunity for the Town to announce birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and other celebratory events that keep us connected with each other. No political posts please! You can email your submissions to CommunityCorner@mynewcastle.org.
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 11th
Spread Cheer Not Covid!
Over the break, the Town distributed the at-home Covid-19 tests and masks that the County made available to us. There were not enough! The County has promised to distribute additional testing kits to us as soon as they are available, and we will, in turn, distribute them directly to you.
In the meantime, free PCR testing is available at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Testing is only available for symptomatic persons or those with known exposure – this testing is not for travel.Testing is by appointment only. Residents can sign up for testing HERE.
Those in need of a test can also use the New York State COVID-19 Test Site Finder to find test sites near you: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you. You can also call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065 or make an appointment at Westchester Medical Center’s COVID-19 Testing Site in Valhalla by calling 914-202-4530.
Governor Hochul announced that testing would be available at SUNY Purchase in the near future. This testing site is not yet online, but we will be sure to update you when testing at SUNY Purchase is available.
The County will host a COVID-19 booster clinic on Thursday, January 6th from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Robert E. Bell Middle School.
As of Tuesday, January 4th, Town Hall will only be open to the public by appointment only. Book an appointment online by clicking below. All departments are staffed and operating. For routine business, please call or email.
The Town of New Castle strives to identify sustainable policies, practices and procedures that promote equal access to civic involvement opportunities to all its citizens regardless of race, gender, or other protected class, thereby creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive systems of community governance. All qualified and interested residents are strongly encouraged to apply.
Arts and Culture Committee
The New Castle Arts and Culture Committee (NCACC) is envisioned as a gathering of diverse community stakeholders dedicated to improving the quality of life for the entire New Castle community by enhancing culture and the arts in and around New Castle.
The mission of the NCACC shall be to support, develop, propose and raise awareness of the events programs on art, music, dance, theater, film and all other cultural art forms taking place in an around the Town of New Castle. Events and programs of interest shall include theater productions, arts series, art auctions, concerts and shows, art exhibits, children’s art programs, and community creative festivals.
To achieve its objective, the NCACC will serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Board and other departments within the Town to foster collaboration between the Town and third parties on events and programs dedicated to the arts.
Meetings are 8 a.m. 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month
Term of office it two years
Learn more about the Arts & Culture Committee HERE. Please submit an application found HERE
Board of Architectural Review
This Board ensures that the proposed work blends not only into the harmony of the structure but also the neighborhood in which it is situated. Excessive uniformity, dissimilarity, inappropriateness or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings or other structures erected or altered in any neighborhood adversely affects the desirability of the immediate area and neighboring areas for residential, business or other purposes.
To prevent these and other harmful effects of such exterior appearance of buildings and other structures erected or altered throughout the Town, the Town Board has appointed a 5-member Architectural Review Board. For additional information see the Town Code Section 60-550.
This Board meets the first and third Wednesday of every month. The term is 3 years.
The Council on Race and Equity (CRE) has transitioned to an official Town of New Castle Committee and is seeking volunteers for all positions.
The Council on Race and Equity was established in June of 2020 as a result of a race crisis in our country and in our community. The Council was tasked with creating an Action Plan for the community.
The Council delivered over 300 pages of recommendations to the Town of New Castle so that it may foster a more inclusive, equitable community for all of its residents, as well as provide community programs, outreach, advisory and guidance with partners across New Castle.
The work of the original 115 volunteers of the council has laid the foundation for this new Committee.
In May 2021, the Town established the New Castle Committee on Race and Equity, and looks to the leadership of the Council on Race and Equity to aid in the transition of this new committee which will seek to:
Commit to the achievement of true racial equity
Deploy the necessary resources to support sustainable racial equity
Utilize the power of government institutions and influence to uphold racial equity
Work in partnership with others to achieve racial equity beyond our boarders
The Committee shall be comprised of ten (10) members, two (2) co-chair persons, and a group of auxiliary volunteers, who will serve in staggered two (2) and three (3) year terms to be appointed by the Town Board.
Information on both the Council and Committee on Race and Equity is available HERE.
We are looking for additional members to join the town of New Castle Conservation Board. The Conservation Board studies and advises the Town Board and other Town departments, boards and commissions on developing sound open space planning and assuring preservation of natural and scenic resources within the Town of New Castle. The Conservation Board was established on May 13, 1975, meets on the first Monday of each month and the term of office is two years. We are particularly interested in applicants who are “DOERS” with any of the following skill sets: project management, communication/social media, knowledge of native plants and ecological/environmentally focused landscaping practices, and knowledge or interest in open space planning.
If you have an interest in helping the town in topics such as tree planting and invasive plant removal, ensuring that the town open spaces and parks are planned in accordance with conservation goals, and are able to communicate these goals and objectives to the larger New Castle Community - please submit an application found HERE and contact Dennis Corelli firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environmental Review Board
We are looking to fill a regulatory board vacancy and requesting of interested citizens to join the Town of New Castle Environmental Review Board (ERB). The ERB was established on November 14th, 1989 and is governed by Chapter 137 “Wetlands” of the Town Code of New Castle. They are the primary approving authority for applications submitted in connection with the Town’s wetlands regulations.
Members are expected to be familiar with the regulatory thresholds and requirements of the Town ordinances relating to environmental protection, including steep slopes, trees, and especially wetlands and wetland buffers. They are also encouraged to develop skills in reading blueprints, maps, and draft plans, as well as the basic science underlying environmental evaluation.
The term of office for the ERB is three years.
Interested candidates should submit a volunteer application form HERE
Office of Community Liaison
The New Castle POLICE REFORM AND REINVENTION COLLABORATIVE COMMITTEE (PRRCC) recommended the Town of New Castle create an independent Office of the Community Advocate/Liaison. This Advocate/Liaison provides a more effective avenue to lodge an anonymous complaint.
The New Castle PRRCC acknowledges that the current system for reporting anonymous complaints is problematic as it allows a complainant to maintain anonymity when lodging a complaint, but fails to provide an avenue to allow the complainant follow-up and closure. They determined that the current system is problematic for the police as well, in that it does not allow for follow-up by the police in order to conduct an effective and thorough investigation (i.e., key material information is missing, so the investigation stalls).
Therefore, the Office of the Community Advocate/Liaison will:
Assist a complainant with filling out a complaint.
File the complaint on behalf of the complainant.
Maintain the anonymity of the complainant if desired.
Act as an intermediary with the police for the purpose of conducting a complete and thorough investigation.
Allow the complainant to be fully informed about the investigation while ongoing and when completed.
After the investigation is complete, the results will be conveyed to the complainant through the Community Advocate.
Allows the complainant closure.
Community Advocates/Liaisons are volunteers from the greater community, which should include members of the LGBTQ community, the interfaith council, and the BIPOC community.
The Town of New Castle is seeking an interested individual to fill a five-year Planning Board vacancy. Experience in architecture, planning, engineering and/or environmental sciences is not required. Candidates should possess a judicial temperament and be able to evaluate applications fairly and without bias. Candidates must be able to adhere to statutory authority outlined in and implemented through the New Castle Town Code.
The candidate must have an interest in community service and be willing to dedicate time to attend two meetings a month - the Board meets the first and third Tuesday’s of each month, except for the month of August. The Planning Board’s purview surrounds applications for subdivision approval, site plan approval, special use permits and other associated environmental permits for projects throughout the Town of New Castle. There is required training the successful candidate must complete in order to serve on this statutory board.
Interested candidates should submit a volunteer application form HERE by Friday January 7, 2022.
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