Wednesday, December 30, 2020 Edition

Ivy Pool, Town Supervisor

Reflections On 2020

For the past several months, life has been different in New Castle. In the pre-pandemic world, New Castle residents were an extraordinarily busy lot: we endured long commutes and longer hours in the office, we taxied our kids to and from practices and rehearsals, etc. Suddenly, our calendars were free – except, of course, for the increasing number of Zoom meetings! Many of us found time to take walks in the middle of the day. We were able to sit down to family dinners with everyone around the table. During this crisis, we learned what truly matters most – family, friends, and community.

It has not been easy. But through it all, we have been surrounded by beautiful acts of kindness and community spirit: The volunteer first responders from Chappaqua and Millwood Fire and CVAC who worked with the Recreation Department to hold a Holiday Lights parade. Chappaqua’s own Dr. Evan Cohen who hosted a Zoom briefing on the future of the pandemic and has stepped up with a weekly advice column in the newsletter. Community members who pulled out their sewing machines to make masks to support healthcare workers. A Horace Greeley High School student who launched “Support Main Street” – a gift certificate drive to help local businesses. A Go Fund Me that was set up to deliver food from local restaurants to healthcare workers raised over $130,000. Volunteers who shopped for seniors and other vulnerable neighbors. The Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce which launched New Castle RESTART to provide grants to struggling local businesses. These are only some of the creative and inspired ideas that show the strength, reliance, and heart of this community.

As the vaccine begins to rollout, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, even during the darkest days of winter. Things are unlikely to return to the way they were before, not fully anyway, and we have the opportunity and the challenge to think about how to leverage the lessons of 2020 – how can we improve, how can we move forward? And how we can rebalance and reprioritize in order to focus on what really matters?

Year in Review Report 

COVID-19 Response


COVID-19 was the focus of 2020, and something we never saw coming. Much of our activity this year focused on managing the pandemic: Issuing a local State of Emergency; closing and re-opening Town Hall and adjusting our workforce to continually provide critical municipal services to residents; sending daily, then twice weekly, newsletters to provide COVID-19 data and summarize the Governor’s Executive Orders; supporting local businesses to adapt to the shut-down orders and to re-open in accordance with the NY Forward plan; and launching programs and services to support community members. Here are some of our accomplishments:
 
Created a Local Law to Require Mask Wearing: In July, the Town of New Castle became the first municipality in the State to pass a local law to require mask wearing. This legislation gave our local police the authority to enforce this law by issuing violations with associated fines of up to $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.
 
Implemented Emergency Financial Measures to Address Impact of COVID-19: In March, the Board passed as series emergency financial measures, including establishing purchasing limits, limiting overtime, and establishing a hiring freeze for new positions. As a result of these and other proactive steps, I am proud to say that while the Town of New Castle has undoubtedly felt the effects of the economic slow-down, COVID was not catastrophic for our budget and operations. 
 
Provided Relief for Taxpayers for the Payment of Town and County Taxes During the COVID‐19 Crisis: In April, Westchester County created a two-tier plan to provide individuals and businesses with property tax relief in 2020 by reducing or eliminating penalties for late payment. The Town swiftly adjusted our policies and procedures to implement property tax relief for local residents and businesses by creating new tax collection processes.
 
Extended the Calendar Year for Parking Permits: Due to the Covid-19 Crisis, the Town Board extended the calendar year for parking permits to provide temporary relief to residents. Parking permits were extended to December 14, 2020. The Town is now accepting applications for the new year.
 

Local Business Support


Passed a Local Law to Expand Outdoor Retail and Sidewalk Cafes: The Town Board passed a Local Law to allow for the creation and expansion of outdoor retail sales, gym operations, personal care services and dining areas during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our building inspector worked closely with local businesses to expedite permits and accelerate application processes.
 
Purchased Additional Street Furniture in the Chappaqua Shopping District: The Town Board approved the purchase of additional streetscape furniture – café tables and chairs and benches for the Chappaqua hamlet and new picnic tables for the circle in front of the train station. We leveraged leftover funding from the downtown streetscape project.
 
Co-hosted “Lunch & Learn” Series with the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce: The Town of New Castle collaborated with the Chamber to hold virtual meetings and a four-part “Lunch & Learn” Series for our local merchants and business professionals to discuss opportunities for assistance and how the Town could help. Archive of videos can be viewed HERE.
 
Co-created Directory of OPEN Local Businesses with the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce: Town Councilwoman Lauren Levin created an up-to-date list of all local business that were open for business and ready to help you shop for essential items and treat yourself splurges!
 
Created Small Business Seminar “Coronavirus Stimulus Package Simplified: Help for Small Business Owners”: A panel of experts answered questions and helped our local small business owners navigate the economic assistance programs offered in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Panelists included: Patricia Keegan, District Director, Office of Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey; Valarie DeBenedette, Office of Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey; New York State Senator Peter Harckham; Joe Orlando, Chief of Staff, Office of New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald; Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi; and Edward J. Phillips, Esq., Keane & Beane.
 
Hosted and Produced “Zoom Around Town”: In April, the Town, in collaboration with the Chappaqua Millwood Chamber of Commerce, hosted our first ever “Zoom Around Town.” You’ve heard of Wine Around Town and Art Around Town, well this was an event for the current era! Videos available HERE.
 
Supported the Chappaqua Summer Sidewalk Sale - Shop Local. Shop Safe: In July, the Chappaqua Merchants, with support from the Discover Chappaqua committee, held a hugely successful Chappaqua Summer Sidewalk Sale! With the New Castle Police Department stationed in the hamlet to direct traffic and enforce social distancing, shoppers felt safe and comfortable at the sale.

 
Installed Hand-Sanitizer Stations in Downtown Chappaqua: To encourage shoppers to return to the hamlet, the Town installed hand sanitizer stations throughout downtown Chappaqua from Jun. – Nov.
 
Supported New Castle RESTART: This fall the Town Board supported the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce and an all-volunteer group of community members, with the launch of New Castle RESTART, a program to provide disaster relief to our small business community in the time of COVID-19.
 


COVID Community Support


Created Donation Program for N95 Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Town created a donation program at Town Hall for residents to donate N95 masks and other PPE for local area health care professionals.
 
Provided Meals on Wheels: The Town of New Castle continuously operated our Meals on Wheels program and recruited additional community volunteers as drivers.
 
Launched the New Castle Citizens Assistance Registry: The Town, with assistance from the New Castle Community Media Center, created a registry for potentially vulnerable residents who would like the Town to check in with them.
 
Created New Castle Volunteer Match: We created a Facebook group to facilitate matches between people in the community with special skills, time, resources, etc., and residents who were looking for help. 
 
Developed Online COVID-19 Resource Guide: The Town, with assistance from New Castle Community Media Center, created an online resource guide for residents, which compiled our guidance from the newsletters, and contained important links to State and County resources.
 
Distributed Free Masks for Seniors and Essential Workers: The Town received a generous donation of Hanes white cotton face masks from Westchester County which we distributed to senior citizens and other vulnerable residents, as well as essential workers. Masks were also provided for visitors to Gedney Park and the Chappaqua Farmers Market.

Introduced “Ask Dr. Evan Cohen” to Provide Answers to Residents’ COVID Questions: 
In December, the Town was honored to host Dr. Evan Cohen for a special presentation regarding COVID-19. Dr. Cohen’s presentation was such a hit with attendees that we’ve invited him to have a regular column in the newsletter called “Ask Dr. Cohen,” in which he will provide answers to residents’ questions about testing, quarantining, vaccines, and other topics. You can submit questions to askdrcohen@mynewcastle.org.
 
Held a Successful Town Camp! When Governor Cuomo gave day camps the green light to open, the Town of New Castle Recreation and Parks Department immediately created plans for our annual town camp that complied with NYS re-opening guidelines and requirements for camps.
 
Re-opened Playgrounds and Town Fields: The Town created a local re-opening plan, including cleaning procedures and social distancing measures to successfully open our playgrounds and Town ball fields. Our playgrounds have remained open and are cleaned daily according to our new safety protocols.
 


Racial and Social Justice


This summer our community experienced horrific acts of hate – both nationally and here at home. We set a clear direction: hate will not be tolerated by the Town of New Castle. We will not allow antisemitic and racist incidents in our community to be swept under the rug or covered up. The Town of New Castle is committed to transparency and action. Not only will we continue to say "Hate Has No Home Here," “Love thy Neighbor,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “All are Welcome Here,” but we will back up our words with actions. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the future requires substantial changes and a “new normal.” Here are some of our key accomplishments:

Passed Resolution to Oppose Anti-Semitism: On Monday January 27th -- the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day -- the Town Board unanimously passed a resolution to firmly oppose antisemitism in all forms.
Hosted Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony: The New Castle Holocaust and Human Rights Committee planned and created a virtual Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony. This was during the early days of the pandemic and they created a memorable, beautiful community event, with support from New Castle Community Media Center.  Video available HERE.
 
Hosted a Community Gathering Against Racial Injustice on June 7thThe Chappaqua Interfaith Council and the Town of New Castle hosted an online vigil following the police-involved murder of George Floyd, coming together as a community to voice our solidarity with those who continue to suffer from a broken system of racial inequality. Video available HERE.
 
Founded the New Castle Council on Race and Equity: The Town Board established the Council on Race and Equity (CRE), a task force led by BIPOC community members, to create an Action Plan to combat racism in our community. During the month of October, the New Castle Council on Race and Equity (CRE) presented their plan to increase racial equity in New Castle. In just over 4 months the more than 115 CRE volunteers worked tirelessly to develop recommendations for our community. The Town Board will be working with the CRE to roll-out the action plan in 2021. (Note: Look for the CRE to send a year-end newsletter summarizing their activities in 2020.)
 


Virtual Interfaith Community Vigil: 
On Thursday, Sept 10th the Chappaqua Interfaith Council and the New Castle Council on Race and Equity co-hosted a Community Vigil for Peace, Hope, Healing, and Unity. 
 
Launched Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Committee: Governor Cuomo charged all municipalities with a police agency to perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and to create a plan to adopt and implement the recommendations for reform and reinvention by April 1, 2021.  The Town of New Castle’s Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Committee (PRRCC) was created by Town resolution on October 20, 2020. 
 

Emergency Response


Our third major area of focus in 2020 was on emergency preparedness and response. While we have seen major storms before (Sandy, Irene, Riley, Quinn, etc.), the challenges of responding to storm events during a pandemic amplified the criticality of restoring power and internet for residents who were sheltering at home.
 
Tropical Storm Isaias: Tropical Storm Isaias was one of the most destructive storms in recent memory and the Town of New Castle experienced staggering, widespread, and prolonged outages. In the immediate aftermath of the storm on August 4th, 4,022 New Castle households were without power, out of 6,800 total households (59%). While this made us as one of the hardest hit communities, we were certainly not alone. What made us unique, was the duration – the prolonged nature – of the outages in New Castle. The estimated time of restoration for Westchester County was 11PM on Sunday, August 9th. At that time, 2,331 households in New Castle were still without power. At a time when Con Edison predicted that 95% of customers with outages would be restored, 58% of residents in New Castle who lost power during the storm were still sitting in their dark, sweltering homes. The Town advocated fiercely on behalf of our residents and communicated consistently – producing three daily updates on social media, a daily newsletter, Nixle, and Code Red alerts.

Testimony at Joint Public Hearing to Address the Emergency Storm Response: On Thursday, August 20th, it was my honor to provide testimony on behalf of the Town of New Castle at the New York State Senate and Assembly Joint Public Hearing to address the emergency storm response and customer communication by utilities located in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and the Greater Hudson Valley post-Tropical Storm Isaias. 
 
Town of New Castle Public Hearing on Con Edison Response to Tropical Storm Isaias: On October 13th the Town Board held public hearing with Con Edison to discuss the utility’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias. The purpose of the hearing was to hear from Con Edison regarding their post-storm response in New Castle and planned improvements for the future, and to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the utilities.
 
United Westchester: United Westchester is a voluntary executive-level committee of Westchester elected officials, co-chaired by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and County Executive George Latimer, which was re-convened in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias to examine the failures of the County’s electric utility and telecommunications companies in response to the storm. I serve as the Chair of the Con Edison subcommittee. We expect to release our final report in January 2021.
 
Christmas 2020 Storm: Heavy rains and strong winds led to widespread power outages on Christmas Day. Over 560 households lost power, but thanks to the incredible efforts of the New Castle Police Department, DPW, and Con Edison, who worked feverishly to reopen roads and restore residents’ power, almost all residents were restored within the day, and all New Castle residents had power by 12/26. I am humbled, grateful, and amazed by their efforts – THANK YOU!!
 

Other 2020 Priorities


In the halcyon days of January 2020 (pre-pandemic) the Town Board set goals and objectives for the year. Due to the unforeseen events of 2020, we were needed to pivot and focus on the “big three”: COVID-19, racial and social justice, and emergency response. However, the important work of local government continued, and progress was made on all of our 5 goals and objectives: create thriving hamlets, invest in capital planning and infrastructure, create a climate-smart and resilient New Castle, enhance recreation and community spirit, and responsible municipal management. Here are some key accomplishments:
 

Thriving Hamlets 


Chappaqua Hamlet Investment Act: In 2020, the Town Board implemented a series of initiatives designed to further the revitalization of our beloved hamlet:
  • Vacant Storefront Registry: In March, the Town of New Castle adopted legislation requiring all property owners of vacant storefronts located in the B-R, B-RP or B-D Zoning Districts to register their property with the building department within 30 days of the storefront becoming vacated.   
  • Façade Improvement Grant Program: In September, the Town Board approved a Façade Improvement Grant Program – an incentive program to encourage property owners and businesses in the Chappaqua and Millwood hamlets to improve the exterior appearance of their buildings and storefronts. The program provides direct financial incentives in the form of a 50% matching grant to eligible applicants. 
  • Discover Chappaqua: In Fall 2019 the Town launched a website, www.discoverchappaqua.com, the goal of which is to market and promote the Chappaqua hamlet to visitors, residents, prospective homeowners, potential small businesses, and more. The Town Board established a Discover Chappaqua committee, tasked with overseeing the maintenance of the website, and creating marketing plans and special events to promote the hamlet.
  • Local Preference Procurement Policy: The Town Board amended to our procurement policy to allow the Town to award a contract to a locally-owned business, if the bid is no more than 5% higher than the lowest responsible bidder. 
Chappaqua Forward – Form Your Future! The Form Based Code is zoning legislation for Chappaqua hamlet. Currently the business district is entirely zoned for “business retail” or “light industrial.” The Form Based Code changes the zoning to allow for different uses, such as residential and mixed-use. A Form Based Code focuses on the FORM of the building as opposed to its USE, and the Code has detailed design guidelines that will give the hamlet a beautiful, consistent look and feel – making sure that what gets built is quaint and charming.
 

Capital Planning and Infrastructure


Minkel Dam: 
The Town Board reviewed the current state of the Upper Minkel Dam and discussed options for moving forward with either repairing or decommissioning the dam. The Board elected to proceed with decommissioning. The dam is within Sunny Ridge Preserve in the West End of New Castle. We are currently applying for a $1m FEMA grant to offset the costs of this major capital project. 

Millwood Cell Tower: Homeland Towers completed construction on the Millwood Cell Tower that is adjacent to the Millwood Water Treatment Plant. The Town has received $17,000 in revenue from the cell tower, which will be specifically allocated to make improvements in the Millwood hamlet, such as constructing a salt dome tower to enable DPW to provide better snow removal services to Millwood and the West End.
 
Pedestrian Safety Improvements in Millwood and Chappaqua: The Town Board approved the purchase of two sets of black-fluted, double-sided, rectangular rapid-flashing pedestrian solar beacons. We have received approval from NYS DOT for the installation of high-visibility crosswalk signals in two hazardous locations: the crosswalk in front of Lange’s Little Store on Rt. 120 and the North County Trailway crossing on Rt. 133 in Millwood. Installation is planned for 2021.
 
Riverwoods and Yeshiva Sewers: The Town of New Castle was proud to partner with the Town/Village of Mount Kisco in advancing a common-sense solution to bring sewers to the Riverwoods and Yeshiva residents, who are currently served by the failing Fox Hollow Waste Water Treatment Plant, by facilitating a connection to the Mount Kisco Pump Station. The County agreed to accelerate its planned capital project to create a relief sewer, which would create additional capacity to handle increased flows from planned development in northern Westchester. This is a major accomplishment, solving a longstanding problem for these residents.
 
Sewer and Water Infrastructure Improvements Planned for Quaker Road: The County has planned a major capital project to extend the County sewer trunk line up from Hunts Lane up Quaker Road to Wagon Road Camp. This work will support future sewer connections for adjacent neighborhoods that are currently on septic systems. The Town is supporting this major infrastructure project and piggybacking on the project by replacing an aging water main that runs parallel to the proposed trunk link to ensure minimal disruptions to our residents and to share costs with the County.
 
Public Hearing on Street Opening Permit: The Town Board passed a Local Law to hold utilities accountable for any work they perform to ensure that road conditions are returned to an acceptable standard upon completion. 
 
Train Station Parking Lot Paving Project: Kudos to the DPW for a job well done on the re-paving of the Train Station parking lot! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the beautiful new pavement, you are in for a treat the next time you are at the station!
 
Tertia Brook Culvert Bridge Re-Construction: The Town completed a major capital project to reconstruct the Tertia Brook bridge which separates the front and back parking lots at the train station. 
 
ChapLine: In fall 2019, the Town Board retained a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for the ChapLine. This consisted of creating conceptual designs and cost estimates for different alternatives. The least expensive design would require the Town to purchase property from adjacent homeowners and obtain an easement from the Chappaqua Central School District. The more expensive alternative involves building an elevated boardwalk over wetlands (all Town-owned property). These two alternatives are being costed out now. The consultants are also looking at and applying for grant funding to offset the costs. The timeline has been delayed due to COVID.
 

Climate Smart and Resilient New Castle


FAA Airport Noise Forum: Along with Westchester County, and Federal elected officials, the Town Board fought to bring the FAA to our community in January 2020 to begin a dialogue about solutions to mitigate the impacts of increased noise and other environmental impacts for communities near HPN. It was great to see so many thoughtful and engaged residents at this event!

Alternative Approach to Mitigate Airport Noise: Westchester County is engaged in preliminary research on a proposed alternative landing approach that would route planes over Interstate 684. This is welcome news for New Castle residents who have suffered under the current flight path. Although this alternative approach would not eliminate airport noise for our residents it has the potential to significantly reduce its impacts.
 
Westchester Power Community Choice Aggregation Program: The Town Board passed a resolution to authorize signing an MOU to continue with the Westchester Power program.  Westchester Power is a program of Sustainable Westchester that enables participating Westchester communities to join together to purchase electricity supply in bulk from 100% renewable energy sources. New Castle joined the consortium in 2016, and has achieved tremendous clean energy success.
 
New Castle Passes Leaf Blowers Legislation During Climate Week: The Town Board unanimously approved a local law to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer.
 
New Castle Cleanup Week 2020: Due to social distancing regulations the Town’s annual spring clean-up day, organized by the fantastic members of the Beautification Advisory Board, was put on hold. But the Town Board offered a scaled back version. Councilman Jason Lichtenthal created an online form to request a bright orange trash bags and personally delivered bags to residents for clean-up day 2020. 
 
Confidential Paper Shredding: The New Castle Recycling Center offered safe, socially-distanced confidential paper shredding events at the Recycling Center on June 6th, September 12th, and November 7th.
 
Take It or Leave It Shop: Saturday October 31st was the last day of the Take It or Leave It Shop (TIOLI) for the 2020 season. On behalf of the Town of New Castle and the entire community, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the thoughtful, innovative, and hard-working volunteers who make TIOLI possible.

Hazard Mitigation Plan: The Town of New Castle is updating our Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).  The HMP is updated every five years, with the goal to save lives and property through the reduction of hazard vulnerability. We are currently accepting public comments on the draft plan, due January 8th.
Learn more HERE.
 

Recreation and Community Spirit


Millwood Park Improvement Project: In 2019 the Town of New Castle secured a generous grant from State Senator Pete Harckham for a series of improvements to Millwood Park, including renovating and installing lights on the ballfield and improving the tennis courts. We on track to install our new lights in 2021, dependent on Con Edison.
 
Grand Opening! Town Hall Playground and Basketball Court: On Thursday June 30th the Town hosted a ribbon cutting and recognition ceremony for our new Town Hall Inclusive Playground and Basketball Court. This project was 20 years in the making, and it was an honor to inherit this particular project from my predecessor former Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein. I am pleased to report that we were able to see this through to its successful completion – on time, and under budget!

Drive-in Movies! The Town Board authorized four drive-in movies in the South Lot of the Chappaqua Train Station. The drive-in movies were created to take the place of our traditional summer concerts, which were cancelled due to COVID-19.
 
Memorial Day and September 11th Virtual Ceremonies: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town held our Memorial Day and September 11th memorial ceremonies virtually this year, but with no less solemnity, as we gathered together to honor and remember those we lost in service to our country, on Memorial Day, and on 9/11 and in the aftermath of the tragic events of that day. Special thanks to New Castle Community Media Center who produced these one-of-a-kind events!

September 11th Memorial Committee: The Town Board approved a resolution to create a September 11th Memorial Committee to commemorate the 20th anniversary in 2021 of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
 

Municipal Management


Census 2020 – Make Us Count: The New Castle Census Complete Count Committee was formed to assist the Town in ensuring a full and complete count for the 2020 Census. New Castle residents did an outstanding job! Ten years ago our response rate was 77.3%. This year we had a response rate of 82.4%, which was the third highest of any Westchester municipality. 
 
2020 Budget: This year the Town Board instituted quarterly budget updates from Town Comptroller Rob Deary. Of course, during the pandemic, there has been much to discuss in 2020! With guidance and leadership from Comptroller Deary, the Town Board has been deeply engaged in continually reviewing the Town’s budget to determine how revenues and expenditures were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town entered the pandemic in a fortunate position relative to other municipalities and our finances have remained strong. Through a combination of higher than anticipated revenue sources (sales and mortgage tax) as well as town-wide cost saving measures, the Town was able to reduce the projected net loss to approximately $233,421. This is a truly remarkable feat, and I commend Town Administrator Jill Shapiro and Comptroller Deary for their tireless efforts.
 
2021 Adopted Budget: With an appreciation for the financial impacts of COVID-19 on New Castle residents, the Town Board provided clear direction regarding the 2021 budget: the Town must continue to provide top-notch, high-quality municipal services without increasing taxes. Despite the unique challenges presented by the pandemic, I am pleased to report that the 2021 adopted budget includes a 0% increase in the general & highway tax levy. Our financial plan is modest, conservative, and focused on continuing to deliver excellent services to our residents. 
 

Thank You!


This was a year unlike any other, and I have many colleagues to thank for their service and friendship: 
  • My colleagues on the Town Board, Councilmembers Lisa Katz, Lauren Levin, Jason Lichtenthal, and Councilmember-elect Lori Morton. A special thank you to Deputy Supervisor Jeremy Saland, who stepped up in countless ways to support me this year.
  • Town Administrator Jill Shapiro and Deputy Town Administrator and Comptroller Rob Deary.
  • Town Attorneys Nick Ward-Willis and Ed Phillips from Keane and Beane.
  • New Castle Police Department led by Chief James Carroll.
  • Department of Public Works under the leadership of retired Commissioner Gerry Moershell and incoming Commissioner Bart Carey.
  • Department of Recreation and Parks Superintendent Ike Kuzio.
  • Development Department under the direction of Director of Planning Sabrina Charney-Hull & Town Engineer Bob Cioli. 
  • Office of the Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes Christina Papes and the Office of the Town Assessor Josh Herman.
  • Justice Court with Judge Douglas Kraus and Judge Noah Sorkin presiding. 
  • New Castle Community Media Center Executive Director Carrie Krams and President Lyle Anderson – thank you for publishing all of the newsletters, maintaining our website, and hosting and producing thousands of hours of Zoom meetings in 2020. Where would we be without you?!
  • Town of New Castle Volunteer Boards and Commissions – over 200 community members who volunteer their time on over two dozen boards and commissions. There are simply too many to name individually but thank you all! You are the muscle behind these accomplishments, the ones proposing new policies and programs, and making this Town a better place.
  • Our volunteer first responders from Chappaqua Fire Department, Millwood Fire, Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps. I salute your service to the community and thank you for all that you did in 2020 to keep our community healthy and safe!

Happy New Year


Our New Year’s celebrations are smaller this year, and for some of us the overwhelming sentiment is not one of joy but simply relief. I am grateful for our community, which has come together time and again this year to support one another and to lift each other up. And I am especially grateful for the “helpers” – the grocery store workers, first responders, teachers, health care workers, and more – who continue to make sacrifices to support our community during this pandemic. 2020 is in the books, and we can be proud of how our community responded during this unprecedented year. Happy New Year…here’s to a better 2021!

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