FROM THE MAYOR’S OFFICE: A Season of Gratitude

 The past year and a half has been a test on so many levels. The Covid-19 crisis has touched our lives, changed our lives. Through it all came the clear examples of resilience of the human spirit. I am very proud of the men and women who serve our community as municipal employees. In the darker days of the pandemic, they clearly showed their dedication to our constituents.

When it was clear that this threat was going to possibly shut down businesses, our staff was able to coordinate with the Chamber to plan an immediate meeting with merchants to discuss the ramifications of closing for a period of time. This was the first and last meeting we had in person, as social distancing became the important norm it was followed by a series of Zoom meetings to forward valuable information or to discuss strategies for survival. A meeting was organized with Orange County Economic Development and Tourism and a specific meeting was set up with our local restaurants which prompted street closure and outdoor dining. What I describe in a few sentences was a huge administrative undertaking that needed to be nimble, inclusive, and correct. I commend the Village Clerk and staff for that consistent outreach and especially the expedient posting of vital information to the public.

The idea of a street closure and outdoor dining seems pretty simple on the surface but the reality of connecting the dots of the NYSDOT and the State Liquor Authority was sometimes mind numbing. The Clerk and staff were up for the challenge. So too, our Department of Public Works were ready for whatever was to come their way. This included ensuring that even during the period that businesses were closed, that all the signs of a well maintained community were upheld and that even with split shifts, that seasonal work was accomplished. Creating a safe environment for an outdoor dining experience three evenings a week for 4 months took coordination from the Clerk’s Office, our DPW and the Code Enforcement Department with our local restaurants.

I write this because in the busy throes of life I wanted to record an effort that was extraordinary and proved a lifeline to many small businesses. It is on the level of Local Government that we see interaction, sharing and creativity. During the pandemic this became very clear. For this, I’m very proud and grateful to the men and women who quietly and efficiently serve our residents and business community not only in times of difficulty, but every day.

Thank you!