Ossining’s newly appointed Town Board member Jennifer Fields-Tawil brings a background in politics, government, and investigations to her new position.
Fields-Tawil, a member of the Ossining Town Democratic Committee, currently is district office manager for state Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. She formerly worked as an investigator for government agencies and private firms.
Her appointment runs through the end of 2022; the remaining three years of the four-year term will be on the ballot in November. She has already received her party’s endorsement to seek the rest of the term. Town Board members are paid $12,206 annually.
Here’s a Q&A with the new Town Board member — the only one of the five officials who lives outside the Village of Ossining.
River Journal: Tell me a little bit about your background.
Jennifer Fields-Tawil: I moved to Ossining from New York City in 2003. I am married and have two teenage children. I graduated from Bayside High School in Queens, obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and completed three years of study working towards a master of public administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
RJ: You’ve been appointed specifically because you live outside Ossining village. As the sole representative of the unincorporated part of town, what will your focus or priorities be?
Jennifer Fields-Tawil: In addition to residing in the unincorporated area, I am a condominium owner and I plan to represent both constituencies. My initial focus will be to ensure that any future development be appropriate for the location and that the residents of the area have a say in the decision making.
RJ: What led you to step away from your career as an investigator to join Assemblywoman Galef’s staff?
Fields-Tawil: At the time, I was in the process of closing my own investigation business, Synergy Investigative Solutions, LLC. I was having a difficult time finding another local investigative position that would fit within my family’s needs. As a result of my activity in the Ossining Town Democratic Committee, I learned that the office had a vacancy and applied. It has been a wonderful experience for more than seven years.
RJ: Can you provide a brief description of your experience as an investigator?
Fields-Tawil: It was an incredible and exciting time of my life that challenged everything one would think a 5-foot-tall Jewish woman should do as their career. I even had the opportunity to work undercover and go on an early morning raid with the FBI. Much of my work involved regulating certain industries to keep out the influence of organized crime. Through the New York City Department of Investigation, I was trained as a peace officer and carried a firearm.
RJ: How will your background as an investigator benefit town taxpayers now that you’re on the Town Board?
Fields-Tawil: I tend to question everything and I do not make decisions without careful contemplation and a full review of all the facts.
RJ: What are your plans after Galef retires at the end of the year? Would you potentially join Dana Levenberg’s staff should she be elected to take Galef’s place?
Fields-Tawil: The future is full of possibilities.
RJ: Name one thing in particular that you love about living in Ossining.
Fields-Tawil: I absolutely love the Friday night concerts down at Louis Engel Park.