Last night (April 6), I was truly appalled by a “community meeting” in which Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity and her (Ossining) Village Board (“OVB”) discussed a proposed Downtown Redevelopment Working Committee (“DRWC”), the membership of which the OVB will handpick.Composition notwithstanding, the work of the DRWC is to issue a report in late July to propose how the downtown Ossining Historical District (“OHD”) is to be redeveloped.
Meanwhile, the ongoing plan calls for the bulldozers to be run to destroy the historic five-corner intersection (at Spring Street and Main Street) in the OHD in favor of a roundabout – which in itself would limit the scope of the DRWC’s options.
A show of hands of the roughly 75 people in the room showed that some 90% opposed construction of a roundabout (consistent with virtually every assessment of public will, of the people of Ossining, that I have seen).
I spoke with Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity following that “community meeting” and again (as I had in public session) pointed out that there is no reason not to pull the proposed roundabout until at least the DRWC had done its work, and that she should otherwise place it on the November ballot.
The Mayor responded, “I already know how the people will vote.” She continued, “I am in favor of a roundabout and know the citizens of Ossining would vote against it, but am assured that every place a roundabout has been installed, the people eventually love it.”
“I already know how the people will vote.” [In other words] So, I’d rather not allow them to do so. With all due respect Madam Mayor, that’s called “Oligarchy” – and I for one do not intend that to stand – nor should anyone who believes in a Democracy.
Steven Felsenfeld, Ossining, NY