Project Forward! – A Community Dialogue

The Town of Ossining announced the launch of Project Forward!, a community dialogue on modernization. Through resident feedback, the Town hopes to further the discussion of possible administrative consolidation and reorganization. Launched in October, the project was developed through a grant awarded by New York State’s Municipal Restructuring Fund (MRF).

The MRF was designed to encourage municipalities to consider strategies to streamline services in order to reduce the burden on local taxpayers. The Town of Ossining was awarded a $22,445 grant from the MRF in early 2018 to further study modernization concepts outlined in the grant, and to elicit community reaction.

The first phase of this discussion between the Town and the community focuses solely on the Town of Ossining’s services, and not those of either the Village of Ossining or the Village of Briarcliff Manor. Conversation will center on two specific modernization options that would eliminate three elected positions and reorganize their respective departments. These changes would have the net effect of reducing the Town’s General Fund and Town Outside of Village expenditures.

The goal of Project Forward! is to open a conversation with the community on these concepts. The Town has developed a website to share information about the concepts (projectforwardtoo.com) and has sent postcards and emails to Town residents to familiarize them with the plans and to solicit community feedback through an opt-in survey. The Town will also schedule public dialogues on the concepts.

“The feedback of our neighbors will prove invaluable in determining whether any sort of municipal consolidation efforts might be feasible, because ultimately, it is up to our voters,” said Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg. “The Town Board is eager to engage our residents in this process.”

In the coming months, River Journal will report on the outcome of the community survey and the progress of the Project Forward initiative.

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