Thanks to the many in the community who, without looking for mention, are taking time away every day from their families, often putting themselves in danger’s way, to protect our community or to help a stranger. So a shout out to just a few:
The volunteers of the Bedford Fire Department, the Bedford Hills Fire Department, the Katonah Fire Department and the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps
The staff, volunteers and board members at the Community Center of Northern Westchester
Neighbor’s Link for helping us help the Latino community in Bedford
The Bedford Police Department, the Highway Department, the Water Department, the Building Department, our Personnel Director, the Finance Department, the Town Clerk, the Recreation and Parks Department, the Planning Department, the Assessor and Tax Receiver, the Justice Court and my colleagues on the Town Board, all of whom are working away, trying not only to help keep essential services going, but also to help the town resume operations so that people can get their building permits, file their assessment exemption applications, get necessary
certificates, and receive all the available services that contribute to a functioning town.
And finally, thank you, the community, for taking care of yourselves and for following appropriate measures to keep the virus from spreading. This is the best possible gift you can give to the community we all love.
While giving thanks: Yesterday, I mentioned an act of kindness by residents of Katonah Ridge in collecting and donating food and delivering it to the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Bedford 2020 Executive Director Midge Iorio read my update and so rightly pointed out that acts of kindness abound throughout the community. So she suggested that tonight’s shout out is to ShopRite in Bedford Hills: “I also want to point out (if you are looking to highlight other acts of kindness) that the people who work at ShopRite in Bedford Hills are my new heroes. They have been AMAZING through these tough times. Despite many empty shelves, VERY LONG hours, several days in a row of serving long lines of customers — some of whom are frustrated, scared and impatient — the ShopRite staff has remained patient, helpful, kind and incredibly flexible, adapting daily to the changes in this situation to do the best they can to meet the needs of our community. And with a smile. On top of that, ShopRite has been donating a lot of food to the Community Center, AND, they have provided a place in the store where shoppers can purchase and leave a big of groceries for Community Center clients.”
There are many more out there – I know there are . . .So yes, this shout out is to encourage others to let us know about the love and caring for others they’ve witnessed since this unprecedented crisis began. Let me know and I’ll put it in tomorrow’s update!
Thursday March 26: Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19
Please join me for a virtual Town Hall (via Zoom) this Thursday, March 26 at 7:30 PM, the format for which will be an update which I will provide, followed by State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assembly Member David Buchwald and County Legislator Kitley Covill.
Join A Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 867 918 9653
Click “JOIN A MEETING” and then enter the required ID and password
All meetings are also livestreamed on our website: bedfordny.gov
Click “Town Meetings and Agendas”
then “Town Board Meetings”
look for the livestream button
Next Week – Virtual Town Hall
Please check back.
Update from Washington:
We all are anxiously awaiting the relief package being negotiated in the Senate. With New York City and Westchester at the epicenter of
the COVID-19 crisis, it is enormously important to those thrown out of work, local businesses struggling to survive, hospitals devastated by the impact, just to cite a few to get relief. The entire prospect for recovery hinges on it. It is a near certainty that it is not a question of whether there will be a massive package, but only when. It is a near certainty that it will include aid to small businesses, including emergency loans if they keep their workers. We are intent on helping our small businesses here in Bedford.
Council Member Kate Galligan already is at work virtually meeting with members of the business community in each of our hamlets. We spoke today about steps the Town might take to assist when the federal government adopts the measure.
As the plan takes shape, we will apprise the community.
Update from the State and County:
1. NYS Emotional Support Hotline New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
2. Outpouring of Volunteer Healthcare Workers 40,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up to volunteer to work as part of the state’s surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Assembly Member David Buchwald Proposed Small Business, Non-Profit Loan Program. David Buchwald announced today legislation: “To assist New York’s small businesses and nonprofits during this pandemic, I am sponsoring legislation to have New York State provide them with no-interest loans of up to $75,000. There will be no interest charged until at least 270 days after the coronavirus pandemic is over.”
4. County Confirmed Cases County Executive George Latimer reported to us in a municipal elected conference this afternoon that Westchester cases has shot up to 4691, significantly up from 798 last week. He cautioned that the actual number of individuals who are infected with the virus is likely very much higher due to the shortage of testing sites and tests. Drive through testing still isn’t up and running.
5. Are Landscapers “Essential Services” – Yes We’re Told I also learned in this afternoon’s conference call that NYS deems Landscapers as essential services.
Update from the Town:
Bedford Cases – up one from yesterday to 10
On a Brighter Note:
Continuing to Move Ahead on Getting the Town Back To Work
My thanks to my outstanding department heads, staff and attorney Eric Gordon of Keane & Beane (who has been working literally night
and day for us) in working through the complex and intricate details of transforming so much of our operations to a virtual and paperless platform. They’ve cut through notice requirements, a workaround to feed a Zoom virtual meeting through the equipment that produces our livestreamed webcast, lightning fast training for our board chairs on virtual streaming platform (my thanks to Planning Board Chair Deidre Courtney-Batson for embracing and promoting it).
How Are We Operating? How Can We Help You?
I asked each of my department heads to give a brief update on how you can get things done with each of their departments in this new “norm”. So here’s what they put together on a moment’s notice.
Recreation and Parks
Getting Back to Work
So in making the transformation, there surely will be missteps and we’ll make some mistakes,
but here’s what we’ve scheduled thus far:
Upcoming Virtual Meetings
Recycling Center Open
(But Social Distancing)
Primarily in recognition of senior citizens with permits to utilize the Recycling Center for refusal disposal, we are keeping open the
Recycling Center with its regular hours.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8am to 3pm.
343 Railroad Avenue
Bedford Hills, NY 10507
We wish to continue to keep it open but social distancing must be observed. If any problems arise, then we will need to close the facility.
SO STAY WELL, STAY HOME IF YOU CAN – WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!