Irvington Mayor Brian Smith writes a semi-regular email colum and has allowed us to republish it here. Send your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Another quick update of the important issues around the Village: Due to the arrival of cool weather, the village, in conjunction with the Irvington School District, is opening a warming shelter in the Main Street School gymnasium. The shelter will be operating daily starting Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice. There will be heat, tables, chairs and a place to charge devices. Residents are encouraged to park in the Main Street School parking lot and enter the gymnasium from the Ferris Street entrance. Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be supervised. No indoor sports will be allowed. Please bring board games to occupy time. Bathrooms are available but no shower facilities. Food is available at various establishments on Main Street. At this time, there is no WiFi access at the shelter. Our state of emergency has been downgraded to a limited state of emergency effective 5 p m [Thursday.] Residents are urged to use caution as there are still wires and trees down as well as non-functioning traffic signals and street lights. Voting is still expected to take place at your regular polling place on Nov. 6. Please visit the Westchester County Board of Elections (www.westchestergov.com/boe) for up-to-date information. The Halloween block party is still on as scheduled, for Friday in front of the Fire House on Main Street from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please stop by for great fun, music and candy. All Recreation programs are canceled through Friday. We sustained significant damage in all of our parks. All parks remain closed until further notice. All village and school officials are working very hard to get power restored to allow our schools to re-open on Monday. Please stay tuned for further announcements from the schools on the status for Monday. A new concern facing all of us is a shortage of gasoline. There are macro issues like damage to regional refineries as well as tankers having difficulty getting to New Jersey ports as well as micro issues like power outages at gas stations. Whatever the reasons, gasoline is becoming scarce. Both New York State and Westchester County officials are aware of the issues and are working on a long-term solution. In the short term, we ask that everyone conserve gas and limit travel. Village and school officials are working on a conservation plan for its vehicles. Con Edison has announced that power will be restored throughout Westchester by Nov. 9. While we will likely have some residents that are without power until that date, we are all working very closely with Con Edison to bring power back to our residents sooner. I am happy to report that limited restoration work has commenced in the village and we are focusing on key areas like the schools and polling places. However, it is important that residents prepare for an extended time without power. Tonight I would like to thank all the village employees and volunteers who are working so hard during this recovery effort. We have had tremendous leadership from Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer as well as the Department Heads: DPW Superintendent Greg Nilsson, Police Chief Michael Cerone, Water Department Superintendent James Englishby, Fire Chief James Ruffler, Building Inspector Ed Marron, Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Jeselnik, Recreation Department Superintendent Joe Archino and our Library staff led by Library Director Pam Strachan. I have listened with pride as I have heard our officials fighting for the residents of Irvington on the various municipal calls with Westchester County and Con Edison and in the streets with the field workers. All of the DPW workers and police officers have put in a tremendous amount of hours under difficult circumstances. When our first desire is to be home taking care of our families, these tremendous individuals have been in Irvington, helping to get our lives back as close to normal as possible. I cannot thank them enough and I know our residents also feel a great appreciation to our employees. Lastly, I have been very impressed, but not surprised, at all the wonderful stories I am hearing from residents and business owners. From the Cupcake Kitchen offering free WiFi and letting customers linger over empty cups of coffee to numerous offers residents of hot showers and electricity to Jimmy’s Softserve offering his ice cream truck’s generator to Live Wire Security's offer for a charging station, I have been reminded again and again why we all love our little village so much. We will come out of this challenger better, closer as neighbors and hopefully smarter. I will add that I hope we are all back to normal soon as well! As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. Brian C. Smith, Mayor Village of Irvington