Here's a look at what happened at Tuesday night's Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees regular meeting.
Morse After-School Program Could Restart
The majority of the Tuesday night meeting was dedicated to the Morse after-school program, which has pitted the against the Village government, the program is losing money.
Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray started out the discussion by saying the Parks and Recreation Committee was working on ways to reinstate the program. Reinstatement would occur on two conditions: there be a new fee structure for the program that would make it cost-neutral, and commitments from parents that would ensure the program is fully enrolled.
If those conditions are met, the Morse after-school program could be back this fall.
"We need this resolved by next week," Wray said. "We also need assurances and proof that it will be well managed."
Despite the offer, many people in the audience spoke in support of the program, and against the board's original decision to leave it unfunded.
"I haven't heard anything about the Board's accountability for how this was handled," said Dan Scott, who ran for Mayor earlier this year. "Families weren't noticed. Don't you think there is an apology owed to those families?"
Some trustees admitted there were flaws, but that most of the flaws occurred due to the fact that the program wasn't managed appropriately.
"There were some flaws in the process, there were flaws with procedures, with parents dropping out of the program, now it requires new set of procedures and new oversight," said Trustee Karin Wompa. "We are correcting something that wasn't handled 100 percent correctly."
Other parents in the crowd who have children or grandchildren in the program again voiced their support of reinstatement, and restated their willingness to pay more to keep the program alive.
Board Pressed on Beautifying Downtown
Frank Occhipinti, owner of Viani Pizza on Cortlandt Street, asked the board about beautification projects in the inner Village.
He noted that the Village was beginning to spruce-up tree wells on Beekman Avenue, and had a program to refurbish building facades on Beekman, but said that those projects weren't happening where they were most needed.
"I don't see anything happening around my business or on Cortlandt Street," he said. "If I have to be an advocate for the downtown area, I will be."
Trustee Wompa noted that the Village had grants for beautifying Beekman Avenue, but that those funds couldn't be spent in other parts of the Village. She said that using grant money on Beekman could free up additional funds to support inner-Village projects. However, Occhipinti balked at that notion, saying that he had heard many promises that weren't followed up on. He said the downtown area needed more attention.
"It's a dense area, there are a lot of people, a lot of apartments and a lot of garbage," he said. "It needs to be addressed better."
Former Village Employee Raises Concerns About Healthcare Payouts
Irene Amato, who worked for the Village for decades, questioned why her health benefits were being reduced by the Village.
"Now you are telling us we have to pay part of it? We worked for a pittance, we did everything for this Village," she said. "When we retired we were told we would get a pension, plus hospitalization. We're old, we can't be hit by this now."
The Village had been paying for the entirety of the health benefits for five former Village employees. The practice was questioned by the Village's auditor, which noted that the practice is not allowed under state law. Instead, retirees will have to pay for part of their health coverage.
Mayor Wray said the changes to health coverage was being discussed with each former employee individually.
"We paid more than we are required to, which isn't allowed under State Law," he said.
Cortlandt Street Bakery Asks for Help
Representatives from the Arthur Avenue Baking Company asked for help in correcting an issue they are having with their Cortlandt Street location.
Walter Galiano, the President of the company, said that tight parking on the street was making it impossible for his delivery trucks to pull into the factory garage. Apparently, this has already caused two accidents.
Galiano asked for the board to do something to rectify the situation, possibly by removing a metered parking space.
"Our trucks can't make a left hand turn into the garage," he said. "We can't double park to load because then we're blocking Cortlandt Street."
Mayor Wray said it wouldn't be appropriate for trustees to comment on the issue, since the request is being considered by the Planning Board.
Other Public Comments
Lawrence Avenue resident Don Caetano spoke at length about taxpayers "crying about taxes being too high".
He said the Village got nothing from Mount Pleasant, which was a problem. He also said there should be a fundraiser to raise money for the Morse after-school program. But he criticized people who constantly talked about being over taxed.
"If you don't want to live here, sell your house," he said.
Trustee Barbara Carr noted that the Friends of Horan's Landing will be hosting a free movie night in the park on August 13. Raiders of the Lost Ark will be shown.
Trustee Bruce Campbell said that the Village will be sending out a Request for Proposals sometime in the future to start a new community television station with Tarrytown.
Deputy Mayor Tom Capossela said that the Senior Center and Village Hall are being used as cooling centers in case of extreme heat.
Trustee Wompa said that residents should contact Congresswoman Nita Lowey to express their support of the local Sleepy Hollow post office, which could close after a review .
Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said that the Community Development Block Grant program - which the Village uses to pay for many of its major capital projects – is in danger of being discontinued since Westchester County is in a dispute with the Federal Government over the .
The Village had recently submitted seven projects for CDBG funding consideration.
"It would be an incredible loss to this Village," Giaccio said.
Trustees tabled two resolutions, one approving pay increases for non-union staff, and another about adjusting water rates in the village.
Trustees approved creating three new handicapped parking spaces at 152 Cortlandt Street, 160 Beekman Avenue and 167 Beekman Avenue.
Trustees approved a number volunteer appointments to the Sleepy Hollow Fire Department and Ambulance Corps.