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November 23, 2011
Next week I plan to get back to some of the more substantive issues facing the Village: why we gave up our assessing authority to Greenburgh, waterfront rezoning and, of course, the budget. This week, I would like to take the time to be thankful for all the great people and places in Irvington.

Thank You

First, I am very thankful for all the volunteers who donate so many hours to our Village.  I will refrain from mentioning specific groups for fear of omitting someone, but it is not overstating it to say our Village could not function without you.  I will mention the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Volunteer Fire Department as a group of people to be especially thankful for tomorrow.  That we can still get a dedicated group of people to train extensively as well as respond all hours of the day and night is truly remarkable.

I am also very thankful for the dedicated employees and managers we have in our Village.  They have managed to maintain virtually the same level of services to residents despite facing three years of cuts to their budgets and a reduction in staffing levels.  We are very lucky to have such dedicated and intelligent professionals.

When I count my blessings tomorrow, I will not forget the physical beauty found throughout our small Village.  The riverfront parks, Memorial Park, Halsey’s Pond, the Irvington Woods trail system, even a simple drive down Main Street, all remind me how lucky I am to be here in Irvington.

Lastly, I am thankful for my Village Board of Trustees.  While we do not always agree on issues great or small, the debates are respectful, intelligent and productive.  I know the other four village trustees have the best interests of the Village in mind when they make decisions and it is a pleasure to work with all of them.

Here Come the Holidays

This Friday will mark the unofficial start of the holiday “buying season.”  While I cannot understand why anyone would want to deal with the crowds and insanity of going to the mall on Friday, I do understand the desire to get the shopping part of holiday preparations out of the way early.  With that in mind, I will ask you to consider shopping locally in Irvington this Saturday on “Small Business Saturday.”  While you may not be able to get everything on your list, I think you will be surprised with the diversity of the offerings on Main Street. I suggest you check out the website of the Irvington Chamber of Commerce to plan your outing: or just take a leisurely stroll up and down Main Street.

The Chamber is already very busy planning this year’s “Holiday Happening” that will be on Saturday December 3rd.  The event, including sidewalk sales and great shopping specials, will take place up and down Main Street all day.  In addition, the Irvington PTSA will run their “Winter Festival” at the Main Street School from noon to 3pm.  Stop by to decorate a gingerbread house, buy a book at the book fair or just sip some hot chocolate.  The festivities culminate with the annual lighting of the Holiday Tree at the I.K. Benjamin Recreation Center on Main Street at 5pm.  Just before the lighting we will be announcing the winner of the “Dress Your Window for the Holidays” Contest being run by the Chamber of Commerce.  Unfortunately we are still short on funding for the “holiday greening” so the Village’s part of the decorations will be a little more sparse this year.  If you are interested in making a donation or sponsoring the greening, please contact Recreation Superintendent Joe Archino at e-mail.   No matter how you look at it, Main Street will be hopping on December 3rd and throughout the holiday season.

Please note that Village offices are closed tomorrow and Friday and there is no garbage pickup until next week.  

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Brian Smith, Mayor
(646) 265-3950 (Cell)