Column: Let’s master this plan

belmontAs I complete my first term as your mayor, I would like to bring your attention to our master plan. Since I came into office, the Town Council has worked very hard in reviewing and amending multiple iterations of the draft plan. The master plan serves as a guide for all decision-makers, regarding the future development of the Town/Village of Harrison. It contains descriptions and documents that reflect Harrison’s major geographical areas. The plan provides a framework for preserving the quality of our community, thereby ensuring its unique character, encouraging investment and promoting desired change.

At the Dec. 19 Town Council meeting, the final draft plan will be placed on the agenda for adoption. The link to the draft master plan is on the town website at www.harrison-ny.gov and I encourage everyone to take a look.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Harrison’s library director, Galina Chernikh, on receiving the first Westchester Library System Trustee Award. This honor was given to Ms. Chernikh in recognition of her efforts to extend library services to many diverse populations. WLS is the cooperative system that serves all public libraries in Westchester County. This acknowledgement is a wonderful reflection of what our community has to offer its residents.

On a related note, in an effort to raise money for the improvements to the Harrison Downtown Public Library, I would like to take this time to ask for your support. The Harrison Public Library Foundation, a non-profit organization, is currently raising funds for this capital improvement project. Community assistance for the renovation of Harrison’s library building will mean that Harrison will enjoy the benefits of a new and improved facility for years to come.

I am encouraging all residents to make a generous donation as the Town Council and the foundation make every effort to reach our objectives. Your support will allow for the improvement of the library’s physical space, the development of worthwhile initiatives and will create a lasting impression for Harrison. You can contribute by sending a check, made out to the Harrison Public Library Foundation, to PO Box 21, Harrison, NY 10528 or by visiting www.HPLF.org. With your commitment and generosity, the possibilities are endless.

Congratulations are in order for Morgan Stanley. The financial institution, headquartered in Purchase, has completed a solar facility that will offset approximately 5 percent of the building’s total electricity use and up to 25 percent of its use during peak production. Recently, the Westchester campus hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and brunch to celebrate this event. I look forward to Morgan Stanley’s continued success in conserving energy and hope that other local corporations develop green initiatives, as well.

Harrison is a wonderful place to begin your holiday shopping. Locally owned shops and restaurants offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere and it’s a great spot to get together with neighbors and friends as you get ready for the season’s celebrations. While making your way through your shopping list, be sure to drop in to local establishments and join in the festive mood.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Westchester County Department of Senior Services annual Senior Hall of Fame Awards. This award is a wonderful way to honor local citizens who give so much to our community. I would like to acknowledge the following honorees: Sister St. John Delany of White Plains, Dr. Maria A. Pici of West Harrison and Rocco Troiano. Their consistent generosity is tremendously valuable and I’m glad that I was able to attend this lovely ceremony.

In closing, curbside leaf collection will be in effect through Dec. 13. At that time, the Highway Department will make a final curbside collection in each neighborhood, after which residents must place any additional leaves in brown bags for collection by the Sanitation Department. At present, most leaves are piled on the roadside, thereby narrowing the passage, so please drive cautiously as we continue to clear our municipal roadways.