MAYOR OF NEW ROCHELLE

NOAM BRAMSON

Leadership That’s Working… For All Of Us.

New Rochelle is on a roll, with the lowest crime rate in generations, the best bond rating in 80 years, major new investments in roads, parks and infrastructure, a comprehensive focus on our environment, and the most ambitious downtown development in the city’s history.  Noam Bramson’s progressive, responsible, and effective leadership is working . . . for all of us.

Featured News

One Year of COVID – Personal Reflections

Exactly one year ago today, on the morning of March 3, 2020, my cell phone buzzed with a call from a colleague in New York City government.  “What’s up?” I asked.  In a subdued, slightly stunned tone, she delivered the news: a New Rochelle resident, who worked in Manhattan, had tested positive for coronavirus.  Until that moment, the virus had seemed a remote problem.  Suddenly it was here.  In New Rochelle.  And just like that, our little corner of the world changed dramatically . . . with the rest of American soon to follow.

Since then, what was once unimaginable has settled into routine.  We’ve gotten used to keeping our distance and wearing masks, made the shift to virtual meetings and social engagements, and become sophisticated consumers of epidemiological data and public health guidance.  We have even learned to carry on, most of us, in the face of a staggering, soul-crushing death toll: 515,710 and counting, too big to grasp.

So it can be difficult now to recall the chaotic and frightening quality of those first days, when everything was still unfamiliar.  The precautionary quarantine of hundreds of families, the creation of the “containment zone,” the arrival of the National Guard, the shortages of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, the frantic scramble for tests, the swirling uncertainties about schooling, the abrupt closure of businesses, the chilling need for mobile morgues.  Real life playing out like the script of an apocalyptic movie.  And most surreal and improbable of all: playing out here in our own hometown, thrust into the spotlight, the first place in the nation to confront a community outbreak.

This one-year anniversary is prompting many people to take stock.  The following is my small contribution to the larger, communal exercise of sorting out and recording remembrances, as we piece together from our different vantage points the experience and meaning of the past year, and then consider our path forward.  My dominant feeling is one of gratitude for the things we all got right together, but I am compelled to begin first with a critical assessment of what I got wrong.

At the pandemic’s onset, I simultaneously overestimated and underestimated the challenge, showing both too much and too little imagination.

What if essential supply chains break down?  What if there are food riots?  What if the virus sweeps through our essential workforce?  These were the sorts of dark questions that literally kept me awake at night as the crisis began — fears about local civic breakdown that were reinforced by news from beyond our municipal borders, where, for a while, everything seemed to be in free fall: the stock market collapsing, a second great depression looming, hospitals on the cusp of being overwhelmed.  As awful as the past year has been, we can thank goodness none of the worst-case scenarios came to pass.  Civil society held.

But I also figured, in a kind of muddled contradiction, that we’d get back to normal(ish) in a matter of weeks, as the virus somehow burned itself out. The sheer duration of the pandemic — its stubborn persistence, its capacity to alter life fundamentally, for month upon month, stretching now into a year and beyond — was simply beyond my comprehension.

For the most part, these sorts of private misperceptions didn’t manifest in public statements, but there were unfortunate exceptions.  I cringe when I think of a press event that the County Executive and I held on March 5th to urge residents to dine out at local restaurants.  Trying to set an example of confidence in the face of crisis, we gathered around packed tables, all maskless, sharing dishes and conversation, as the cameras rolled.  “If you’re healthy, carry on with your life,” was our basic message.  This advice aged poorly, to put it mildly.

The “containment zone” is another instructive example of policy that looks dubious in hindsight.  It was intended to prevent the virus from spreading out of its presumed toehold in the Wykagyl neighborhood, as though we were dealing with an isolated kitchen fire that could be knocked down with a hand extinguisher.  We know now that there were already some 10,000 other cases in the New York area, circulating without detection, so any measure focused specifically on New Rochelle had no chance whatsoever of success; the fire was already way past the kitchen, raging through the walls and ducts.  Sure enough, within a week, all of our local restrictions were overtaken and exceeded by Statewide standards.

An anecdote I haven’t previously shared illustrates the improvisational quality of those early days and of the “containment zone” in particular.  The State first suggested an area with a two-mile radius.  We pointed out that this would sweep in many institutions quite removed from the presumed outbreak area, a wider net than the State wanted.  Okay, came the response, what about one mile?  Equally arbitrary, but maybe better.  This back-and-forth was up against the clock — with a press conference from the Governor only minutes away.  The City’s planners, who would ordinarily be the right folks for any geographic analysis, were out of the office at an event, so I sat at my desk, with a ruler, a pencil, and a map of New Rochelle, scribbling a rough circle, trying feverishly to figure out what would fall within the new boundary.  Was Ward School in or out?  How about Barnard?  And then time was up.  There was the Governor on TV, announcing the containment zone.  In the hours and days to follow, we would all defend the policy, including me at the City’s own press conference that same afternoon, the most pressure-filled experience of my entire service as Mayor.  I still believe strongly that it was important for those of us in leadership positions to speak with a clear, consistent, confident voice — plus, in fairness, the idea of restricting large gatherings had real merit, and the details got straightened out soon enough.  But at the moment of the announcement, I remember looking down at my ridiculous, crudely-drawn diagram, and thinking: this is nuts.

Fortunately, with time, knowledge, and experience, decision-making improved, and the State and County proved to be focused and effective crisis managers.  I paid frequent visits to the de facto command center at 145 Huguenot Street, where I observed sleepless professionals applying themselves with the utmost intensity to an emergent and expanding challenge of overwhelming dimensions, often surviving, as I semi-joked to a reporter, only on coffee, M&Ms, and adrenaline, and giving the sense, at once alarming and reassuring, that the weight and attention of a fully mobilized government was bent entirely on our little city.  Their early and successful efforts, evident in accomplishments like the quick standing-up of the Glen Island testing center, deserve to be remembered with admiration.

For its part, the City, lacking a public health apparatus, played more of a supporting role, but I think we played it well — public communications that were informative and reassuring, appearances on national and international media that demonstrated competence and resisted the false narrative of New Rochelle as plague ship, guidance for residents sometimes bewildered by fast-changing circumstances and requirements, and constant dialogue with regional authorities and hospital administrators to provide the best understanding of local conditions, as well as advocacy for local needs.

Most importantly, initial errors were counterbalanced by something outside the direction of any individual leader: the character of our community as a whole.  And here is where the story takes a really positive turn.  Not-for-profit agencies extending themselves beyond precedent to address human needs, front-line health care workers and First Responders bearing the brunt of the crisis in heroic fashion, volunteers coming forward in impressive numbers to assist their neighbors, the house of worship at the center of the first outbreak exemplifying courage and moral leadership, developers demonstrating corporate citizenship by making significant financial contributions, entrepreneurs adjusting creatively to every obstacle and opportunity, lawn signs, banners, and ribbons displaying pride and determination.  A wave of civic energy that we are now trying to mobilize on a permanent basis through our Director of Community Engagement, a role created as a result of this crisis.  From the very beginning, I was inspired by and proud of the calm maturity with which the people of New Rochelle faced adversity and rose to the moment, never panicking, never turning on each other, earning in word and deed, when it counted most, the brand and hashtag #NewRoStrong.

New Rochelle’s time as an unusual outlier ended in a matter of weeks, as it became clear that this was no local crisis, and that every community would be impacted.  Eventually, our early distress over a few dozen cases would come to seem almost quaint in a nation with millions of cases.  And by the end of the spring, all of America would embark together on an extended, painful odyssey of ups and downs, the virus waxing and waning, restrictions coming, going, and coming again, against a backdrop of politics and science, social activism and social unrest, with every major sector of society — government, medicine, education, business — undergoing disruptive and still-unfinished changes, some of which may prove permanent.  A year like no other.  But New Rochelle will always have been first, and we can draw some grim satisfaction from the knowledge that we met our test with dignity and common purpose.

Now, today, we all find ourselves in a place much different from where we began — both better and worse.  Better in the sense that the whole infrastructure of virus detection and response is well-established, therapeutic treatments are far more effective, the sheer psychological shock of mass disruption has worn off, and, most importantly, vaccines provide true light at the end of the tunnel.  Worse in the sense that so many families are in mourning, so many businesses and livelihoods have been wrecked, and so many of the divisions and inequalities of American society have been exposed and exacerbated.  This last challenge will demand continuing attention long after the virus is finally tamed, including here in New Rochelle, where the prevalence of COVID shifted from its initial locus in the north end to more densely populated areas in the city’s center and south, a preview of the upsetting racial disparities that impact infection rates, mortality, and now vaccine access and hesitancy.

And yet, looking ahead, I feel confident that New Rochelle will recover well, particularly if we can confront these inequities with honesty and persistence.  Downtown development, a primary focus of municipal policy-making for a generation, kept going strong throughout the pandemic and shows no sign of slowing down.  The new federal Administration is likely to deliver a package of state and local relief, which will stabilize our finances.  And through it all, New Rochelle continued addressing longer-term priorities like environmental sustainability, infrastructure investment, and public safety reform, areas where we are poised to make meaningful progress.  Indeed, to borrow a term from Washington, we have an opportunity to “build back better,” incorporating lessons from our COVID experience into everything from people-oriented design of streets and open spaces, to stronger collaboration between the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, to enhanced standards for inclusive, equitable urban growth.  As a whole, New Rochelle will be alright.

As individuals, however, each of us will process and move on from the past year in different ways, easier or harder depending on the burdens carried, and it’s important to look out for each other.

For me and Catie: we feel lucky that our boys have managed distance learning without much complaint, knowing that this has been such a tough challenge for many families.  We lost Catie’s father during the course of the year (not from COVID) and our grief was compounded, like so many others’, by restrictions that limited Catie from being with him as much as she wanted in his final days, and yet we are also grateful that our mothers made it through without falling ill.  And we are thankful for the nurturing comfort that comes with deep connection to a community.

If you and your family have been fortunate enough to escape the worst of the pandemic, I hope you have acquired through this year a fuller appreciation for life’s blessings.  If you have been touched by loss, then I hope the support and love of friends and neighbors has brought healing.  And if the sheer weight of isolation and uncertainty has been almost too much to bear, then I hope the prospect of better days, now finally in sight, will sustain you until those days come at last.

To help commemorate New Rochelle’s COVID experience and our place in the larger national story, the City invited residents and institutions to submit photos from the past year.  Many of these images are powerful — far more meaningful than any words I can muster — so please take a look at a sampling here.  This video from the Journal News is also well worth viewing.

In addition, Westchester County is sponsoring a remembrance at 11:00am today, followed by a moment of silence at noon, and then a region-wide clap for health care workers at 7:00pm tonight.  Let’s join these observances.

Grief and pride, weariness and determination — a strange blend of emotions, befitting a strange time.  May this pandemic year find its rightful place in lasting memory, and may we together make our way to a new year of recovery, health, love, and joy.

A New Day

I stayed home yesterday to watch the inauguration with my family.  Possibly a mistake, as I found myself repeatedly breaking down in tears, much to the kids’ displeasure and disgust.  At first, they made fun of me, but eventually that got old, and their teasing tapered off into exasperated eye-rolling.  Still, I stand by my emotion!

Beyond the positive new policy direction on climate change, immigration, international engagement, racial justice, and more, and beyond the long-overdue prospect of a competent national COVID strategy, yesterday’s changing of the guard felt more fundamental.  An assertion of decency and kindness and truth — a reaffirmation of faith in democracy — after a dark period in which these core American values were under siege.

Nothing is permanent in politics, and if the last few years have demonstrated anything, it is that liberal democracy is fragile, but perhaps that very knowledge will impel us all to be better custodians of the Republic and better examples to the world.

One notable local connection.  I was delighted to learn that Rev. Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan III, who delivered a beautiful invocation at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony, is a graduate of Iona Prep.  Glad that New Rochelle was represented in this small way at such an important occasion.

It’s a new day for America, with the hope that every new day brings.  Let’s make the most of it.  Good luck, President Biden and Vice President Harris, and thank you.

 

 

NYS Expands Vaccine Eligibility to 65+

Following the issuance of new federal guidelines, Governor Cuomo announced today an expansion of COVID eligibility to include New Yorkers 65 and older.  All other eligible categories remain unchanged from those included in the State’s 1b roll-out yesterday.

Reservations are required.  To schedule your vaccine, visit ny.gov/vaccine or call the State hotline at 833-697-4829.

Vaccinating millions of New Yorkers is an overwhelming logistical challenge, and many residents have experienced obstacles and delays. State authorities have committed to expanding the number of vaccination sites, and we expect that the process will become more efficient over time. But, for now, patience and persistence may be necessary.

Please remember also that this phase of vaccination will extend over several months, so while you should try to make your appointment as soon as possible, the scheduled date of your vaccination might still be a ways off.

The vaccine is safe and effective — and essential to the recovery of our community and nation.  Everyone who is eligible should sign up to receive it.  Please spread the word.

COVID Vaccine Now Available for Educators, First Responders, and People 75+

Educators, First Responders, and seniors 75 and over are now eligible for the COVID vaccine.  A moment ago, I sent the following message citywide, encouraging eligible residents to schedule their vaccination.  It’s vitally important that we all do our part.

(Today’s expansion of vaccine eligibility follows a rocky vaccine roll-out in New Rochelle last week, which I explained more fully in this post from yesterday.)

This is the City of New Rochelle with important information about the COVID vaccine.

Para espanol, oprima numero uno.

Effective today, New York State has authorized the COVID vaccine for all educators and first responders, and for all people over the age of 75. If you are eligible, please register and schedule your vaccine through the State website at ny.gov/vaccine.

The vaccination process will take many weeks, so while you can and should sign up immediately, please understand that your scheduled date to receive the vaccine might still be a ways off.

The COVID vaccine is safe and effective. It’s been studied rigorously by scientific and medical experts, and has already been safely administered to millions of people. Vaccination is the only way for our community and nation to overcome the COVID crisis and recover fully. If you’re eligible, please get your vaccine.

In the meantime, with nearly 900 active cases of COVID in New Rochelle, we all need to continue acting responsibly: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and avoid large crowds.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet, and each of us must do the right thing to get to the other side.

Again, visit the State website at ny.gov/vaccine for vaccine information, and you can always visit newrochelleny.com/coronavirus for comprehensive local resources.

This has been Mayor Noam Bramson. Thank you for listening, and stay safe.

UPDATE: As an alternative to online scheduling, beginning at 4:00pm on Monday, January 11, the State will maintain a COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

God Bless America

It’s over, and when all the votes are counted, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the national popular vote will be in the range of four to five percentage points — slightly more than Obama’s margin over Romney and considerably more than Bush’s over Kerry.  I get that we choose our Presidents through the electoral college (although we shouldn’t), but let’s not fall into the trap of confusing the tabulation of electoral votes for an accurate measure of national will.  The choice of the American people is clear and unambiguous.

Like many Democrats, I eagerly wanted an even more sweeping repudiation of Donald Trump and a decisive Senate majority.  The outcome fell short of that standard and leaves me — just as in 2016 — disoriented by the political preferences of so many millions of my fellow citizens.

But for those of us who have spent the last four years fearing for our democracy, astonished by the normalization of hatred, self-absorption, and corruption, and perpetually wearied by anxiety, disbelief, and despair, it is an overwhelming relief today to take a full, clean breath, express pride once again in the next leader of our country, and feel a greater measure of hope for the future.

Hope is not naivete.  The conditions and attitudes that brought Donald Trump to the White House will not simply vanish, our democratic institutions remain fundamentally flawed, the President’s likely refusal to concede graciously (or concede at all) will complicate the peaceful transfer of power, and the intensity of feeling on both sides presages a difficult struggle to heal divisions and bring our nation together.  Hard work ahead.  Time to begin.  God bless America.

How to Vote

This year, we have the choice of voting in-person on Election Day, voting in-person at an early voting site, or voting by mail/absentee.  I had planned to write a post describing these options in greater detail, but because Assemblywoman Amy Paulin did exactly that in a recent email, I have the luxury of simply copying and pasting her words.  Many thanks to Amy for her excellent and comprehensive round-up.  Whichever option you choose, be absolutely certain to cast a ballot!  Take it away, Amy . . .

 


Mail-In (Absentee Ballot) Voting

How to Request an Absentee Ballot

  • To receive an Absentee Ballot, a voter must submit a request/application. Voters can begin requesting Absentee Ballots immediately. Voters requesting an Absentee Ballot due to risk of contraction of COVID-19 should check the box for “temporary illness or physical disability.”
  • In most cases, if you submitted an Absentee Ballot application for the June 23rd Primary, you will need to submit a new application, even if you checked the “general election” box on your original application.
  • You can download the Absentee Ballot Application from the Board of Elections
  • For Westchester County voters, the Absentee Ballot application may be submitted
    • By email to BOE-WestAbsentee@westchestergov.com by Tuesday, October 27th;
    • By fax to (914) 995-7753 or (914) 995-3190 by Tuesday, October 27th;
    • By mail to the Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601, postmarked no later than Tuesday, October 27th; or
    • In person at the Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601 by Monday, November 2nd.
  • Additionally, New York State has launched an online Absentee Ballot Application Portal. Since the portal has never been used before, I cannot vouch for its effectiveness, but those wishing to use the portal can find it at https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/.
  • Do not wait to apply for an Absentee Ballot! Despite the posted deadlines, the County Board of Elections will have many ballots to process, and the post office has advised that they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before the election (Monday, October 19th).
  • After an application is received and processed, ballots will be mailed out beginning September 18th.

How to Return a Completed Absentee Ballot

  • Completed Absentee Ballots must be returned by mail or in person using one of the following methods.
    • By mail, either with a postmark dated no later than Tuesday, November 3rd or without a postmark and received by the Board of Elections no later than Wednesday, November 4th.
    • In person at the Westchester County Board of Elections no later than Tuesday, November 3rd at the close of polls (9:00 pm).
    • In person at any Westchester County Early Voting poll site during voting hours between Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, November 1st. Dates and times for Early Voting poll sites are listed below. If you drop off your Absentee Ballot at an Early Voting poll site, you will not be required to wait in line.
    • In person at any Westchester County Election Day poll site on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you drop off your Absentee Ballot at an Election Day poll site, you will not be required to wait in line.

Note on In-Person Voting After Requesting an Absentee Ballot

  • All voters who request an Absentee Ballot are still eligible to vote in person, either using Early Voting or on Election Day. This includes voters who never receive their Absentee Ballot or voters who are worried that their returned Absentee Ballot will not arrive in time at the Board of Elections. If a voter does mail a completed Absentee Ballot and also votes in person, only the in-person vote will count. That voter’s Absentee Ballot would be set aside during the counting process.

In-Person Voting

Election Day – Tuesday, November 3rd

  • In-Person Voting will occur on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. On Election Day, voters must vote at their assigned poll site.

Early Voting – Saturday, October 24th through Sunday, November 1st

  • All registered voters may choose to vote Early instead of on Election Day. Registered voters in Westchester County may vote at ANY of the 17 Early Voting poll sites listed below during any of the following days and hours.
  • Early Voting Hours
    • Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 from noon until 8 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 from noon until 8 p.m.
    • Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
  • Early Voting Poll Sites – voters may vote at ANY site
    • Eastchester Public Library, 11 Oakridge Place, Eastchester, NY 10709
    • New Rochelle City Hall Annex – 90 Beaufort Place, New Rochelle, NY 10801
    • Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601
    • Dobbs Ferry Village Hall, 112 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
    • Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607
    • Veterans Memorial Building, 210 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528
    • Pound Ridge Town House, 179 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576
    • Mamaroneck Town Center, 740 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
    • Mt. Kisco Memorial Complex at Leonard Park, 1 Wallace Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
    • Mt. Pleasant Community Center, 125 Lozza Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595
    • Mt. Vernon City Hall, 1 Roosevelt Square, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
    • Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, 95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562
    • Peekskill Nutrition Center – Neighborhood Center, 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566
    • Somers Town House, 335 Route 202, Somers, NY 10589
    • Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710
    • Riverfront Library, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY 10701
    • Yorktown Cultural Center, 1974 Commerce Street, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Register to Vote

Feed the Hungry, While Supporting Local Restaurants

New Rochelle has launched an innovative new program called NourishALL (sounds like New Rochelle when you say it out loud) with the twin goals of sustaining our most vulnerable residents and supporting local restaurants.  1,000 people, who have been identified by ten community agencies, such as HOPE and the Municipal Housing Authority, are each receiving $50 gift cards for takeout or delivery at one of twenty participating restaurants, with a new round of gift cards to be issued on a weekly basis.  It’s a great concept that supplements the essential food security efforts already underway in New Rochelle, while also providing much-needed income to local eateries.

So far, the program is funded entirely by generous contributions from developers, who have committed about $400,000.  The more money we raise, the more people we can serve, and the longer we can keep the program going, so please consider making your own tax-deductible contribution through this link.

You can learn more about NourishALL in this press release or in this LoHud article.

As one of the first communities in America to face the COVID-19 pandemic, New Rochelle is determined to set a positive example of strength and resilience.  This innovative program, a true model of public-private partnership, will help position our entire city to emerge united from the crisis.

State of the City on March 5th

Please join me for the annual State of the City Address on Thursday, March 5th at New Rochelle City Hall.  The speech begins at 7:30pm, and is preceded by a reception starting at 6:00pm.  Everything is free and open to the public.  Seating is first-come, first-served.  Hope to see you there.

A Big Win for All of Us

Thank you to the people of New Rochelle for electing me to another term as mayor.  Looks like the final tally will run to about 63% of the vote — a big victory amid high turnout, and a deeply gratifying validation of our shared accomplishments, vision, and values.  I will continue doing everything in my power to justify the confidence of our community.

At the same time, I am mindful that a sizable minority of New Rochelle residents voted to move in a different direction.  I hear their voices, too, and will strive to bring our city together around a positive future from which all of us can benefit.

Congratulations to the other election winners.  I am especially pleased to welcome newcomers Martha Lopez and Sara Kaye to the City Council, both of whom won by overwhelming margins.  They join Yadira Ramos-Herbert, another outstanding newcomer who was, in effect, elected in the primary back in June, plus returning Council Members Ivar Hyden, Liz Fried, and Al Tarantino, forming an expanded 6-1 Democratic majority.  (Also, for the first time in twenty-five years and only the second time in history, a majority of City Council members will be women.)  In County Legislative contests, Damon Maher, Terry Clements, and Catherine Parker were all deservedly returned to office.  Here are the final, unofficial results.

Let me also acknowledge Brendan Conroy and Sarah Langlois for their strong campaigns and thank my colleague Lou Trangucci for his years of service on the City Council.  Until you have run for office, it is difficult to understand just how difficult and personally grueling a process it is; all the candidates should be applauded for their willingness to put themselves forward.

Finally, Catie and I offer our heartfelt gratitude to the countless friends and neighbors who stood with us in recent months, contributing time, energy, money, labor, wisdom, and faith.  It is profoundly humbling to be at the center of a team effort to which so many people have given so much, far beyond any reasonable claim or expectation.

My happiness this morning is blended with exhaustion, and I am looking forward to some down time with my family.  But not too much!  Still lots of works to do this year, and then a new term starting January filled with exciting possibilities and bright prospects.  This is the most promising moment in New Rochelle’s modern history — let’s make the most of it.

Onward.

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