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Sleepy Hollow Board: No Street Ball Playing?

Residents urge Sleepy Hollow Trustees at this week's board meeting to change law prohibiting ball playing on village streets; two trustees walk out after closed-door discussion of employee raises.

At Sleepy Hollow's Board of Trustees meeting three people spoke during the public hearing regarding village code revisions. Mario Bellanich asked if code changes code could be redlined so they would be more obvious, but village attorney Janet Gandolfo said it was not possible since the code goes back to 1936 and parts of it were never formatted for online use. 

The existing village code with some updates noted in blue is now online at www.Sleepyhollowny.gov. The entire updated code will be online for review prior to the final vote, according to Gandolfo.

Glenn Rosenbloom of Hunter Avenue urged the Board to use "common sense" to change a long-standing code prohibiting "playing ball of any nature or description .... on any village street." The code, which is found under the heading "general use of streets and sidewalks," also prohibits sledding on village streets. For the code click here

Rosenbloom and fellow Hunter Avenue resident Jennifer Meyers said it is unreasonable for it to be against the law for kids to have a game of catch on the street in front of their house.

Mayor Ken Wray urged anyone wishing to comment on the village code to attend the next public hearing in two weeks and/or submit comments in writing to the village clerk.

Mayor's Announcements

  • is Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. at Kingsland Point Park
  • for children and adults is Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • will take place at the Senior Center on Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Trustee Reports

Barbara Carr 

  • Finance committee has requested more detail from the departments in order to develop a capital budget.  
  • Village's new fire truck is being delivered next week.

Susan MacFarlane

  • After-school program is full and there is a waiting list.
  • An adult group exercise program will take place at Morse school from 6-7 p.m. and new yoga class will take place at the senior center.
  • A chess club at the senior center for kids and adults starts on Oct. 6.  More information on all these programs can be found here
  • The were a tremendous success with 200-300 people touring the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse last week. "All throughout the day, people came in both directions. We have an unmet demand," noted MacFarlane.
  • Restaurant Finalmente will provide food at the Kingsland Point Park Bathhouse during the Swim For Life and also during "October Fest," along with the Bridgeview Tavern.

Bruce Campbell

  • The village has sent letters to Verizon and Cablevision asking that they waive the restriction on PEG access grants which can now be spent for equipment only.
  • The Haunted Hayride will be expanded to three nights this year. Tickets will be sold on the village website. Campbell noted that the last year during the month of October, the village website received two million hits, compared to a typical monthly average of 30-40,000 hits.

Karin Wompa

  • The Downtown Revitalization Committee has begun discussions on installing tree wells on Beekman Avenue and addressing sidewalks damaged by tree roots.
  • The children's Halloween party on Beekman will take place Oct. 26.
  • The Facade Grant Program has given out a total of $277,000 to local merchants.

Evelyn Stupel

  • 21 cases were heard in Housing Court on Aug. 23, four cases were resolved.  Next court date is Sept. 27.

Jennifer Lobato-Church

  • Trustee Lobato-Church said she was sad to accept the formal and announced that Edgar J. Brennen III will now be Captain/Chief.

Administrator's Report

Anthony Giaccio reported:

  • with soil removal and landscaping of a few properties this fall.
  • Giaccio urged anyone with in Philipse Manor to contact him
  • The New York City aqueduct will be shutdown this week for 16 hours, but since the village now has access to the Greenburgh interconnection line, a water emergency alert is not necessary.

The Board adjourned for a 45-minute closed-door executive session to discuss personnel matters before returning to vote on several resolutions that included extended vacation time and raises for village staff. Interestingly, veteran trustees Karin Wompa and Evelyn Stupel left the meeting without voting. The remaining trustees passed resolutions allowing:

  • Two percent annual salary increases for non-union village employees: Gregory Camp, Paula McCarthy, Sara DiGiacomo, Richard Gross, Sean McCarthy, Rae Lee, Joe Paiva, Arlene Morel, Christopher Scelza and Alyson DePaolo.
  • One week increased vacation time for village employees Paula McCarthy and Anthony Giaccio. 
  • Renewal of auditors contract to provide the village with an independent financial audit for the 2011/2012 fiscal year at a cost of $32,600.
  • Hiring of an engineer to complete the Route 9 Sidewalk Project at a cost of $60,000. The project has been delayed since the federal government refused to release grant money to Westchester County pending outcome of a review of fair housing practices. Among the funds being held was $750,000 promised to Sleepy Hollow for the Route 9 Streetscape project. At the outset of the project planning, design services were provided free of charge by the County, but that service is no longer available. In order not to lose the $750,000 grant money, the village must now pay an engineer to complete the plans so the project can get underway.
  • Adoption of a minority and women-owned business policy statement, which previously did not exist. The move was required in connection with grant money allowing the village to conduct a feasibility study of a pier located on the former Castle Oil site. The developer of the Castle Oil site has offered to give the pier to the village in lieu of cash, but the village is unwilling to accept the pier until it is known that the pier is in good shape and will not require an infusion of cash to make it useable as a public park. 

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Patricia September 14, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Sounds like Tarrytown has the same type of village code. Parents complain that children spend too much time on tv and video games but when they go outside to play people call the police because they are playing ball, skate boarding, climbing trees in the park, playing tag, etc...If there are children around you have to have some tolerance, to some extent. The people of these villages certainly do not have tolerance for the kids. It's one thing to harass teenagers causing a problem but to bother young children playing is another.
Patricia September 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Well said. My mom used to make us go out of the house by a certain time everyday and encouraged us to play outside. We all need to tolerate each other to a certain extent. Yes, kids are annoying, that's why they need to be outside. Senior citizens are annoying too and that is why we build expensive senior centers for them to play in.
Robert Solari September 15, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Patricia, Well said!
Gargamel September 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Krista: Why did 2 trustees walk out and not vote. There has to be a story there
Tom Andruss October 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Sounds like the biggest "trick" this Halloween will be children receiving $250 fines and jailtime - yes, you read that correctly - for playing ball in the street. This article needs to be abolished from the Village Codes before Sleepy Hollow becomes a laughingstock of a community for having such a ridiculous rule. Let's keep focused on making the village a better place to live, not the opposite. (see here 362-5 http://ecode360.com/15071305?all=true#15071327)

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