Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
COVID-19 Update and Thoughts
It seems that COVID-19 is inescapable from our thoughts at the moment but I still felt it was important to reach out to you as your mayor to update you on the our local response as well as share my personal thoughts.
Senior Village staff and emergency service personnel continue to monitor and participate in calls with State and County officials. Westchester County has done an excellent job keeping local elected officials and municipal staff informed about developments and recommendations. Village Administrator Larry Schopfer and I are in regular contact with our department heads, including our Police and Fire Chiefs. I have been very impressed with the professional and measured protocols that these departments have implemented to keep the public and themselves as safe as possible. I would like to thank the Town of Greenburgh for working with our departments on the protocols. The departments remain well supplied, again with Westchester County taking a leading role.
Unfortunately, the Village has had to cancel all our Recreation Department programs and activities until at least March 31st. Additionally, all Library activities are canceled though March 31st and all programming at the Irvington Town Hall Theater has been canceled until the end of the month. The Library itself is closed until at least Thursday the 19th.
Garbage pickup and recycling will continue as usual. Additionally, all parks remain open during their normal hours. It is important to note that Matthiessen Park will be closing for its long-scheduled renovation starting on Monday the 16th. While it is unfortunate that the park will be closed, we feel that keeping this important project on schedule is important. We will be having extra staff in Scenic Hudson Park to deal with the increase in usage there from Matthiessen’s closure.
Irvington, following the advice of New York State and Westchester County, is encouraging you to avoid large crowds. While the state has designated 500 people as a large crowd, we are interpreting this directive to avoid any unnecessary gatherings. As such, while our Irvington Board of Trustees meeting will go on as scheduled Monday night (as of the writing of this email anyway), we will NOT be holding the scheduled public hearings or associated votes on the North Broadway Mixed Use Zoning Change or the Commercial Vehicle Law. While we always encourage residents to attend our meetings, we suggest that for Monday’s meeting and perhaps beyond, you consider watching the live stream on our website. All meetings are archived and available on demand, as well.
Similar to the Board of Trustees meeting, our land use boards (Planning, Zoning, and Architectural Review) will be working to streamline their agendas. If a project is ready to be approved or additional information is needed that is beyond that which can be obtained during the meeting, the applicant will be advised not to appear. (For the latter, they will receive detailed feedback on what information is needed, as always). We hope that this will again limit the amount of people that attend our meetings.
It is important to note that this is a situation that continues to evolve and change. We are constantly reevaluating our decisions as we obtain more information.
Our decisions to close the Senior Center and cancel senior programs was very difficult and not made lightly. While we do not have a formal nutrition program, we know our seniors enjoy not only the sustenance of the food they receive at the senior center but the camaraderie of their fellow seniors and the staff members. The Irvington Recreation Department, under Joe Archino and Joan Armstrong’s leadership, maintains a list of seniors who may need assistance during difficult times, and we will be sure to check on these neighbors. However, if you are aware of anyone that may need our assistance, please reach out to me at my email address below or to Joe Archino at (914) 591-7736.
I have been struggling to provide clear guidelines for residents who have asked if they should stay home and if they should keep their children home. I believe that the difficult response to COVID-19 in Italy provides a clear lesson on why “flattening the curve” of the infection is so important. If we can keep the number of infections from rapidly expanding, we allow our medical facilities the opportunity to treat the ill and not become over-whelmed.
My personal thought process has evolved from “I am not at risk, so I will be fine, even if I get the virus” to “What if I have it already? Do I really want to potentially infect others, including those at risk?” This has led me to largely try to stay at home with my family, heading out to buy essentials, and then return home. I am not avoiding small groups of friends that I hang out with, but I am not visiting my almost 80-year-old mother (but don’t worry, I call her every day). My family has gone for walks, we are playing tennis at Memorial Park and we are watching lots of Netflix and Hulu.
While we are not issuing formal guidelines for interactions at this time, with the Irvington Union Free School District being closed, here are some the guidelines that King County, Washington put out recently for youths and children. I found them to be very helpful:
A special thanks to Irvington resident Adam Stein for sharing that link.
Let’s have some fun
My binge watching gave Keira and me an idea. What if we put together a list of shows that were shot in Irvington, we got a bunch of residents to watch them and then we voted to select the Best Irvington Movie (or Show) of All Time? I can work on some additional categories – best overall movie, best show, best scene shot in Irvington, etc. I may ask Theater Manager Greg Allen for some help with this.
I have a list of Movies and Shows shot in Irvington below – please send me any I have missed:
The Age of Innocence (1993)The Devil’s Own (1997)The Girl on the Train (2016)The Juror (1996)The Last Seduction (1994)The Nesting (1981)
Blacklist (NBC)Blindspot (NBC)Billions (Showtime)Law and Order – “Judge Dread” (NBC)Hunters (Amazon)The Affair (Showtime)
Interesting that all our movies seem to start with “the”. Please note that most, if not all, of the movies and shows listed above are intended for mature audiences.
In many ways we are in unprecedented times. However, I am confident that we have the expertise we need to deal with the challenges ahead on the federal, state and county level. Locally, we are prepared and calm. While our lives have already been impacted, we are psychologically prepared for even more disruption in coming days. As neighbors, we will help each other get through this, even if we must forego hugs for a bit. With a lot of common sense and an equal measure of humor, we will come out of the other side of COVID-19 stronger and closer as a community.
As always, please reach out with comments, concerns, ideas and complaints.
Brian C. Smith, Mayorbsmith@irvingtonny.gov