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March 2007

The New Castle Town Board Has Recommended Disbanding the Recreation & Parks Commission

An interlude of local politics regarding the Town Council of New Castle (aka Chappaqua), which I pass along for my local readers. (We live in a sliver of the Town of Mt. Pleasant that is in the Chappaqua school district, which is why I got this, I suspect.)

The Town Board Has Recommended Disbanding the Recreation & Parks Commission! And they WILL vote to disband it this coming Tuesday night, March 27th, unless we, as a community, quickly and loudly say "No!" In our Town Government structure, the "commissions" represent the "voice of the people."  Members of the commissions are neither paid employees, nor elected politicians.  They are regular citizens like you and me.  They volunteer their time and expertise to help make sure the needs and ideals of the community are being met by our town employees and officials. It is not extreme to say that this new "recommendation" is anathema to the democratic process.  They are essentially suggesting that there is no need for public participation in issues and discussions regarding recreation and parks programming and that our non-resident town administrators can make these decisions, for us, all by themselves!    As much as we truly appreciate the efforts of our town employees and politicians, we also must remember that they are there to serve us.  Just as we have checks and balances in our federal government, the boards and commission structure of our Town Government was designed to make sure that many voices would partake in decision-making processes. Disbanding the "commissions" is akin to dissolving, um, the House of Representatives! (OK, the analogy may be exaggerated, but it is no exaggeration to say that this recommendation disables the process of public participation and collaboration.) ! They have already disbanded the Beautification Commission ! ...and w e won't take the time here to itemize the many small ways we are already regretting its loss! (Just think about the unplanted flowerbeds at various intersections, etc. etc.)  This latest recommendation to disband the Rec&Parks Commission would have far greater impact — to our children, our seniors, our arts and athletic programs — and even includes similar ramifications for the Conservation Commission, with a plan that would combine the two commissions into a single, and disempowered,  "advisory" council!!  This kind of centralization of power is a disturbing trend indeed. If you want your voice to be heard in future decisions about Rec&Parks programs in the Town of New Castle, then please let your voice be heard now! At the very least, we all need to attend this meeting and ask WHY they think they don't need a Recreation & Parks Commission!  They are about to make a decision about our government ! structure that could have long term ramifications on our town, our property values, and our quality of life — without even asking us!! PLEASE COME TO THE TOWN BOARD MEETING ON TUESDAY MARCH 27th.

Time for new cats

Cat & CantalopeOur last cat died in December following complications from cancer surgery. It is now nearly April and so we are really for one or more new cats. Our Best Cat Ever (who died of a stroke) in 2001 seemed to be a Maine Coon, so we have a mild preference for that breed because of disposition. Also we have a mild preference for fluffy cats with soft fur, since that's what we had for 15 years. Since it is easier to integrate a kitten into a household and modify its behavior, we have a preference for kittens. We have two kids in the house, one 9, one 4, both of whom have been raised with cats and love cats. Our cats have traditionally been indoor/outdoor cats, since we live away from main roads in an area with 1 acre+ zoning and lots of trees.

Welcome to Spring!

The kids and I got back from Florida on Sunday night to find a foot of frozen precipitation in the driveway. I have transported the kids to where they need to go via taxi and via the Mother Hen bus service, shoveling when the stuff thawed enough to be responsive to a snow shovel.

Today, I broke down and rented a cute little yellow car so I could do things like get to the grocery store and the post office and drive the kids to their dentist appointment. David arrived home this evening with a truckload of his mother's furniture from the old family beach house. It's supposed to thaw tomorrow, so maybe we can unload the truck tomorrow afternoon.

Anyway, here are the "spring" pix. (Why, oh why, did I come back form South Florida?)

snow in the front yard

3 days progress on shovelling the driveway

unshovelled area