PHOTOS By Carolyn Simpson
On January 27th and before a packed Town Hall, New Castle inaugurated a new Supervisor and three Council Members, two of whom are newcomers to the Town Board. The ceremonies opened with the presentation of colors by various town first responders including the New Castle Police Department, fire departments from Chappaqua and Millwood and the Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance. In an audience that included New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, and Westchester County Executive, George Latimer, the elected officials were administered their oaths of office.
The inauguration was the culmination of the hotly contested November 5th election between candidates from two slates–New Castle Democrats and the Republican-sponsored Team New Castle. In addition to the Town Supervisor, there were three Town Board positions that were up for election.
Ivy Pool was elected from the New Castle Democrats and succeeds Robert Greenstein as Town Supervisor and will serve a two-year term. Pool was first elected as a Council Member in 2017. Jeremy Saland, having assumed his position on the Town Board in 2015, was re-elected and will also serve as Deputy Town Supervisor. Jason Lichtenthal, who ran with Pool and Saland as part of the New Castle Democrats ticket, was also elected as a Council Member. Lichtenthal has served as a Commissioner in the Millwood Fire District. Lauren Levin joins Lichtenthal as the other first-time Town Board member. Levin ran on the Team New Castle slate and has served on the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce board and Streetscape Committee. Saland, Lichtenthal, and Levin will join the existing member, Lisa Katz, on the four-person Town Board.
Town resident and member of the Chappaqua Ambulance Volunteer Corps, Reese Highbloom commented on what he expects the new Town Board will accomplish. “I hope that the new board members can be a great face for the New Castle community, get to know each and every one of us and really hear what we want and what we have to say.”
Pool stated that the Town Board has an ambitious agenda and has prioritized certain initiatives including creating thriving hamlets, modernizing infrastructure, thoughtful capital planning and improving recreation and community spirit. “There are a lot of different goals and objectives that the Town Board has put together for what we hope to accomplish,” Pool affirmed. “The most immediate thing that we are working on right now is a rezoning initiative for downtown Chappaqua. We have done a great deal of work replacing infrastructure, but now we are ready to take that to the next step.”
Deputy Supervisor Saland emphasized Pool’s determination for the rezoning of the hamlet. “We are working on the form-based code to revitalize the hamlet. It is what the community wants and is consistent with the comprehensive plan.” Saland stated that the Town Board is eager to get to work for the people of New Castle. “I am excited to work with everybody on the Town Board; everybody is very eager, very hungry, very smart and very dedicated.”
Lichtenthal holds the belief that the town needs to come together in order to initiate progress and change. “We are in a time where we need to work together a little bit more than the past and we must come together with new ideas to move our town forward,” Lichtenthal passionately explained. He encourages the community to bring forth and share their ideas with the new Town Board. “Unless people come out and tell us how things are going and how they see New Castle, we are not going to be able to move forward as a community.”
Also sworn in during the evening’s events was Douglas Kraus for Town Justice. The incumbent Kraus was re-elected to his 7th term having served in the position since 1994. Vedat Gashi was also administered the oath of office for County Legislator representing District 4. Gashi, a Democrat, will represent New Castle and portions of Somers and Yorktown on the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
At the end of the ceremony, Pool concluded with how she anticipates the new Town Board will serve the people of New Castle. “Here in New Castle, we can and will do better. The only way that we are going to get things done is to forge partnerships and engage all voices.”