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'Town Hall Meeting:' What Would You Do To Improve Port Chester?

Residents asked to participate in Sept. 27 forum at Port Chester Senior Community Center.

What started out as a call for action on a Facebook page by a Port Chester resident upset by a rash of violent crimes in the village has led to a "Town Hall" style meeting that is designed to let village residents ask questions, offer suggestions and get involved with improving Port Chester.

Port Chester Mayor Dennis G. Pilla said the “Improving our Village: Quality of life issues, strategies and solutions" session is set for Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Port Chester Senior Community Center, 222 Grace Church St., behind Village Hall.

"There are many residents who are interested in what's going on, and how can they become more involved to help," Pilla said. "At the same time, the village government needs public input. We also need to communicate more with the public about things we're actively doing to improve the Village."

Pilla, members of the village Board of Trustees, new village manager Chris Steers and Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski are expected to attend the meeting, which is open to the public.

The session was set up after discussions between Pilla and Keith Morlino, a third-generation Port Chester resident who had become growingly concerned over conditions in the village because of a rash of violent incidents — robberies, group attacks and a murder — which took place over the summer.

Port Chester police have made multiple arrests in the robberies, assaults and in a rash of thefts from cars in the village. Since the arrests, the thefts from cars have dropped off and the rash of early-morning attacks and muggings have stopped. Detectives, however, have not yet made any arrests in the shooting death of Wilfredo Rivera, 21, of Port Chester and Stamford, CT, on South Regent Street.

In response to the crimes, Morlino set up a page on Facebook called "Making Port Chester a better place." The page, as off this morning, has 266 members.

Morlino, who works as a salesman, said his initial focus was on local crime, but he said his discussions with members of the community and public officials like Pilla have convinced him there are many other issues that residents like himself can — and should — become involved with to make Port Chester a better place to live and work.

Pilla, who said he meets with many local groups throughout the year to talk about local issues and concerns, said this meeting is unique because it has been prompted by discussions on social media, involving residents who do not necessary attend other public meetings like village Board of Trustees sessions.

Pilla said he is hopeful by gathering members of Morlino's Facebook group at a meeting they can learn about what they can do as residents, and then spread to word to other residents — in person and on social media.

John B September 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Mr.Buccieri: You can attend the meeting and speak on the over crowding. The more of us there the better
Robski48 October 04, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Aiden..point understood. I don't call it a "division" factor, I call it reality. In bad times, you get more crime. Factor in less police, crime is going to spike even more. Then you have the public mad and the politicians start pointing fingers at the police and they put the police chief on the hot seat at board meetings blaming him for the end results of their bad decision. I due understand the economic climate today, as I have adjusted my lifestyle to it. What's your thoughts of the trustee, who happens to be your partner Bart's sidekick, calling the $22,000 for the study peanuts? Especially is this ecomonic climate you speak of
FJT October 29, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Bart, has the village pulled the Certificate of Occupancy of every homeowner in Port Chester? If so, that's major news because a homeowner can't sell, can't refinance, can't rent out and can't even legally live in their own house until he or she gets a new CO. Please tell me whether every homeowner in PC has had his or her CO pulled. In all the discussion about overcrowding, re-zoning and amnesty for law-breaking homeowners, I don't think the vitally important question I'm asking has been definitively answered. So, again: Has the village pulled the CO for every homeowner in Port Chester? Please respond.
Bart Didden October 29, 2012 at 05:25 PM
If a property had a valid CO for the entire premises and no open violations or open permits then they are still good to go. if they don't have a valid CO for the entire premises than they should apply for amnesty to take advantage of reduced fees and get a CO for the entire premises.
FJT October 29, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Silvio wrote, "Come the new school budget in 2013, your going have to sell your home..." That's already started and statistically, it's turned into an exodus, according to the following article that appeared in the Port Chester Patch. The PC numbers -- jaw-dropping when compared to our neighboring communities -- would have been much higher still, if not for the fact that many condo sellers can't seem to get the Certificates of Occupancy needed to close their deals and escape the sinking ship. (I know some who have been waiting patiently for over six months.) Here's a link to the article I mentioned: http://portchester.patch.com/articles/real-estate-port-chester-sees-q3-jump-in-year-over-year-home-sales#photo-11766065

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