By Richard Kavesh
Nyack, Sept 24 – Dozens of friends of former Nyack village trustees Isobel Hesse and Raymond T. O’Connell came to last week’s Nyack Village Board meeting to honor Isobel and Ray, as the Board officially named the large meeting room/courtroom the ‘€œHesse-O’Connell Room.’€
Their legacy will be also commemorated by plaques that have been and will be mounted in the Hesse ‘€“ O’Connell Room.
Isobel Hesse was one of Nyack’s earliest and most passionate civil rights crusaders. Among the many causes for which she fought were the integration of Nyack’s YMCA and the Nyack school system. She served on the Nyack Village Board for nine years, where she was always a tireless crusader for social justice and Nyack’s neediest people.
Ray O’Connell served 10 years on the Village Board and another 10 on the Zoning Board of Appeals. His love for the village was matched only by encyclopedic knowledge of it. Like Isobel, Ray was always a passionate advocate for open government, responsible development, and liberty and justice for all.
We were especially honored that Ray’s wife, Cathy Miklitsch, attended the meeting and shared such warm, eloquent, and moving memories of Ray and how much he loved the village and the people he served so well for so long.
ZBA Chair Steve Knowlton presented Cathy and the Board with copies of the ZBA’s resolution of earlier this year honoring Ray and designating that ZBA minutes were henceforth to be published “in Memoriam Raymond T. O’Connell.’€ A copy of this resolution will also be framed and hung in the Hesse ‘€“ O’Connell Room.
The commemoration was preceeded by a moment of silence in honor of Nyack’s longtime Building Inspector John Allgor, who tragically passed on 9/23 and who worked so hard on behalf of the village that he, Isobel, and Ray loved so much.
The author is a Village of Nyack Trustee and a candidates for mayor.