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For The Love Of Nyack…!

Photo Credit: SeanJonesFotoby Marianne Olive

It’s time to put criticism behind us and start working together like a community. I can’t take all of the negative press, tearing each other apart like a bunch of wild hogs. Let’s try a new approach to Nyack’s problems. Let’s work together to weed the garden, water the flowers and watch them grow.

The Mayor has the right idea. Let’s leave the past in the past and not lay blame on anyone. We are all responsible. We all can participate. We can all lend a helping hand. Now is the time to come up with solutions and act on them swiftly. I am willing to give my time, my knowledge of community, my years of business experience in this village and my endless energy.  How many others are willing to help volunteer their time?  Let’s start now and help whomever gets into office to do the best job possible. They will need our help.

I grew up in a community of 13 families and 107 children. We all helped build each others houses, a ball field, a basketball court. a barn for dance lessons, arts and crafts, dances and even weddings. We had community events for both the children and the adults. We all got along and set aside our differences. We listened  twice as much with two ears and spoke half as much with one mouth. I am one of 11 children and to this day we are all close, even all 63 nieces and nephews, as well as the in laws. We Marycrester’s are still close like family friends throughout life. There is a special kinship we all share no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other.

I was always taught to keep my mouth shut unless I have something nice to say. When you are encouraging to a person they respond in a positive way. When  you criticize and find fault, you will always get a negative response. We encouraged each other without criticism. We took each one’s individual gifts and put them to practical use. We learned to get along, to help each other and to give a lot. We had great fun doing it all. As a community, Nyack can have great fun working together too. Let’s form committees for every problem that can be solved easily with our effort, our hands and our hearts.

We did not have money but our parents had a vision and took a chance. Out of very little and a lot of hard work, we created a wonderful life for the people of Marycrest. If the people of Nyack would be willing to give some of their time to help make Nyack a wonderfully successful community; clean, beautiful and restored, we will all benefit.

The Mayor and the Board have worked for several years tirelessly for very little thanks and such a small stipend. You must all know that they are not doing it for the money, but for the love of Nyack. How many of you actually go to any one of them and thank them for their efforts. They are the  ones doing something. If some of you who spend so much time criticizing  would spend more time devoted to helping Nyack come up with solutions to its problems, we would all benefit. The board votes together for every resolution and without the majority, things will not move forward.

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I am a business owner in Nyack and have been for over 34 years. I am also a landlord and a resident. Great times were in the 1980’s when money was not an issue for tenants, for store rentals or  for businesses. I have lowered my apartment rentals to prices I got in the ’80’s and lowered my commercial storefront $1000, and yet it is still difficult to find a qualified tenant for the store. Don’t blame the landlords for the problems. I would prefer to have a stable long term tenant who has a successful business plan with capital, than someone who has a dream and empty pockets and a poor credit score. Don’t be so quick to criticize those who manage to stay in business through these hard times. Many won’t make it through the winter. Encourage and support them. Shop in Nyack, eat in Nyack, drink in Nyack, listen to some fine music in Nyack, buy gifts, cards, jewelry, art and dry clean in Nyack. Support our starving downtown. Many businesses can’t even pay themselves a salary because they have to cover the staff, enormous businesses expense, bookkeeping, insurance, utilities, rent, products, merchandise, advertising sales taxes Workmen’s comp, disability, health and fire and building inspection  fees  for everything. Often the overhead of a business is higher than the income  at times and you must count on personal funds to carry you. Many can’t afford their own health insurance.

We can’t simply count on customers and consumers  from the outside. We need the residents of Nyack to use their village for their services. How many of you get haircuts here? How many of you ever stepped foot in Olive’s? or Bourbon Street, or Black Bear or Bruxelles? Or the many eateries, gift stores, and boutiques or antique stores? Before you jump to conclusions about the terrible downtown night life, check it out from the inside at midnight than try again at noon, than again at 6 pm and then 9 pm. There is a different crowd at every hour and we cater to every age group from day to 4 am. Give every one a chance to enjoy what they love about Nyack no matter how old or young, no matter what race or sexual preference. Whether they are hippies, hipsters, beatnicks, or jocks, or construction workers, professionals or jobless, they all make Nyack the community that it is. Perhaps those that are not working can volunteer more time than those that may have a few jobs or a large family.

Let’s encourage the police to ticket people who are violating the law and causing a disturbance outside. Many people park and go from one place to another throughout  the village and end up at Tarrentellas at 4 am. Many people who drink also smoke and gather outside. This is one of the things we all must accept about having a village that has such a popular nightlife. If we didn’t have these businesses, we would have many  vacant stores with more crime, more vagrants and loitering.

Let’s not point fingers and blame the village board for the condition of Nyack. None of them had an education on village management.  How can you expect miracles from part time employees who also have their own lives and agendas? Nyack would greatly benefit from a Village Manager or Administrator. They would certainly whip the village into shape expediently. They would seek the funds needed to finally push the streetscape program forward, control the budget and carefully scrutinize every staff member making all accountable.   With a Village Manager you would see a village with a surprising surplus, a renewed downtown, riverfront and possibly a new downtown redevelopment. Then the Mayor and the Village Board can do a great job with the help, guidance and expertise of the Manager. This village needs full time professional attention. How can you expect to get alll of this from a Mayor?

In the meantime, are there any other volunteers to start some community action leading Nyack  into a better year? I’m here and ready and willing to help. Let’s see who is with me now. I ran for Mayor because I am capable of giving a lot of my time,  and hard work to this community that has become mine. I have an enormous amount of energy and a strong driving force. Let’s pull the weeds and start watering.

Photo Credit: SeanJonesFoto via Flickr

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Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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