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[UPDATE] Peekskill Officials Respond to News of Peekskill Celebration Cancellation

The annual celebration will be cancelled due to cuts in Peekskill's 2013 budget.

Update, 6:40 p.m., Statement from acting City Manager Brian Havranek City of Peeksill on the cancellation of the Peekskill Celebration:

The City of Peekskill, has issued a statement pertaining to Peekskill Celebration’s decision to cancel its 2013 event. According to Acting City Manager Brian Havranek:

“We’re saddened to hear that Peekskill Celebration will be cancelled this year and hope the organization will deepen its support to reopen in the future.  Mayor Foster and I had plans to meet with organizers next week to explore resource options. We’re deeply disappointed that the meeting now won’t occur.

Update, 6:15 p.m., from the City of Peekskill Twitter account: We're saddened to hear that Peekskill Celebration will be cancelled this year and hope they an deepen support and reopen in the future.....we're also deeply disappointed as City leaders were to meet with Peekskill Celebration Organizers next week to discuss resource options.

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Editor's Note: The following letter was posted on the Peekskill Celebration's Facebook Page here.

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Dear Friends of Peekskill Celebration:

We have some disappointing news to share with you and we wanted you to hear it directly from us—first. 

We are notifying interested parties, supporters, sponsors and friends today that we will NOT be able to present Peekskill Celebration 2013.

Perhaps you volunteered your time, took an ad in our journal, sponsored a Dragon Boat team, signed on to be a vendor, or simply came to the Riverfront Green to watch the fireworks. Whatever level of support you gave us, first and foremost, we want to say thank you.

Recently, we were informed of the City of Peekskill’s financial challenges and that tough budget cuts associated with personnel/overtime expenses for special events like Peekskill Celebration became necessary. We respect these difficult decisions, but the complexity of Peekskill Celebration requires logistical support services that can be coordinated and provided only by the City and its workforce. We are very thankful for the City’s past support. 

We have explored all of our options to replace the funding and personnel removed from the 2013 City Budget needed for Celebration. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to raise the additional funds needed to cover these expenses, especially on such a condensed timeline. We also do not want to pare down Celebration so much that it would be a disappointment to the community compared to last year. We would rather have our successful run of 17 years be what people fondly remember. 

Celebration’s legacy is that we all partnered together to provide a safe and spirited environment in which to enjoy a weekend of family-oriented activities at our beautiful waterfront. The addition of the Cancer Awareness Dragon Boat Race put a human face on this dreaded disease, while the Entergy Fireworks Extravaganza became a crowd favorite, attracting many to the Peekskill shoreline. Both provided memorable moments that we can cherish forever. 

We know that you share our disappointment with this decision. We are proud of our accomplishments over the last 17 years and want to thank you for your support and for the many friends we have made along our journey. 

Gratefully yours, 

Cathy Montaldo
Executive Director

Peter Goodson January 19, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Patty and Joshua are correct! Foster and Co. have bankrupted the city. They wasted $9 million in reserve funds, hired consultant after consultant and had study after study. They stopped the Target store from coming that would have brought plenty of funds and jobs. Purchased property they have no business owning. Make laws to benefit themselves and their businesses. Fired knowledgeable staff so they can hire their friends. Why do they keep getting elected? It is apathy of those who have given up. The majority of the city knows how bad they are but would rather stay at home then go vote. If that doesn't change then we ARE doomed. Word is some may have to resign when legal cases come to light.
sayitsnotsojack January 19, 2013 at 05:57 PM
My point leesther with 5300 subsidized units there is just not enough income and Madam supervisor of Cortlandt has and does a very good job at keeping costs down. She is also paid over $100,000 and has other perks. I seriously doubt many taxpayers in peekskill would like to pay the high taxes residents of Cortlandt pay.
Liz Claire January 19, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Leslie & Lee, Let's not forget that when Foster first took office the City had a fund balance of over $10 million. She exhausted it all, money wasted. With the memo Lee just posted, Foster has proved herself to be the worst fiscal steward in Peekskill history. Everyone who sits on the Council is also to blame because they enabled her bring financial ruin to the City.
peekskillman January 19, 2013 at 07:21 PM
more shameful and depressing news. How much is going to be left of our fair City in the coming months? My suggestions: Maybe the consultants have to go, as their 'consulting" hasnt gotten us anywhere, then shelve the monster firehouse project and finally, put up for sale all the proprties that the city is holding and get them back on the tax rolls. It is a start.
Leslie Lawler January 19, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Looks like another one of Charlie's (aka Mary's) brainstorms: http://www.cityofpeekskill.com/sites/default/files/09_finance_-_liability_insurance.pdf This doesn't pass the smell test. Isn't the city covered already? Why a mid-stream change which would subject the taxpayers to a penalty? And WHY NO RFP???
expose the truth January 19, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Also on the agenda Tuesday is an item from the comptroller looking to change insurance carriers midterm. What is that all about? I thought you get a pretty hefty penalty changing midterm. In fact Emberger stayed as much in the posting. Looks like hundreds of thousands of wastes taxpayer money. Don't they allocated funds for insurance in the adopted budget?
expose the truth January 19, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Isn't that against municipal law? Haven't they paid for this already ? Why in the middle of the policy period ? Nobody does that. Seems kinda strange.
Patty Villanova January 19, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Based on stuff that happened in Put Valley many years ago, when we had our police department, I might venture to guess that it's not their (the Administration's) idea. It may be that they've racked up so many costs for litigation and other claims that the insurance companies want to drop them. There's another FOIL request for someone to file: the amount that's been spent on litigation and other claims in the last 5 years.
expose the truth January 19, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I don't thinks its the insurance carrier. They can't cancel midterm except if the premium hasn't been paid. At least that is what I've heard.
Liz Claire January 19, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Leslie, I agree with you check out this. http://www.cityofpeekskill.com/sites/default/files/agendas/liability_insurance.pdf Why isn't there a policy in place already? Why wasn't funding it part of the budget? Is this just more of Mary Foster's mismanagement of the City?
expose the truth January 19, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I just read the agenda item on the website and it looks like the city is doing this not because anything the insurance company did. I just wonder why it is a time is of the essence item. Maybe they didn't pay the premium based on the memo? Anybody have a clue on this ?
FYI January 19, 2013 at 09:19 PM
What about the rumor that Foster is leaving after this term (Peek taxpayers, in debt) and McGowan wants to "take the reins"? Foster not running for a third term after promising this and and that (Firehouse, free performance spaces for the not-for-prof "artistes", and Lord knows what else) What about that? About us taxpayers ponying up $7 MILLION+ for the polluted Karta land to pay off mafia-linked racketeering families? And, who's going to pay for her firehouse, once she's gone!!!! I guess not having the Dem booth at the Peekskill Days will be a good thing!!!
Ray Adamick January 19, 2013 at 09:46 PM
No wonder McGowan speaks up at the meetings now!!
leesther brown January 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM
@Leslie...I too scratched and sniffed and you're right it don't pass the smell test...What happens to the many lawsuits?...The Water Plant..DMAC..and the Deskovic lawsuit to name of few.....#ignorantrecklessandcorrupt..
leesther brown January 20, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Hold on to your "Knickers" folks .....Look At This BS here(in my madea voice) these "Culprits" have scheduled a emergency meeting for Monday Night...... http://www.cityofpeekskill.com/sites/default/files/agendas/agenda_012113_special_cow.pdf All State,County and Federal buildings are closed in observance of MLK .....Hey..Darrell..Ray call Darrell..Ms Phillips..Ms MacDonald...Rev Lacey..you'll need to be reigning her in..this woman don't give a care about nothing but the counsels of her own evil heart..and without proper public notice to boot...this wasn't up earlier...
Ray Adamick January 20, 2013 at 05:17 AM
They must be nuts
shakemdown January 20, 2013 at 05:47 AM
she did, it's at www.maryfoster'sbullsh-tgoverning.com
leesther brown January 20, 2013 at 06:02 AM
@Ray...yeah!...They have gone over the edge...first off if I'm not mistaking she can't turn that key until 12:01am 1/22/13 if she does she's in violation! I wonder what shook them so?!!...#stupidazz..
Ray Adamick January 20, 2013 at 07:13 AM
Was it the celebration?
expose the truth January 20, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Liz the insurance consultant they wanted to hire in 2011 just happens to be the personal attorney o an insurance Agency in Long Island that insures municipalities. His recommendation is always to move the policies to that agent.
leesther brown January 20, 2013 at 03:29 PM
@Ray...Who knows what these idiots are thinking.....I don't believe the purpose stated on the notice is going to make that much of a difference that they need to call this meeting,and violate... it may be that they want to appoint,or disappoint,but it can't be held Monday, and lets forget that it's MLK day,they haven't given proper notice(72hrs),and this meeting must be open in "Public" and closed in public....#openmeetinglaw..
leesther brown January 20, 2013 at 03:49 PM
@Ray, my bad..they have given proper notice...but still they've really gone and bumped their heads to attempt such a "Stupid" thing,but then again it's just proof positive that these folks are out of control....
Frank a Catalina January 20, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Why was this major story taken off The Patch?.
Kirsten Berger January 20, 2013 at 05:13 PM
A pared down celebration wouldn't be so bad, it's better than nothing. How about just keeping it to one day, with fireworks at night? When I moved to Peekskill in 1999, the Celebration had sites in the downtown in addition to the riverfront and those got pared down many years ago. And why can't the Celebration people start their fundraising now, it's better than just giving up?
Ray Adamick January 21, 2013 at 07:27 AM
They seemed to give up to soon!
Silent Majority January 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Because the Patch has been falling off lately...In all Peekskill News (Common Council AND School District News) Usually on the front page, you used to see local stories stay up all day. However, the things that come up now are mostly filler things like What to do in Peekskill this weekend OR houses sold. Thats not really news per say. This is a story that SHOULD be on the front page again! Also, why has no one really mentioned the fact that the City Council is holding a meeting today on MLK Day?! WTH is going on. Ironically, Art Cusano on the Peekskill Daily does a good job of keeping local stories, but he doesn't have a good platform to be as interactive as the Patch. http://peekskill.dailyvoice.com/
Rasheed Oluwa (Editor) January 21, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Here's information on the meeting notice silent majority: http://peekskill.patch.com/articles/mlk-jr-events-holiday-closing-and-peekskill-common-council-meets#comments_list Here's the latest school news: http://peekskill.patch.com/articles/vigil-held-for-assumption-school This story was kept up on the top spot a day longer than usual Silent Majority. I agree this story should be addressed again, but it's unrealistic to expect to see this story in the top spot for three straight days.
john January 25, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Don't forget the Methadone clinic!
Wendy Kelly January 25, 2013 at 04:23 PM
John and others- Mary better not leave this Meth Clinic to the next administration. She is using the applicant wants an extension of time excuse for some time now and has said they may ask for another.
Joe Shmoe February 21, 2013 at 06:54 AM
Well Patty we do finally agree on one thing...it is the voters fault she's still in. But the good news for you is...you don't pay taxes here.

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