By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
Dec. 23, 2020: President John F. Kennedy said, "We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives."
As we enjoy the holiday season and the tradition of counting our blessings, I thought there was no better time to stop and share my gratitude. Covid has certainly changed our lives, but I also think it has brought words like gratitude, blessed, loved, and appreciated more to the forefront.
My personal thanks starts with you, all of the Village residents, who have given me the opportunity to be part of the leadership team governing our special home. It has been the job and the honor of a lifetime.
I thank everyone in Village government who stepped up when called and stepped up extraordinarily - our police officers who continue to pick up medicine and groceries for our senior citizens in addition to their normal duties of answering calls; our police chief who is passionate about trying to control the virus in our Village; our DPW staff who never missed a day of work during the height of the crisis; the administrative and library staffs who kept things opened when so many other communities closed shop and whose leaders, Village Administrator, Jim Palmer, and Library Director, Greg Wirszyla, led by sterling example.
And, of course, overwhelming thanks to all of our first responders - - the Bronxville Police Department, EVAC, and the Eastchester Fire Department - - who early on and continue to risk their lives entering people's homes and caring for them, not knowing what awaits them. So many of the people they aided were brought to NYP/Lawrence Hospital, where they were cared for by some of the most hard-working and dedicated people I have ever had the privilege to witness. I would often see staff, after long shifts, waiting patiently for Metro North trains that arrived at a snail's pace. Their selflessness was awe inspiring.
All of our civic groups stepped up in one way or another, with our Rotary Club leading the way. When I helped to deliver gift cards purchased by the Rotary to our postal workers, there were many moistened eyes of gratitude. Villagers then bought gift cards, gift cards, and more gift cards; ordered books online from Womrath's and take out dinners from virtually every eating establishment.
Then our "Bronxville For Bronxville" initiative was launched as a completely organic response from concerned residents who immediately distributed 19 $5,000 loans to keep some of our businesses afloat in early spring and are now in the process of dispensing almost $400,000 in low interest loans to local merchants. The third prong of this grassroots generosity is online donations via the Chamber of Commerce. With gifts averaging well below $100, almost $25,000 has been raised so far to disperse to merchants to cover costs of Covid protections as well as partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to make the Village as attractive as possible during this critically important holiday season. In essence, every resident seems to say, I am here to help.
I thank our restauranteurs and merchants who show indomitable spirit, perseverance, and hope in the face of an unimaginable adversary. How lucky are we that they chose Bronxville as their business home.
Despite Covid, we in Village government knew we have had to keep going with as much business as usual as possible. Much was accomplished in the past nine months thanks to the literally dozens of Village residents who stepped up to join our volunteer boards, be it Planning, Zoning, Design Review, the Board of Assessment Review, the Library Board, and the Finance and Ethics Committees. We simply could not have functioned without their commitment to give of their time and share their skills.
A huge debt of gratitude goes to the Bronxville School faculty and staff under the inspired leadership of Superintendent Roy Montesano, who keeps our school going thanks to an incredible commitment that required months of planning. Our school's continuous functioning, despite so many obstacles placed before it, serves as a beacon of hope to all Villagers.
The young people of the Village deserve our admiration, and frankly, I am in awe of their resilience, their spirit, their kindness, and the smiles on their faces despite a truly unprecedented change in their lives. So many of them lost the opportunity to share in the collective joys of graduations, sports victories, birthday parties, and just being with friends. You are an example to all of us.
I think our Village proves what David Brooks once said in an editorial - - that there was a lot of surplus goodness in daily life that cannot be explained by logic.
It could be explained by gratitude, which is the form of social glue that binds us all together and reminds us that a society isn't just a contract based on mutual benefit but an organic connection based on natural sympathy; connections that are nurtured not by self-interest but by loyalty and service.
I send this message filled with gratitude described by G.K. Chesterton, "thanks are the highest form of thought, and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
We are so fortunate to live in a Village resplendent with wonder.
Pictured: Mary Marvin
Photo by A. Warner
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends
Bronxville Police Department
Open 24 hours
Bronxville Parking Violations
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends
Bronxville Fire Deparment