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To the Editor:
I wish that someone in Sleepy Hollow Village government had chosen to be more  communicative about the ordinance that was passed some years ago requiring that a current Certificate of Occupancy be in place when a property is purchased in Sleepy Hollow.
My wife and I purchased our home in 2003 when there was no such policy and sold it privately (not using a realtor) earlier this month. The first I learned of a “C of O” requirement was from my attorney, when the contract of sale was being drawn up and I noticed and inquired about a clause stating a maximum amount of $2,500 for “C of O” required improvements (our cost was ultimately more than that.)
The owner we had purchased from in 2003 had apparently done a lot of improvements without gaining the proper permits and inspections from the Village along the way.
If I had been more aware of the need to have improvements done by previous owners of my home “legalized,” I certainly would not have waited until the last couple of weeks before our closing to do so.
As it was, I found myself extremely challenged and stressed to understand what the Sleepy Hollow Village Building Department was asking me to do based on their initial inspection report, to find contractors who were both qualified to do the work, and would not unfairly exploit my time pressure to get the work completed, to supervise the work, and to explain to my buyers why we were not ready to close in mid-April as originally planned. I even found myself on the phone explaining it to my buyers’ mortgage broker, who works for a private mortgage lender which was founded in 1925, has initiated hundreds of mortgages across the country, and yet had never run into this situation.
It would seem to be to be a simple and appropriate thing for someone in Village government to write a brief blurb describing the “C of O” statute and its implication to potential home sellers and include it in an upcoming water bill mailing, just as was done by Mayor Zegarelli to explain a 13.95% sewer rent charge based on water usage, back in 2004. Meanwhile, I thought writing this letter would help get the word out to readers of the “Hudson Independent.”
For everybody else, I guess it will just be a case of “Caveat Venditor,” or Seller Beware!
Sincerely,

David Rudofsky
New York, NY

Editor’s Note: The Sleepy Hollow Village Board of Trustees began a hearing last week on a proposal to amend the Village Code so that  one- and two-family homes would no longer be required to have an updated Certificate of Occupancy. The exemption from that requirement would include condo units and co-op units.  The hearing was continued to a trustee meeting scheduled for earlier this week, after this newspaper went to press.  

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Local resident Robert Rachlin responded to The Hudson Independent’s article about the U.S. Military’s “Local Honor Flights”, in which World War II veterans are being escorted to Washington, D.C. The following first-hand account, highlights his day of honor.
 
A Memorable Day Feeling Like a Hero

To the Editor:

The day started at 5:15 a.m. when volunteer Bill Murray picked me up and drove me to Montgomery N.Y. where we were greeted at ShopRite, this year’s Hudson Valley Honor Flight sponsor. We boarded buses to Stewart International Airport for our chartered flight to D.C., preceded by 100 motorcycles. Along the route were cheering crowds waving American flags; policemen and military men saluted. This was the first time, among many that day, I began to feel like a hero.
Hundreds greeted us at the airport, thanking us for our service. New York Senators, representatives, mayors and other politicians thanked us for helping win WWII and keeping our hard-won freedoms. Everywhere we went we were greeted by hundreds of citizens, young and old, thanking us for our service.
 100 veterans (approximately 20% in wheelchairs and 40% using canes) and 80 volunteers taking care of us filled 4 buses. Much picture-taking of our group took place at the WWII Memorial, but meeting my daughter and son-in-law there was a highlight.
 Next, a trip to Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  — a most emotional experience for me, as I remembered the men who died in Germany and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium while I was in the 84th Infantry Division.
 From there we took a tour of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising Statue at the Marine Corps Memorial, and then back to Stewart Airport. There my stalwart 6’2” NYS Trooper met me to bring me home.
 This is a day that will live in my memory for the rest of my life, and from which I have drawn two conclusions: first, I realize that I really am an old man, closing in on 90. I couldn’t ignore this, because 80 volunteers were trying to help me every step of the way (even though I don’t use a wheelchair or cane.) Second, for the first time in my life I feel like a hero. Even though I was in an Infantry Division with three battle stars and a Bronze Star, when my peers and I came home, we didn’t complain or talk about our experiences. We simply went back to work or school. When I explained this to someone, he said, “That’s exactly why we love and admire you.”
 I don’t know about that, but I let myself feel like a hero — at least for a little time.
 
Bob Rachlin
Tarrytown

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To the Editor,

So I’m late to my car by about 3 minutes and I owe $25.  Pardon me, but this is ridiculous!
1)    $25 is a meal at a local restaurant, but it should not be the fine for a meter violation since not everyone in Tarrytown drives a Lexus.  It’s a parking violation, not a misdemeanor.  If you are trying to welcome visitors to Tarrytown where parking is often a hassle, the village is not doing a very good job.
2)    To pay the ticket within 24 hours at half price, why would it matter where a car is parked, on the street or in a parking lot? 

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