New Village of Ossining Mayor Rika Levin was among a handful of elected officials sworn in on New Year’s Day during a Zoom inauguration.
Close to 90 people tuned in to view the ceremony that was led by former Mayor Victoria Gearity, who opted not to seek a fourth two-year term in November.
“Ossining is in good hands,” Gearity said of Levin.
Levin, who has lived in Ossining for 27 years, has served on the Village Board since being appointed in 2015. She spent more than 25 years in management, new product development, diversity management, and eventually Chief Marketing Officer in Fortune 100 companies in New York. She is currently in management at a large not-for-profit organization in Westchester.
A child of Holocaust surviving parents, Levin, who is the 17th mayor in the history of the village, mentioned her father died from coronavirus in April.
“This is a very exiting moment for me. I’m a little scared because I have to follow Victoria Gearity. That’s a high bar that was set,” she said. “I’m super excited for everything we’re going to get done. This is going to be a powerful and effective team.”
Levin said her deputy mayor will be Trustee Manuel Quezada, who was reelected to a second consecutive two-year term. He previously served as a trustee from 2012 to 2017.
“I’m proud to continue to moving Ossining forward,” Quezada said. “I have always spoken the truth and stood up for what I believe in.”
Former Village Historian Dana White was elected to her first term on the board. A resident since 1991, White is a freelance writer who has served on several village and community boards.
“I think of Ossining as a place of possibilities,” she said. “My core value is all people are born equal and should be treated as such. The choices we make today are crucial to Ossining’s future.”
Newly elected Town Justice Jeffrey Gasbarro was also sworn-in, as was State Assemblyman Sandy Galef, who was elected to a 14th two-year term in Albany.
“What a year we have had. It will be a unique session in Albany. We have lots of work to do,” said Galef, who was sworn-in by her three grandchildren. “2021 means tough decisions need to be made. May 2021 bring us a renewed happiness.”