Ward’s Retirement, Captain’s Honor and Veteran Appreciation at Monroe Town Board Meeting

From commemorating milestones for Monroe members to upcoming events for veterans, the Nov. 9 city council meeting highlighted an array of community events.

The council opened the meeting by honoring Ward Brower III, a former member of the Monroe Conservation Commission, who recently retired after serving 31 years on the Commission. He received a plaque for his work and took a group photo with the council.

“Words cannot express what you have done for this community as someone deeply concerned about what is happening here,” said Mike McGinn, a city councilman.

“We really appreciate all the contributions you have made over the years. You came to city council meetings, planning board meetings, ZBA meetings; if there was something important, especially conservation, you brought it to the fore,” said Mary Bingham, a councilor.

Brower dismissed himself as unworthy of praise and claimed he deserved only one accolade: town troublemaker.

“I’ve served with and for probably six administrations. One thing I managed to do was upset every single one of them,” Brower joked, prompting laughs.

The board also recognized The Captain’s Table for 50 years of service under the ownership of Ray and Kathy Hafenecker.

“I was living in the Bronx and I came here for a police funeral and ended up at The Captain’s Table…six, eight years later I ended up moving here. And I had no idea it played such a big role not just in my life, but in the lives of everyone else in this room,” McGinn said. “The Captain’s Table is just one of those places where you’ve had every family birthday, every family celebration.”

“Ray, I’ll tell you what’s most impressive about you is that you’ve been doing this for, I don’t know how many years, probably 50. And you still have a head full of hair, god bless you. bless you for that,” Councilman Sal Scancarello said.

“My mom started it all, but really 50 is really 88… We kind of inherited The Captain’s Table and kept it going,” said Ray Hafenecker. “It was a great race.”

Following this, the council announced a few local veteran-related events. Cassie Rooney and her family will host a free Thanksgiving dinner for veterans Nov. 18, 5-9 p.m., at American Legion Station 488. “Please, veterans, get out,” McGinn said.

City Hall is currently hosting “Flags for Our Heroes” through Nov. 18, during which residents can purchase and raise flags outside the hall, honoring their heroes, veterans and others. A portion of the proceeds will go to Military Toys for Tots, which provides toys to children of veterans. “All of you here in Orange County…you are helping some really great families,” Councilwoman Dorey Houle said.

Courtesy of Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Veterans Services Agency Director Christian Farrel, Flagship Cinema will host two free screenings of the upcoming film “Devotion,” along with refreshments, the November 29 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., free for veterans.

City Hall will also host a “Meet and Treat” on December 3, from 2-5 p.m., with festive snacks and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

McGinn also announced that the planner recently received an update from SunBrook Partners on their revised plan for the Rye Hill reserve, which council will begin reviewing.

“When we get to a point where we feel the plan is ready to go, we’ll present it to the public and start the process over again,” McGinn said.

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