Community Spotlight - Joey Cavaccini

Wappingers Rises has always had the support of Joey Cavaccini. We caught up with him to hear more about his role as County Legislature and more exciting things happening in The Town of Wappinger.

WR: Hi Joey! How are you? Tell us a bit about your role during this time.

Joey: The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our nation and our community like nothing else before. We are living in an unprecedented time in American history with really no road map as to where to begin. Fortunately through the leadership of Wappinger Town Supervisor Dick Thurston, County Executive Marc Molinaro, and our Emergency Response team up at the County; Dutchess/Wappinger has been at the forefront of trying to stop the spread, and assist and inform as many residents as possible. In working with Supervisor Thurston on the town level I have been tasked with getting as much information out to our constituency as possible via our Town of Wappinger website, social media accounts, and municipal channel. Writing press releases, discussing which Town facilities and services to close, and for how long. We have been working with our local businesses who have been impacted by the shutdown, the Supervisor and I jointly created a local guide to restaurants in Wappinger and Wappingers Falls. We as a Town have launched innovative ways such as video conferencing between the public and our town boards to continue meetings and governmental operations. I have attended several conference calls for the past month with County officials on the most up to date news and plans on COVID-19 here in Dutchess County. It is important that we support our local restaurants during this time. I have been going to County Fare and Mamma Musetti’s more times than I can count! But these are people that are doing amazing things for our community and it is so crucial to support them now, so we can continue to enjoy them later. We have also been doing little feel good morale boosting activities such as asking families to place candles on their front porch in solidarity, participating in the #WappingersRises musical caravan, and various community challenges such as the “egg challenge” to promote mental health for James’s Warr;ors.

WR: We always notice how proactive Town Supervisor, you, and many others are when it comes to helping and creative ideas. Tell us more about THANK YOU THURSDAYS. This is wonderful!

Joey: We at Town of Wappinger Government are always trying to come up with new community initiatives and we welcome the input of everyone! One of our volunteers, Randy Ross (who is essential in moving the renovations at Spook Hill Park along), started this idea of “Thank You Thursdays” that local businesses will be participating in a new weekly program honoring our first responders, doctors, nurses and other healthcare individuals. On each Thursday, these hard-working heroes will receive discounts and other free items at the businesses noted below. Individuals showing ID.’s or wearing uniforms will receive free coffee or soft drinks from:

Dunkin Donuts; McDonald's; Starbucks; Gulf; Mobil; and Sunoco stations on Route 9, and the Shell Station on Route 376 in New Hackensack.

Also, discounts of up to 15% will be available at Big Lots, Outback Steakhouse, and Double O Grill.

We will also be adding to this list to include other restaurants that are already feeding the front lines such as County Fare, Cafe Con Leche, even bakeries such as Sweet Obsessions on Route 376!

We are all ONE community here, we are #wappingerstrong

WR: Share more, if you don’t mind, about your social distancing - and day to day- during this time. We’ve seen some great pictures from town parks.

Joey: In an effort to stop the spread, protect our employees and residents, Wappinger Town Hall is closed to the public. So I have had the great pleasure of working out of one of my favorite places during this pandemic, Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park. A majestic Victorian era estate turned public park, that we plan to be the center of arts, culture, history, and leisure for Wappinger. Sitting high above the Hudson River, Carnwath Farms HSP consists of 99.7 acres of protected parkland, the pre-restoration 1850 Italianate-style Carnwath Manor, an 1873 French-style Carriage House, the Reese Cultural Center, the Sports Museum of Dutchess County, a 1927 colonial cottage, and a three mile trail network with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. During this pandemic we have seen an increased use of our parks especially Carnwath. The Town has made significant strides in the past month in getting the place in great shape including reopening a gazebo and overlook deck, new roofs on buildings, getting the Reese Cultural Center online for a early summer opening, new signage, clearing of invasive trees and shrubs, etc. we hope everyone can make use of this great park!