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Residents Band Together To Improve Port Chester

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – A group of concerned Port Chester residents will meet next week to discuss “Quality of Life in Port Chester,” springboarding from a Facebook group called Making Port Chester A Better Place , created by lifelong resident Keith Morlino.

“Maybe we can make a difference,” said Morlino, a third-generation Port Chester resident whose two children attend Port Chester public schools. “We have got to get people together and make it as citizen-based as possible, and figure out what to do next.”

After reading about crime stories in Port Chester every day, Morlino grew frustrated and created the group, which now has about 260 members. The “Quality of Life” meeting that stemmed from that group will take place at Horton School, 222 Grace Church Street in Port Chester at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.

Morlino said the purpose of the meeting will be to discuss issues of crime and safety, building and apartment code violations, and any other topics residents want to bring to the table.

“Maybe I’m completely off my rocker here. Maybe I’m not understanding what’s going on, so I’d rather have people come down to the meeting, get on a committee and let’s do some work,” he said.

One Facebook group member, Deirdre McMahon Pascale, asked on the page if any elected officials would be at the meeting to answer questions. “It will be so great to bring people together and have a sharing of ideas, but it would be a shame to leave there with a ‘to do’ list that is not reasonable based on laws or ordinances,” she said.

Morlino said Mayor Dennis Pilla, certain village trustees, and Police Chief Joseph M. Krzeminski will attend the meeting to hear what residents have to say. Group member Elizabeth Czajkowski-Rotfeld posted, “I actually do have faith in our elected officials and believe they want what we want even if they do not seem to be on the same page all the time.”

Though he started the group, Morlino said he is not looking to go into politics or stay in the spotlight. More than anything, he said he wants to bring people together to share ideas. “I think there’s a very old-school people who live in Port Chester and then you have the Latino group and I think there’s a big divide between the two,” he said. “I’m hoping this will spur a little community spirit. We’re all trying to do the same thing so at least this will spur some camaraderie.”

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