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Top Stories 2012: Residents Unite To Change Port Chester

A Port Chester resident speaks up at a town hall-style meeting Sept. 27 about quality of life in Port Chester.
A Port Chester resident speaks up at a town hall-style meeting Sept. 27 about quality of life in Port Chester. Photo Credit: File

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. ? The Port Chester Daily Voice will lead into the new year by counting down, in no particular order, the top 10 stories from 2012.

One of the top stories of the year was a grassroots movement in the village led by a collective of concerned citizens who wanted to improve the quality of life in Port Chester.

After reading crime stories in Port Chester every day, lifelong resident Keith Morlino grew frustrated and created a Facebook group called Making Port Chester A Better Place over the summer.

The group grew quickly, and Morlino convened a small group to address problems and create solutions for the future of Port Chester. The collective agreed to bring issues to the village and get other residents involved.

A town hall-style meeting was held Sept. 27 with Mayor Dennis Pilla to raise issues and organize nine committees: Illegal Housing, Public Behavior, Traffic and Pedestrian Safety, Noise, School Residency Verification, Village Board Efficiency, Public Safety, Consistency in Building Code Enforcement, and Downtown Aesthetic Improvement.

The group then launched a website in October to keep residents informed of the steps being taken to improve Port Chester, ways to get involved in the community and information on committee meetings.

Though he started the group, Morlino reaffirmed time and again that 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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