Ward’s retirement, Captain’s honor and veteran appreciation at Monroe Town Board meeting

Monroe. Monroe Town Board meeting was preoccupied with milestones and appreciations. Councilman Mike McGinn also mentioned the Rye Hill Preserve plan revision in progress.

| 14 Nov 2022 | 02:04

From commemorating Monroe members’ milestones to upcoming events for veterans, the November 9 Town Board meeting highlighted an array of community happenings.

The board opened the meeting by honoring Ward Brower III, a former member of Monroe’s 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 board.

“Words can’t express what you’ve done for this community as someone who is deeply concerned about what happens here,” said Mike McGinn, a town councilman.

“We really appreciate all the input you’ve given over the years. You’ve come to town board meetings, planning board meetings, ZBA meetings; if there was something important, especially conservation, you brought that to the forefront,” said Mary Bingham, a town councilwoman.

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

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

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 came up here for a police funeral and wound up at The Captain’s Table...six, eight years later, I wound up moving here. And little did I know it played such an integral role in not only my life but everyone else’s life in this room,” McGinn said. “The Captain’s Table is just one of those places where you’ve had every family birthday, every family party.”

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

“My mom started it all, but truly 50 is really 88...We just kinda inherited The Captain’s Table and kept it going,” Ray Hafenecker said. “It’s been a great run.”

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

The town hall is currently hosting “Flags for Our Heroes” until Nov. 18, in which residents can buy and hoist flags outside the hall, honoring their heroes, veterans and others. A portion of proceeds will go to Military Toys for Tots, which provides toys for children of veterans. “All here in Orange County...you’re helping some really great families,” said Councilwoman Dorey Houle.

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

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

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

“When we get to a point when we feel that the plan is ready for submission, we will bring it back before the public and start the process all over again,” McGinn said.

My mom started it all, but truly 50 is really 88...We just kinda inherited The Captain’s Table and kept it going. - Ray Hafenecker