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Plotkin Celebrates 47 Years on Planning Board

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Dobbs Ferry Planning Board Chairman Ed Plotkin is rarely at a loss for words. After Mayor Hartley Connett officially declared April 10, 2012 Ed Plotkin Day on Tuesday night, his reply had the room rolling in laughter.

“It’s after eight already,” Plotkin quipped.

It’s this sense of humor that Connett said has made Plotkin so comfortable in his position and so appealing to the local residents.

“That’s not an easy job and it needs leadership and a special style,” Connett said. “Everything he says goes and that’s just about it.”

The Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees presented Plotkin with the John O. Cross award, which is given out to an outstanding planning chair by the New York Planning Federation.

Plotkin has been on the planning board in Dobbs Ferry for 47 years and has a wealth of experience, as he was formerly the Westchester County commissioner of public works. Having constructed subways in New York City and Washington D.C. among other projects, Plotkin said what he’s learned from people is just as important as what he’s built.

“It was the ability to be part of the community, one learns what goes on in the community by sitting in that type of a position,” Plotkin said. “It’s been a lot of fun, it really has, and it’s a good village.”

Many would wonder after all these years why Plotkin would still give up his time to serve as chairman of the planning board.

“Why did I get involved?” Plotkin asked. “I went to City College of New York and my father, an immigrant, couldn’t afford college for his family and this was give back.”

Furthering his reputation as a jack-of-all-trades, Plotkin teaches as a professor with Mercy College, but it’s not in the typical classroom setting.

“I teach environmental science, not on campus,” Plotkin said. “I teach at the prison, Sing Sing (Correctional Facility). It’s fun.”

From an engineer, to commissioner, to the planning board and teaching young students, Plotkin said he enjoys the variety.

“People say what do you do, I say what do you want?” Plotkin said. “I do a little bit of everything.”

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