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'Mr. Mount Kisco,' Former Mayor Henry V. Kensing Dies

Henry V. Kensing
Henry V. Kensing Photo Credit: Contributed

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Henry V. "Hank" Kensing, a stalwart figure in Mount Kisco whose public life including serving as village mayor and as village justice, died on Monday. He was 83.

The confirmation of Kensing's death was posted by Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home. Obituary details have yet to be posted.

Kensing has been a prominent fixture in the village for decades - he continued to appear at public events close to the end of his life, and received shout outs at them by his successor, current Mayor Michael Cindrich.

As mayor from the 1960s to the early 1980s, Kensing presided over events big and small for the village, contemporary media reports show. 

A 1968 article in The Patent Trader, for example, shows Kensing at Yankee Stadium as part of a series called "Mount Kisco Night," where local coaches and kids were invited to see the Yankees play.

Kensing also faced a competitive political landscape, including a squeaker of a mayoral election; in 1969, The Patent Trader noted that Kensing, a Democrat, defeated Republican (and fellow village fixture) Ferdinand Vetare by just 37 votes. Village elections back then, the article shows, were held in March, in contrast to the modern November cycle.

As mayor, Kensing also presided over Mount Kisco's secession from the towns of New Castle and Bedford, which occurred in 1978. Mount Kisco, as a village, was partly situated in each town. However, as part of the secession, Mount Kisco became a co-terminus village/town and assumed the duties of the latter entity on its own.

Decades later, when Kensing served as a village justice, he worked with local volunteer Mel Berger as part of the "drug court" system, which was established in 1990 and emphases guiding defendants towards treatment instead of heavier punishments.

"The effectiveness of the program in terms of preventing further involvement with the law on the part of the defendants involved in the program has not been statistically determined," Kensing wrote in a 2001 essay in which he praised the program.

More recently, Kensing volunteered with A-HOME, a Northern Westchester-focused group that seeks to provide affordable housing in the area, followed by an offshoot known as ACE; he served on the board of the latter group.

In a blurb for his ACE board profile, Kensing discussed how he became familiar with affordable housing due to displacement of low-income and middle-income people from an urban-renewal program in Mount Kisco that took place in the 1960s to 1970s.

Check back to Daily Voice for funeral arrangements.

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