64.9 F
Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeGovernmentPunting 1037 BPR, Capital for Capital Projects: Items on the Rye City...

Punting 1037 BPR, Capital for Capital Projects: Items on the Rye City Council *Special* Agenda for September 5, 2012

Heather     Pattersoncityhall

(PICTURE: Rye City Hall by local artist Heather Patterson)

The city council's agenda for its *special* meeting on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 is out.

There will be a special meeting of the City Council of the City of Rye on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, at 8:00pm in the Council Room of City Hall. The meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Litigation Committee beginning at 7:00pm in the Mayor’s Conference Room. The Council will convene at 7:30pm and it is expected they will adjourn into Executive Session to discuss real estate matters.

Office Hours of the Mayor by appointment by emailing [email protected].

Meetings are also aired on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 39. We'll also see you on the Internet (live and archive).

Let's check the batting order and highlights from the 8 agenda items.

  • Sell It.Authorization for the City Manager to enter into a broker agreement between the City of Rye and CBRE to market the property located at 1037 Boston Post Road. Roll Call.
  • Lester's Has First Dibs (for $3.6M). Authorization for the City Manager to enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Rye and Lester’s of Rye, LLC for the right of first refusal for the purchase of the property located at 1037 Boston Post Road.
  • Lester's Paperwork. Authorization for the City Manager to enter into an Amendment to extend the Lease Agreement with Lester’s of Rye, LLC.
  • Doug's "Honey Do" List. Continuation of Public Hearing to discuss potential capital projects to be included in a November, 2012 Bond Referendum and Continuation of Public Hearing to adopt bond resolutions for the November, 2012 Referendum for capital projects.

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at


    Television viewers are no doubt familiar with the current popular reality series by the same name but Rye City taxpayers may not have yet awakened to the fact that they themselves are contestants in our own high stakes version of the game played by an insistent small core of municipal monetary misogynists perched uneasily at the center of today’s Rye city council bench.

    In this curious local version of “the game,” Rye taxpayers are being asked – (well, actually they’re being TOLD) – to potentially accept the wholly unnecessary largest loss of public treasury funds in Rye City history. Yup, you read that right.

    And as far as contest rules go, instead of debating about another extra $2000 or even $20,000 “win” for restoring the library budget – or re-authorizing the “winning” funding for the Rye High School DARE Officer who could perhaps have prevented last year’s nationally publicized student abduction and assault “incident, ”- we’re certainly not talking the relative peanuts of a $2000 or $20,000 or $200,000 annual budget investment debate but instead prime time contemplating losing literally millions of dollars of immediate fully realized cash loss through our city accounts to remove prior Rye City Mayor Steve Otis’s recent stupid (some say illegal) rammed thru acquisition of the poorly configured commercial building across the parking lot from city hall that once housed CVS and now is rented out by Lester’s Clothing Store. In legalese it’s now known simply as 1037 Boston Post Road.

    And so what kind of Rye City money are we talking about? Well – with acquisition, site study and related costs cranked in on top of original purchase price – this loss today could be as much as $3 million. ALL CASH. And hiring a broker may, through injecting a short window of competition, reduce the loss somewhat. But it’s still a weak market so the bucks lost for such a politically forced transaction here will still be huge – and by hook or by crook – coming back sometime soon to a tax bill near and dear to you.

    So what’s the alternative? Aside from calling in the men in the white suits to visit the homes of Mayor French and his Republican Ticket line voting crony’s – well – patience is one logical alternative. Rye residential real estate left for dead only 3 years ago is today somehow alive and well and getting bid up again. Do business cycles happen? I think so. Has it lifted suburban commercial property yet – I’m told in ‘pockets’ but not overall. And just because an individual sometimes can’t “hold” property long term when market and social forces conspire against them doesn’t mean a municipality must suffer a preemptive loss when it can hold essentially forever.

    And yes, transaction apologists and deal enthusiasts can conjure up the case that the site today doesn’t currently have a “public purpose.” But this is an amorphous designation easily remedied by leveling the building and extending city hall parking for a while – or – leaving it up and finding a new tenant who would pay more rent and possibly make a more appropriate purchase offer in the future. This patience for site resale could recapture all the public wampum extended here and get taxpayers long-term whole. Just such an impure thought about a needed parking lot was recently raised and brushed away but its merits are solid – and it doesn’t require any change in law nor statute. And it doesn’t waste irrecoverably our precious local capital built up over multiple decades of more prudent fiscal management.

    Rye Taxpayers – tomorrow night starting supposedly at 8pm at Rye City Hall. Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls….

  2. Did anyone watch the meeting last night? Mayor French wanted to hang his hat on his “we didn’t raise your taxes this year” and “we are not in the real estate business” More Doug French propaganda. He now wants to sell the Lester’s building @ a 3 million dollar loss to bail him out of the hole he dug for himself by stating “we didn’t raise your taxes this year”.

    We are in the real estate business. Who owns Rye Rec. and all the other City parks and playgrounds? At one point he stated that holding the property was illegal due to tax regulations. Can someone show us that regulation? Who owns Rye Golf Club, is that against tax regulations? Who owns The Jay Center, The Arts center, The Reading Room, The parking lots, City Garage, City Hall, etc.etc.ect… Doesn’t the ownership of the above put us in the Real estate business?

    French set the price on 1037 BPR by entertaining the 3.6 offer. Who is going to come in now and offer 6 million when they know the City is entertaining less than 4 mill. If this was Coming out of French’s pocket would he take a 3 million dollar hit or wait? Why didn’t he start the bidding at 6 million? Why did it take so long to put it on the MLS?

    And let’s not forget this is the same Mayor that cheated residents out of thousands of dollars of STAR tax money, City permit fees and Tax increases that he never paid. He now wants us to pay for his mistakes again.


  3. Councilwoman’s Brett comments the BPR Jersey barriers hurting everyone’s property values was the best line of the meeting. She just lost credibility points.
    Tha BPR wall is not even in the top ten infrastructure list. The brick School St. parking lot wall (reinforced with brackets and fencing) surrounding private and public property has a higher liability risk.


    Or maybe not – and I really hope not. Because, well, it’s a shame financing answers are still so hard to come by at this late date – when the city infrastructure is literally crumbling – and at least some level of fiscal credibility with the public is essential to raising the needed borrowed millions of funding.

    Here’s the issue. Depending on what public records you can dig up online; the City of Rye either did not comply with the original acquisition funding authorization for 1037 Boston Post Road – or – after the cameras were switched off and building acquisition critics went home – a highly significant, materially different revised funding authorization was somehow papered up approving the quiet “requisition” of regular city funds from various existing city accounts to pay off the final $5 million “balloon” tranche of building purchase consideration. In other words, a tactical working capital raid was carried out.

    Here’s an excerpt from the original authorization mandate –

    “APPROVED MINUTES – Special Meeting – City Council March 29, 2006 – Page 3
    WHEREAS, it is proposed that the maximum amount estimated to be expended for the Project is not to exceed $6.3 million and that the cost of the Project is to be financed by the issuance of serial bonds of the City in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $6.3 million pursuant to the Local Finance Law of New York (the “LFL”) and, if deemed advisable, by the issuance of bond anticipation notes in anticipation of the issuance of said serial bonds;”

    And here’s the link to the full acquisition authorization minutes from 2006 –


    Needless to say, the City never issued any serial bonds or notes that we now know of to pay off the $5 million building balloon. Instead it apparently drained the reserves of various operational department funds to pay the $5 million, rendering the municipal coffers dry for regular annual recurring repairs and maintenance. This would perhaps explain the awful condition of some of our roads – and the delayed maintenance of critical health and safety related infrastructure – all the while the French Administration proudly CROWED ABOUT NOT RAISING YOUR LOCAL TAXES. Yikes!

    Perhaps this is why all of the salient discussions surrounding the proposals to sell this property over the past 9+ months have almost exclusively been done exactly the way the original acquisition discussions were mostly done – behind closed doors in so called “executive sessions” away from public eyes and ears. And perhaps this is part of the root cause of why our otherwise competent, friendly and transparent Rye City Comptroller resigned suddenly this spring and left in record time making no public comments.

    “Putting the city’s business first” has become The New French Anthem whenever an investigation of suspected official city malfeasance has been called for (and there have now been more than a few). Maybe an amended authorization for raiding the regular accounts of the city for $5 million will now surface. Or maybe silence will rule the day once again. I just think most people knew little or nothing about how this affair was conducted. But be assured – soon – you the taxpaying public – will be the ultimate judge.

  5. Look at all the morons blaming French for the monster loss on Lesters building . Too bad they don’t want you to know its ULTRA moron Steve Otis who overpaid by
    $3+ million in first place !

    Was there any connection between Otis or his underlings and the folks they overpaid by 100% ? Who sold Rye this building at this criminal price ? That building was never generating rent that justified anything CLOSE to the original sale price . Makes one wonder if the seller might have ‘rebated’ something back to somebody who voted to buy it .

    So yes , lets yell at French like he’s the crook who bought in first place . God forbid these people ever ask questions about who quietly bought the disaster in first place .

  6. Divman,

    First of all, if your going to refer to people as “morons” try using your “real” identity, insulting people faceless makes “you” more of a moron!!!

    Second, We all know the facts behind the purchase of 1037, purchase price, responsibility, possibilities of illegal motives, etc etc.

    Our present Mayor and the present Council are responsible for cleaning up the Otis Administration’s mess and they have an obligation to the tax payers to do it in the best interest of the tax payers/RYE, this is what they are being charged with….NOT THE PURCHASE!!!

  7. BAITED AND SWITCHED – Has Liquidity Panic Set In?


    From – The Rye Record – September 6, 2012 (capitalization below is mine)

    “The City Council on Wednesday directed its city manager to draft a commercial real estate BROKER AGREEMENT by the September 12 meeting to help sell the city-owned building at 1037 Boston Post Road…Rye bought the former CVS store next to City Hall in 2006 for $6.2 million. It rents the building to Lester’s clothing store, which has offered to buy the property for $3.6million. …Councilmember Catherine Parker said that although much attention has been given to the possible sale of the property in The Rye Record, the property needs to be MARKETED FOR SALE NATIONALLY….Councilmember’s Richard Filippi and Joe Sack said that CONTRACTING WITH A REAL ESTATE BROKER helps make the sale a more public process…Mayor French agreed, saying, “We are not in the real estate business. In this marketplace, we feel it’s in our best interest to have a professional broker.’’”

    And likewise the official broker hire agenda item thus read as follows –

    “SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 – Agenda Item – Authorization for the City Manager to enter into a broker agreement between the City of Rye and CBRE to market the property located at 1037 Boston Post Road.

    Background: The City’s lease with the current tenant, Lester’s of Rye, LLC, ends in March 2013. The City will enter into a broker agreement with CBRE to market the property. The City will determine if there are any other interested buyers in the Property during a 120 DAY DUE DILIGENCE PERIOD. A listing sheet will be distributed describing the property and specifying the terms of any offer.”

    But, but, but – low and behold – tonight’s “new deal” –

    “SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 – Agenda Item – Authorization for the City Manager to enter into a 30-day consultant agreement between the City of Rye and CBRE to market the property located at 1037 Boston Post Road.

    Background: The City’s lease with the current tenant, Lester’s of Rye, LLC, ends in March 2013. The City will enter into a 30-DAY CONSULTANT AGREEMENT with CBRE to market the property. The City will determine if there are any other interested buyers in the Property with the distribution of a listing sheet describing the property and specifying the terms of any offer.”

    Parse it anyway you like but no broker for any multimillion dollar business I ever sold successfully as a principal investor (and that would be many) ever tested the national market working on a 30 day clock.

    So one has to ask, is this all a sham?


    As a boy I remember visiting Meyersdale PA, a mountain town in Somerset County in the southwestern part of the state where my maternal grandparents had founded and run the local community hospital. By the early 1960’s, Meyersdale’s natural scenic beauty had been marred by decades of local surface mining in the days before regulations requiring post mining surface restoration and protection were fully in place. Several resultant multi-hundred acre lunar landscapes surrounded the town in valleys and on hilltops, all leaching soils and toxins into local streams while lawsuits flew in all directions. Eventually the public interests won out over the mining interests and the strip mining restorations left Meyersdale again a quiet, stunningly beautiful agricultural community, generally untouched by national attention until United Flight 93 buried itself in farm field in Stonycreek Township 30 miles away on September 11, 2001.

    Prior century strip mining battles in rural Pennsylvania might sound far afield from today’s tony Rye – where multi-million dollar real estate speculation remains a blood sport, and no commercial agriculture has existed for 75 years – except perhaps for our dedicated core of local basement cannabis cultivators, bringing in their harvest with as little fanfare as possible. But new information has surfaced this month about another form of strip mining – the municipal balance sheet kind – that has apparently remained quietly un-remediated in Rye until its factual presence and widespread publically visible infrastructure damage could no longer be denied.

    Readers of this MyRye commentary space can see on this same string where the results of our investigation of how Rye City came up with the funds to pay off the final $5 million dollar balloon payment due have led us. That culminated in my questioning of our paid and elected public officials on Wednesday night – and their confirmation that, er, no, they didn’t fulfill the conditions of the original 2006 ‘authorization’ publically passed when the building purchase was approved – but instead decided quietly and privately among themselves to develop an alternative payoff approach. Under this scheme the Rye City operating accounts having positive working capital balances were drained – and the resulting monies funneled into a series of debt principal amortization tranches which then deflated the $5M balloon to zero.

    Clever work I guess but a singular problem remains. The whole thing would be illegal if this account stripping was not publically debated, voted on and approved. And although I was led Wednesday night to understand it was in fact legally approved by public resolution in 2010, no one from Rye officialdom has yet been able to provide proof. This incident, if true, would set a very bad president upon which to begin our marketing campaign for the new municipal borrowings necessary to begin the remediation of our scarred & damaged infrastructure landscape this November. Government credibility will continue to leach here until an answer (as in a legally passed prior resolution) is provided.

    Strip mining can be done legally or illegally. Given the broad scope of today’s Rye City Hall shenanigans, I’m getting the feeling I know which way this one is going.


    Newspaper wars – I’ve known a few. With over 35 weekly community and vacation market newspaper titles to oversee in the Gulf War (I) induced advertising recession of the early 1990’s my trial by fire as a young publisher no easy ride. As such I learned early on what is was to operate as an establishment paper or as a scrappy insurgent, depending on the market, the readership and the competitive circumstances.

    Today in Rye we now have 3 great digital daily web newspapers (you’re reading this on one of my favorite) and 2 solid traditional community print papers, one a weekly (The Rye Sound Shore Review) and one that’s mostly bi-weekly (The Rye Record). By any measure The Record fits the “establishment” model, picking up a broad array of ad support from real estate brokers, local and regional retailers and others. The Review is part of a local group of like papers and its advertisers are fewer, with less high margin real estate pages, but it does special sections nicely and gets solid retail ad and insert support. The Review, in my opinion, despite its longstanding deep ties to the Rye community, plays the insurgent role, and plays it with great relish and remarkable tradecraft. And this week it outdid itself.

    This week’s Rye Record, for example, covered only one of the several major stories about local government that broke last week. The Record covered the finalization of the city’s municipal bond referendum –


    The Record did not update its coverage of the saga of the market test for sale of 1037 Boston Post Road from their prior 9/6 issue – and thus missed the attempt by someone to limit the brokerage agreement to a consulting agreement with a 30 day rather than a 120 day term (30 day gambit squashed by city council at 9/12 meeting). It also missed the extension debate concerning the lease for Lester’s Store who is the current 1037 BPR tenant. It also missed the appearance of new potential buyer for the building who attended the council meeting on 9/12 and said, yes, now that the inside deal with Lester’s is on hold, yes, he’d like information on potentially bidding. It also missed mentioning somehow the surprise late night revelation of an engineering backfire on the Central Business District Flood Control Sluice Gate Project – just as Rye’s own Lawrence Lehman had predicted when he publically resigned for the Flood Committee this spring. Given that city flooding is “the top priority of this administration” according to Mr. French, and that the reason for the delay was cloaked by the city manager on camera and assigned to yet another “executive session” behind those now familiar closed doors, The Record’s reporting silence on all this here is very odd.

    The Review on the other hand didn’t miss much at all. It’s coverage of the brewing Sluice Gate debacle is here –

    Sluice Gate Project Off Track

    “A sluice gate project underway on Bowman Avenue will be delayed after a snag in construction, although city officials are not offering much comment publicly as to why.”


    And The Review’s more robust coverage of the debate over what’s in and out of the capital bond project to fix our crumbling infrastructure (because we somehow spent all our operating liquidity buying 1037 BPR – AKA The Otis Building) is here –

    Capital Bond Finalized, Reduced to $1.8M


    But the story that I think all of Rye will be talking about this weekend is a Review exclusive – and it’s a classic barnburner complete with public bickering between elected and paid city officials, withheld information, secret excessive public spending, Rye legal statute violations (not new but goes to pattern) and serious conflict of interest issues unknown until the curtain was publically ripped aside. It’s here and it’s a beauty –

    Golf Club Contract, Spending Scrutinized. Councilman submits Freedom of Information Law Request for information.

    “As the rumor mill over at Rye Golf Club churns with questions of potential conflicts of interest and allegations of excessive overtime costs, one city councilman is complaining that he is intentionally being left in the dark.
    The Rye Sound Shore Review has learned that the golf club, which is owned by the city, has paid out $2.2 million in salary costs over the last 18 months to an outside company, RM Staffing and Events Inc. Of that figure, roughly $400,000 was billed as overtime, equal to more than 10,000 hours over the same span. Those figures come as news to club-goers and even to many members of the club’s governing golf commission.”


    Now sometimes Establishment papers, with their bigger “news hole” and fat number of page positions can bury Insurgent papers when it comes to important community issue coverage. And sometimes Insurgents can make Establishment papers frankly look bad. This week, the little guy won hands down.

  10. Ted you miss a couple of important points.

    First, the Rye Record covers a broader range of issues more consistently than the other publications (virtual or physical). That’s a combination of hard local news / analysis, Rye background (history, reflections), sports, and community events – all featuring many many pictures ‘cause who doesn’t like seeing pictures of family, friends, and neighbors?

    Second, viewing the Rye Record as the “establishment” paper amuses me as more than a few Board of Ed members have viewed the Record as biased against it. But printing in depth reports about comparative educational performance or property tax rates seems like just what a community should want from a local paper.

    While you and some of the other gadflies [I have given myself the same label on financial issues] raise [and re-raise] issues of public concern, just because you don’t hear your positions trumpeted in all of the local media [that’s plural, right?], doesn’t mean there’s coverage bias. Many people are focused on other things. I continue to suffer a similar frustration around school board spending and city decisions around pedestrian safety, but I don’t see any conspiracy; just competing priorities.

  11. I would say the Record covers a broader array of topics -not issues- fair enough. And, you’re right, the photos -especially Melanie Cane’s – are great. But, it seems since Peter Jovanovich has been on the City Council, the paper has become increasingly biased to the point of appearing to take instruction from the establishment, which does not include the School Board. My own recent experience with the Record supports this thesis. It’s not a conspiracy theory. The paper is simply being used as a tool. To say the paper is focused on other issues is odd given the importance of the issues not focused on (Sluice Gate, Golf Club).

  12. Right Bob. A larger page count (folio) allows Establishment products a wider range of coverage. Soft features are terrific if you can afford the room to run them. To keep your ad/edit ratio in a profitable (or at least not loss-leading) range you have to make coverage decisions – and Establishment products with their greater number of ad’s can run greater amounts of history, reflections, op-ed’s, citizen picture galleys with cut lines and the like. Insurgent papers make different choices simply because they have to.

    But Bob nothing in I know of in newspaper economics restricted The Record from covering the Rye Golf Club financial revelations, or the long previously predicted Central Rye Flooding / Sluice Gate debacle –


    If community flooding isn’t the repeatedly stated “first priority of this administration” then, yes, skip it. But an Establishment paper cannot generally skip a first priority issue like this when it’s dumped publicly in their laps ON VIDEO. I’m not suggesting bias, I just can’t figure out why they skipped both stories – especially The Sluice Gate story.

    BTW, I understand new disturbing Golf Club revelations will be coming out any day now. I’d keep an eye this week on http://www.lausdeo10580.com

  13. Okay, so you both feel strongly that the Rye Record doesn’t represent your points of view. I get it. But to say it doesn’t cover flooding, infrastructure needs, political issues, etc. is absurd. That it doesn’t play up the issues the way you would like is true. But they are covered.

  14. How about this one?
    Maybe Robin and her husband the Deputy Mayor can tell us why in August, Greenwich is asking its restaurants with outdoor dining to close a half hour before sunset, New York City and Long Island is spraying to eliminate the West Nile threat but in Rye we should not worry. Why is it Ok for Hen Islanders to store thousands of gallons of water and breed mosquito’s by the millions in their acres of Rye City allowed dump sites?

  15. What a bunch of skunk piss from Robert Zahm. Once again flawed logic and adding nothing but insults to the discussion. “Okay so you both feel strongly that the Rye Record doesn’t represent your point of view.” That has nothing to do with the debate. Wow, left field logic, child-like. Very few newspapers, websites or periodicals represent my point of view. I still read them, use them as a news source, generally respect them and look for differing points of view in them. Although they may not share my view, they report the news. And then he goes on to say how “absurd” it is to say the Record doesn’t report on flooding. This is the logic of a simpleton: saying the Record has -in its history – reported on flooding. It did not – FACT – report on the Sluice Gate in the issue that was highlighted. You added nothing but skunk piss to what was previously a constructive discussion.

  16. I agree with Anne McCarthy’s assertion that The Rye Record has become increasingly biased. The example I’ll use is one I am very familiar with: the concealment and public tampering of the Fire Department Workshop video by Scott Pickup and Nicole Levitsky.

    Within one hour after I emailed a letter to the City Council on February 13th, I received an email from the Rye Record. Somehow, an unknown Councilperson spoke to the Rye Record about my seven page detailed account of what occurred at Rye City Hall and Rye TV Studio: beginning with Councilman Sack asking Mr. Pickup if the Fire Department meeting he missed was videotaped, Mr. Pickup lying on live TV, Nicole Levitsky ordering subordinates to lie to back the Manager, and her telling members of the Fire Department and other media outlets that no such tape existed. When Councilman Sack found out that the workshop was actually videotaped 2 weeks later, he ordered Mr. Pickup to post it to the City website. Ms. Levitsky lowered the audio levels by 7 decibels. (I remind you that on this videotape, you will see a heated exchange between Councilwoman Parker and Mayor French. French tells Parker that there is no longer a need for her and Sack to co-author a study on the Fire Department. He would prefer for the report to come from the City Manager. There were fireworks to say the least.)

    Robin Jovanovich called me the next day. She said she had a copy of my letter in her possession. She recited entire sections and asked me “how could you do such a thing?!” as if I had done something wrong. She said that she was concerned because “there are more important issues for the Council to deal with”, listing off her favorite capital improvement projects: sidewalk and street repairs, downtown parking, etc. Renea Henry over at Rye Patch reported on this Rye Record leak.

    Robin defended her paper’s reputation. She publishing a front page story with a cutesy headline like a one-trick pony: “Leaks, Lies and Videotapes” which insinuates that I myself was not being truthful, and I was to blame for Peter’s beloved City Manager about to enter the pressure cooker. This story was not labeled as an editorial, yet it was ridden with conjecture (Tapegate? We didn’t think so” and “Did that mean Dapolite wanted the City to conduct a far reaching and costly investigation?”- her attempt I presume to rouse the support of overburdened taxpayers). Robin also took my sarcastic statements out of context from an off the record conversation, and attributed them to me as if I was apologizing to her: “I really thought you said you’d read the letter. I’m sorry if I misquoted anything [to other media outlets]”.

    In the very same edition of her paper, Robin ran an editorial further diminishing this very serious issue of truthfulness. Her article was titled, “A Legacy of Less”. Ms. Jovanovich asserted: “With so much City and Council staff time being devoted to what the Mayor, the City Manager, the Corporation Counsel, the Building Department, the RyeTV Coordinator did or didn’t do, very little else is happening. Go forth, City Council.”

    In the months that followed, Robin was selective in what she published on this story. But when The City Manager issued me an unfounded reprimand and we filed an Article 78 suit to repeal it, this story sprung to life again with the explosive headline, “Dapolite Sues City As Ethics Board Mulls His Fate.”

    No, Robin. I did not sue the City- nor were MY actions ever before the Ethics Board. As my attorney, former Rye Mayor Judge John Carey explained to you, Scott Pickup does not equate to “the city” as his interests are different. In our case we argued that Pickup was using a fabricated reprimand as leverage against my allegations, which formed the issue that was before the Ethics Board. And sure enough, a settlement of the unrelated lawsuit was enough for the Ethics Board to conclude their review, another controversy that materialized on the Council dais last month, and went unreported by The Rye Record.

    Robin clearly has an agenda: undoubtedly, there are things in this city that need to get done, and we need a Council to focus on those things. I happen to agree with most of Robin and Peter’s opinions on capital improvement projects, but I for one do not believe intersections and downtown parking are more important than the integrity of the city we love.


  17. Andrew your assessment of the Rye Record is right on the money.

    Peter and Robin have become shills for the likes of French and Pickup. They appear to not care about the truth and don’t report on anything that will reflect badly on Peter. For example, the apparent misappropriation of $5,000,000 from City of Rye operating funds.

    How about that “Dewey defeats Truman” headline when the Jovanovich’s falsely announced Killian;s appointment while neglecting to report on the May 5, 2012 antics of our former barefoot contessa Councilwoman.

    In my opinion the Jovanovich’s have an insatiable desire to be accepted as Rye residents, they are phonies, they lack of credibility and ethics, and have a disturbing bias towards anyone who dares to tell the truth about Rye’s corrupt administrators. I believe this has made the Rye Record and the Jovanovich’s the laughing stocks of Rye and throughout Westchester.

  18. Wow, Anne, Skunk Piss? I missed a couple of days here trying to find enough tomato juice to wash off all of what you threw around.

    You called my logic child-like, but you did not refute the point that the Record covers the local issues. Again, clearly not to your liking, but they are reported. Saying otherwise remains absurd.

    Returning to the gist of this thread, the Record is not the “Establishment” paper as in the City of Rye’s mouth piece. I base that conclusion on the Record’s critical reporting of the City and School District on taxation/spending, academic performance, and pedestrian safety/traffic law enforcement. Could the coverage be more critical? Certainly. [Andrew Dapolite’s saga is a true crime – not his behavior, but the way he was treated. Yes, the Record’s coverage could have been better on that.]

    But Ted C’s original thesis, that the Rye Record is the incumbent is correct; it has taken a 3rd reading of his post for me to see that as his point. And I agree with it. The Record was in place before the e-journals. And it is a relative economic success (not sure I’d invest in it regardless of the number of real estate ads it gets). Clearly, the other publications must do everything they can to upstage the Record – publish scoops, provide more detail on the latest newsworthy event, etc. – if they are going to get readership. I’m skeptical that that readership will produce sufficient revenue to keep them going which will probably result in them collapsing into the equivalent of a vanity press dependent on individuals donating their time to keeping them going.

  19. At some point, Robert Zahm, we have to agree to disagree. I said the Record covers more topics not issues. How much clearer can I be that it’s not about whether I like or dislike the Record’s coverage but whether the paper is being used as a tool for the Jovanovich’s political purposes while seriously bullying anyone who disagrees? Did you not read Andrew Dapolite’s post? If that doesn’t disturb, like I said, at some point we have to agree to disagree. To be called absurd and a gadfly kind of feels like a big puff of skunk piss in my face…I apologize if the metaphor offends you.


    I clipped this telling quote from George Orwell from the top of today’s lead Wall Street Journal editorial admonishing President Obama to take Iran’s vitriol against Israel at face value. But in another context, a very local context, it is also perfectly appropriate.

    Take for example our Rye Golf Club, where the elected governing commission recently got a rude awakening about one of the key drivers behind their increasing cost structure which theretofore had previously been tucked away into an obliquely bundled financial reporting category making up about one quarter of their entire budget. Ouch! So much for fairly presented transparent managerial reporting.


    The golf commission’s rude awakening would never have taken place without the help of a watchful and inquisitive local media – assisted by members of our growing ranks of local good government reformers who are totally fed up with repeat performances by local bad actors. Readers here know the many municipal cesspools we’ve uncovered, and the good residents hurt needlessly by callus conflicted and less than truthful elected and paid city officials. The stories are certainly piling up – as is the evidence – some brought forth at personal risk by whistleblowers and other insiders who once knew a better Rye and feel like bringing it back.

    As I told a longtime local senior Democratic Party leader this weekend, we’ve almost, but not quite, been reduced to stealing Rye public documents so as to bring these kinds of issues to light. It shouldn’t be like that; in fact state and federal law require it not be like that. But a kind of cancer has metastasized inside Rye City Hall that no official of government apparently wants to bother treating. Or even admitting. If you doubt this please take a look at this story first reported in early August and still unaddressed today –



    So we will struggle forward, hopefully with growing numbers of helpers alongside, and we will prevail in returning Rye into that well managed town where integrity at city hall is unquestionable. Good luck to the Golf Commission – I understand they are meeting again tonight. And just so you know, we’ve got your backs.

  21. Hi guys it’s me, Skunk Piss! Just so you know I will be leaving town for a few days. While I’m gone you might want to look out for a big load of horse crap I saw coming this way.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here