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Artificial Turf for Nursery Field, But In Two Weeks*

(PHOTO: The Rye City Council during the over two hours of debate on Nursery Field at the Wednesday, April 17, 2024 meeting.)(PHOTO: The Rye City Council during the over two hours of debate on Nursery Field at the Wednesday, April 17, 2024 meeting.)
(PHOTO: The Rye City Council during the over two hours of debate on Nursery Field at the Wednesday, April 17, 2024 meeting.)

*But anything could happen.

After yet another dizzying Rye City Council meeting, it appears artificial turf will be installed at Rye Recreation’s Nursery Field. But the Council won’t vote on it for another two weeks. Proponents wanted a pause until the May 1st council meeting to further edit the resolution supporting the move to artificial turf.

Strangely, in what should have been a victory lap, Mayor Josh Cohn was absent from the meeting. Only late into the evening did his ally Councilmember Souza mention he was out of the country on a business matter.

In summary, Councilmember Josh Nathan presented two resolutions:

The first resolution supported a grass turf plan for Nursery Field and rescinded the artificial turf plan. It was defeated in a 3 – 3 tie vote (a yes vote is a grass vote):

  • Keith Cunningham – No
  • Sara Goddard – Yes
  • Bill Henderson – No
  • Jamie Jensen – Yes
  • Josh Nathan – Yes
  • Julie Souza – No

The second resolution was then made, also by Councilmember Josh Nathan (read the resolution here). Both resolutions were made public for the first time at the meeting. The resolution supported acceptance of the Let’s the Kids Play donation and the installation of artificial turf at Nursery Field.

The resolution was made largely based on a draft from Councilmember Bill Henderson, although both Henderson and Souza were concerned items had been edited (including legal defense language and funds for neighborhood beautification) and more time was needed to review the resolution prior to a vote.

“It’s not a deal, it’s not a contract, it’s a resolution,” said Councilmemeber Goddard, during the extended debate around if a vote should be held at the meeting or punted to May 1st. She was advocating to pass the resolution.

In the end, the Council signaled artificial turf support, but could only agree on another delay. The Council voted to pause, take more feedback the next two weeks, and consider a modified pro-artificial turf agreement on May 1st.

It was the first unanimous vote related to Nursery Field this writer can recall (Yes vote = pause until May 1st):

  • Keith Cunningham – Yes
  • Sara Goddard – Yes
  • Bill Henderson – Yes
  • Jamie Jensen – Yes
  • Josh Nathan – Yes
  • Julie Souza – Yes

Watch the two hour discussion:

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