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Home People Rye People: Matt Fahey

Rye People: Matt Fahey

Your Name: Matt Fahey

Your Elected Position: Rye City Councilman

Your Day Job: Director at Credit Suisse. I am responsible for financial planning and analysis of all fixed income products within the Investment banking division of the firm.

Matt_fahey_rye_ny_2MyRye.com: What is your political affiliation?

Republican. When I came of political age, I was firmly convinced that Ronald Reagan’s vision of a smaller, less intrusive government would guarantee us more freedoms, and I still believe this. I also believe that party labels at the local level are much less important than sound judgment.

Why did you run for elected office?

I ran 4 years ago on a platform of fiscal responsibility, as I was alarmed at the double digit increases we had seen in the late 90’s/early 00’s. I’m proud to say we’ve kept city taxes in check while still providing the residents with a superior level of service they’ve come to expect – and brought back some civility to boot! Prior to being elected, I had served on the city’s Finance Committee, which is charged with providing fiscal advice to the city council.

City Council elections are coming up this fall. What should we know about the elections and why should Rye citizens support your candidacy?

At the time of this writing (July 2007), the election has already been decided for us by the GOP and Democratic party heads, who have created a “fusion ticket”, naming 3 candidates for 3 spots. Democracy has been replaced with oligarchy, the ruling by an unelected few. This is most unfortunate, as the city is facing potential significant financial burdens in the near-term future – a new $15MM police station, Durland Scout Center, flooding mitigation, to name some. The voters have been robbed of a choice. Although I informed the GOP head of my interest in running, I was not asked to run – and I’m quite sure that other qualified residents would have been interested in providing the voters with a choice in this campaign cycle.

Rye sustained $80 million in damage from the April 15th flood. What are the three most important things Rye needs to do to prepare for the next “100 Year” flood?

1. Provide homeowners with the tools necessary to prepare for the next flood. This includes changing city building codes, making it easier for homeowners to flood-proof their home by streamlining the process, and encouraging compliance through education about their alternatives.

2. Clear out the retention area behind the Bowman Avenue spillway. The space is currently full of deadwood, rocks, silt, trash and excessive vegetation. Removing all this will make more room for water to collect, and will reduce the potential for disastrous damming activity downstream. While it will not eliminate the potential for flooding, it will help alleviate the impact – inches matter a great deal to the victims of flooding.

3. Dredge the drainage area at the mouth of the brook, underneath Oakland Beach Avenue bridge. Anyone taking a kayak trip “upriver” will see the importance of this, as the current silt buildup acts as a cork to the brook. Removing this silt will allow for faster draining of upstream areas, reducing floodwater impact.

Besides flood mitigation, what are the three most important issues facing Rye over the next five years?

1. Capital projects – namely, the proposed new Police station. There has been growing talk of building a new police station on the site of the old CVS building, across from Citibank. Before we move forward on this project, the Rye City Council must assess the needs of the police station, and separate out those things that are nice to have vs. those things that are necessary. We did this with the Locust Firehouse, changing the project from a complete re-build to a renovation and repair project, saving the taxpayer $1.6MM without sacrificing safety.

2. Continued financial discipline. It sounds boring, but it is vital if we are to contain our taxes – we live in the most heavily taxed county in the most heavily taxed state, so every little bit of control helps! Understanding what drives up costs is critical to controlling our tax bill, and keeping our tax bill in check protects the value of our most significant financial investment, our homes.

3. Promoting and increasing volunteerism. Rye can only continue to provide a good value to the homeowner through active participation of its residents on all local issues, which reduces the need for hiring paid employees. If residents become less willing to participate in such efforts as volunteer firefighting and auxiliary police, our tax burden will skyrocket.

What are the three best reasons to live in Rye?

1. Our neighborhood, which is full of kids in the same age range, and whose parents are an interesting mix of long-term residents and newcomers, all with a great sense of humor and a good perspective on what is important in life.

2. The continual and active dialog of our city – whether the conversation is on flooding, building codes, tax levels, school budgets or any other matter, we are assured of hearing from many different sources!

3. Proximity to the water, which allows for sailing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and building sand castles – what better place can you imagine in the summer?

What are your three favorite restaurants in Rye that deliver?

We usually order pick-up, and flip a coin to see who makes the drive. This expands the number of ethnic cuisines we can order from. Some of my favorites:

1. A Taste of India (Indian, in Port Chester) – Though they don’t deliver, they make exceptionally good Chicken Tikka Masala, and their na’an is always freshly baked. Ordering ahead of time guarantees a quick in and out. 937-2727 (163 North Main Street, Port Chester).

2. Taku (Chinese, in Harrison) – my standard, artery clogging fare is an egg roll, steamed pork dumplings and General Tsao’s Chicken (by the way, does anyone know if General Tsao was related to Colonel Saunders?) Missie has a finer palate, and usually opts out of joining me on this cheap and quick Chinese fix. 835-2424 (371 Halstead Ave, Harrison).

3. Pizza 2000 (Pizza, in Harrison) – favorite pie toppings are sausage, black olives, onions and green peppers. The pizza is delivered quickly and is always excellent. 835-8000.

What is your favorite restaurant in Rye for a family meal?
Town Dock, without a doubt. This cross between a fish house and bar serves a fresh daily catch, has a kid’s menu with lots of choices, a pleasant and knowledgeable staff and a reasonably priced wine list. There’s always a game on at the bar, but the clientele aren’t overly loud, which allows you to hear about what your kids are thinking. Located on Purdy Street, down from the Post Office, and their phone number is 967-2497 (15 Purdy Avenue).

Where do you live in Rye?
Missie and I live on Franklin Street, in an area known by some as Rye Gardens. Our kids attend the Osborn School.

How else are you involved in the community?
I serve as city council liaison to the Rye Golf Club and the Traffic and Transportation Committee, and have been a Commissioner of the Rye Town Park. I’m a parishioner at Resurrection, Missie belongs to Christ Church. We are members of the American Yacht Club. Missie was actively involved in the Twig Organization, is an active member of the Osborn PTO (headed the Osborn Carnival twice!), runs the AYC Junior JAYC day camp and has her own interior design business.

What’s the best way for Rye citizens to contact you?

Office – (212) 538-3118; Home – (914) 921-9320; Mobile – (914) 417-5481; email – mattfahey (AT) optonline.com

Thanks, Matt!

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