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Home Government Perps and Kids Don't Mix: Sack This Idea

Perps and Kids Don’t Mix: Sack This Idea

Rye Councilman Joe Sack has provided MyRye.com with the following op-ed on a proposal made Monday evening to consider placing a new Rye police and court facility at Disbrow Park, replacing the tennis courts there currently. The result would be criminals and those charged with crime being processed and arraigned within feet of Rye little league and other athletic fields.

At a public meeting at City Hall on Monday, October 27th, Councilman Pratt and Councilwoman Parker advocated having the City’s consultant consider the feasibility of “tearing up the Disbrow Park tennis courts” and building a new Police/Court facility there.  With all due respect to George and Catherine, I strongly oppose this idea.

In my view, putting the Police/Court facility in place of the Disbrow courts makes absolutely no sense for a multitude of important reasons, including:  The facility with high levels of activity 24 hours a day including defendants coming and going for court dates is inappropriate for a residential neighborhood like this, which is literally just feet away from homes in Rye Gardens, Hix Park and Thorne Place; putting the facility on a site with 5 athletic fields including the Little League field and 4 tennis courts with children coming and going, not to mention the City’s public works operations and the County’s wastewater facility, would make a fully developed and utilized site even more crowded to the detriment of its other uses, especially the recreational uses; and the resulting surge of increased traffic volume would overwhelm the Oakland Beach Avenue artery, which is already substandard especially in terms of sidewalks and is the route that many children take to Osborn and Milton schools each day.

The consultant was charged by the City with looking at the feasibility of building the facility at two specific sites – either expanding at the current location by the train station on McCullough Place , or building at the old CVS site (now Lester’s) next to City Hall.  If we are going to proceed with the construction of a new or expanded facility at any location, and I realize that for many the open question is not where but whether we build especially in the short run in this economy, it seems to me that these two downtown sites are much more appropriate. The consultant will also look at one unnamed alternate site to be determined.  I believe that making Disbrow that alternate site would be a disaster.

While my family and I live on Thorne Place and would certainly be directly impacted along with scores of other families, I would oppose putting the facility smack in the middle of any densely populated residential area, not just this one.  While I will of course wait to hear from the consultant, sometimes you don’t need a consultant to tell you common sense.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on this with me, as I would greatly appreciate all comments.

-Councilman Joe Sack

[Publisher's note: we invite readers to comment via the comment button below]

24 COMMENTS

  1. You want to know what makes no sense? Connors, Shew and the Rye City Council spending $1,000,000 to basically upgrade Connors office this year. There was little if any other upgrades to the remaining portions of the building including where most of the Police work is conducted and 80% of the officers operate 24 hours a day. This not only made no sense, in my opinion it was misconduct by those who asked for this and for those who approved it.

    The residents of Rye should not trust Connors, Shew and the Rye City Council with the task of building or re-locating the Rye Police H.Q. Over the last 4 years, they have allowed officers to become ill from dangerous mold and asbestos which they ignored even when they were presented with the facts.

    The residents of Rye should not trust anything from Shew or the Rye City Council concerning the old CVS building. They bought the building in secret and does anyone really believe that Lester’s would have went through all their efforts to open, promote and garner new customers if they were not promised some sort of nice terms to buy this building in the near future? I believe they are wasting $25,000 of taxpayer money to simply tell them what they are going to do anyway.

  2. I did not think former Councilman Fahey would agree with my opinion of Shew and Connors because he had a hand in bringing these two, what in my opinion, are clowns to Rye. The deeds and misdeeds by Connors and Shew, which have gone unquestioned and have never been addressed by Fahey and the rest of the Rye City Council, has led to a very dysfunctional Rye government.

    I’m also not surprised at all by Fahey’s lack of compassion for the Rye Police Officers who fell ill while working at the mold and asbestos laden Rye Police H.Q. while he and the rest of the Rye City Council had their heads buried deep in the sand.

    As far as Fahey saying it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure some of this stuff out, I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, when given many opportunities, he did not step up to the plate.

  3. I strongly agree with Mr. Sack that building a new Police Station/Courthouse in Disbrow Park is a terrible idea. We work hard to live in this area and want our kids to have a safe community & park to play in. We do not need more traffic or noise (sirens) in and out of the park. A police station, or any other municipal building, most certainly does not belong in this beautiful & proud residential neighborhood. Downtown is the common sense appropriate location for such a new facility. Even better- expand the present location instead of having to foot the bill for new construction while destroying a treasured recreational area of Rye!

  4. Joe Sack is absolutely correct. The fact that anyone would ever consider transforming a kid-friendly, safe, private neighborhood into a police facility would be a laughable notion — if there weren’t people out there who are actually considering it.

    There is a reason we keep residential areas separate from commercial ones. People move to Rye for the neighborhoods, and the people of Rye embrace the Disbrow ball fields, the park and the tennis courts as they add to the residential community of which we are all so proud. Have you ever visited the tennis courts? While the city has not maintained its upkeep, there are still lines of people trying to get onto these courts.

    More importantly, we value our safe, quiet neighborhoods where everyone is aware of who is coming and going. Not only are you potentially risking our children’s physical safety by allowing for additional traffic in and around the park where there is no room for more cars, but who knows what kinds of people will be in/out of the police stations? That’s a risk I’m not ever willing to take.

    If the police must have a larger station/facility, let them have it. But keep it where it belongs…away from our homes and away from our children.

  5. Mr. Sack and Mr. Fahey failed to mention the Police & Court replacement discussion has been around for more than 10 years. Prior to the new fields at Disbrow, the City & Council reviewed this site (and others)for new Police & Court Facility. Mr. Sack should do his homework before he composes an editorial.
    Mr.Fahey voted “yes” to the acquistion of the old CVS building accepting the fact a new Police & Court for next 75 years may be needed. Is former Councilman changing his “yes” vote??
    As far as Mr.Fahey’s Damiano comment- the Public voted the previous Council majority out of office on that debacle.

  6. Mr. Sack and Mr. Fahey failed to mention the Police & Court replacement discussion has been around for more than 10 years. Prior to the new fields at Disbrow, the City & Council reviewed this site (and others)for new Police & Court Facility. Mr. Sack should do his homework before he composes an editorial.
    Mr.Fahey voted “yes” to the acquistion of the old CVS building accepting the fact a new Police & Court for next 75 years may be needed. Is former Councilman changing his “yes” vote??
    As far as Mr.Fahey’s Damiano comment- the Public voted the previous Council majority out of office on that debacle.

  7. We, and our family, have been Rye residents since 1950 and have treasured Disbrow Park for it’s safe and child friendly environment. What a disasterous idea to destroy this park and put government property and car traffic in it’s place. Taxes in Rye are high and we all pay them to insure the safety and beauty of our neighborhood. Build a police station downtown or in a commercial neighborhood, away from our homes and our children. This cannot happen and is one of the most misguided ideas yet.

  8. Building a new Police Station adjacent to our recreation facilities and bucolic residential neighborhoods makes about as much sense to me as building a bridge or tunnel from Rye to Oyster Bay. There is absolutely no benefit to the residents of our beloved town and, in fact, it would negatively impact a high percentage of our population. The Lester’s and current Police station sites are well-located for the function of housing the Police department. As a Corporate Real Estate professional, I recommend determining the needs of the department before determining the size and scope of a facility to house it. This is the proper course of action in any facility search, be it commercial, municipal or other. It is not worth the taxpayers’ dollars to hire consultants to study the feasibility of a 3rd location when 2 perfectly good and appropriate potential locations already exist within the business district, particularly given the obvious and spectacular detriment such a facility would have on our coveted park and its surroundings. We don’t need a paid consultant to tell us this – the answer is available and free of charge.

  9. The park in a residential area is not an accepable location for a public building that processes city business including criminal justice.

  10. ok my bud told me about this idea and the police station to relocate. I must say the oldCVS is the most brillant idea! One must think about it’s overall proximity of the traffic location . It’s a short right turn and your off to the Highschool or a slight left turn and your down tords the rotory that can take you to I 95 in case of a major traffic tieup .
    Then there’s also the banks in town lord knows we have a bunch . They might need someone there if some one gets a little to greedy and desires to make a fast with draw . Times are tight you know.anyway hope cooler heads prevale and do the right thing not deprive the activity areas of are youth.

  11. Normally I would not respond to people who blog anonymously, but I do want to correct and clarify several comments made by “Wry Record” and “Garnet Graduate”.

    First, I had no hand in bringing in either City Manager Paul Shew or Police Commisioner Bill Connors to Rye. Both were hired by previous councils prior to the election of 2003. However, I have never had reason to doubt the decision made by the former council members. After monitoring their performance and effectiveness for four years, I can assure the Rye taxpayers that both Shew and Connors are professional and effective leaders for the City government and the Police Force. I have no clue as to what Wry Record means when he claims “deeds and misdeeds… has led to a very dysfunctional Rye government”. Perhaps he would care to expound on this, or better yet, run for City Council himself to make any changes he feels are needed.
    Second, as to the claim that I lack compassion for the Rye Police Officers, I’ll simply point out that I have not made any statement that would lead a prudent reader to this conclusion. Rye Police do an outstanding job in keeping our community safe and our property secure. The city addressed their concerns by spending close to one million dollars to renovate the existing facility to make the facility more modern, compatible and safe for the police force. I “stepped up to the plate” and voted in favor of this – as did all the other council members. What, exactly, has led Wry Record to the conclusion that I have a lack of compassion for the police officers, or that the council had their heads buried in the sand? Perhaps he disagrees with my strong belief that good fiscal practice demands elected government officials perform the necessary due diligence on any major expenditure to ensure the public gets the best value for their tax dollars.

    Third, in response to the question posed by “Garnet Graduate” on changing my vote – of course I’m not trying to change the vote on the old CVS building. That vote was to move forward on a strategic purchase of land located conveniently next to City Hall. The purchase now allows the city the luxury of debating the best use of this land. One possibility is to build a new police facility, a new courthouse, or a combination of the two. There are other options as well, but during the four years I served, there was never a council vote on the need to build – or not to build – a new police station on the site.

    Lastly, regarding Damiano – I continue to stand by my vote on that issue. When I was informed that the cost of building the proposed structure exceeded the debt level approved by the public, the choice was clear to me. The resulting collective decision of the council to design a building that met the needs of the community and stayed within budget was successfully executed.

  12. I think it’s a big mistake, wanting to build a police station and court house at this new proposed location. Now is the time to rethink this.

  13. How about the now vacant Jeep dealership on Theo. Fremd for the P.D. and across the street is the vacant “bike spin/ Boston chicken” building for a courthouse?

  14. Dear former Rye City Councilman Fahey:

    While I don’t usually respond to nonsensical posts, I will take the time to thank you for confirming that you apparently did have your head buried in the sand while sitting on the City Council.

  15. The police department is a great institution and Ive got nothing but respect for the men and women of law enforcement.

    That said, their hq shouldnt be moved to disbrow park. It should be kept local to more urban parts of rye, closer to the businesses and shops.

    Can you imagine some perp just getting out on bail, ringing the marks on his wrists where the handcuffs were on too tight? He’s walking out the door of the NEW police station looking for some payback on the citizens of Rye and what does he see? All the beautiful houses and little children playing.

    Please dont put the police station there. It would be a powder keg.

  16. Matt,

    I will be happy to give you a very good example of “deeds and misdeeds… That has led to a very dysfunctional Rye government”
    Hen Island has thirty-three homes that are not being subjected to enforcement or compliance for health, safety or environmental laws. When I brought these issues to the attention of Major Otis, Shew, Plunkett, the ZBA, the City
    Council and the Building department, they consistently refused to take the necessary actions. They have been ignoring similar health and safety violations in the Wainwright neighborhood for years. They have
    instructed Bob Schubert to sue his neighbors to receive compensation and satisfaction on his wetland issues.When I sued my neighbors, the city defended them and stated “there are no problems on Hen Island”. Maybe Mayor Otis can comment on the Hen Island conflict now that we have everyone’s attention? I am now in the process of suing the city of Rye in an effort to make my community safe and non-polluting.
    If the city will not take action, then I must take action. Maybe they are waiting for a child to get sick from the bird feces infected, domestic water used in the homes on Hen Island, or for someone to get killed from an explosion from the 15,000 pound propane tanks that are tied to a tree. Yes, I did say Fifteen-Thousand Pounds of propane.
    (There was a explosion in 2006 luckily, no one was hurt). I think this is dysfunctional Rye government at its best. Here are my thoughts. Instead of using the money for a study that doesn’t need to be studied, use the money for enforcement on Hen
    Island.You will definitely save lives and help protect the waters of the Long Island Sound. I will be happy to give you my name,Ray Tartaglione. My organization is HEALtheHARBOR.com. If you would like to see or speak to me about this very important issue, please contact me at HealtheHarbor.com. The city seems to think ignoring me is the work of a good government, I also call it a “dysfunctional government”.

  17. The mere fact that someone on the Rye City Council even mentioned Disbrow Park as somewhere to look at for a new Police Station, Shew being M.I.A. again and Otis trying to turn this into a political issue for his own personal gain, makes Rye government dysfunctional.

    It seems to me that Otis is already gearing up for re-election in 2009. Let’s hope we do not have to suffer as Otis continues to do what is best for his own political gain rather than what’s best for us.

    No matter what Otis, Shew, Plunkett and Connors all need to go in 2009. Nothing will change until they are out of here. If Ball and Cunningham want to continue this status quo of dysfunctional government, vote them out too.

    http://www.ryepba.org/_Docs/NoConfidence043008.pdf

  18. Whilst I live in NYC I understand the appeal of living and raising a family in a quiet Suberb such as the Thorn Place area. The whole point of living in such an area is to enjoy peace and safety. The disruption caused by the installation and opperation of a Po[ice Station and Courthouse in this tranquil family setting is unsettling and stressful and in direct contrast to what hardworking people strive to attain.

  19. Whilst I live in NYC I understand the appeal of living and raising a family in a quiet Suberb such as the Thorn Place area. The whole point of living in such an area is to enjoy peace and safety. The disruption caused by the installation and opperation of a Police Station and Courthouse in this tranquil family setting is unsettling and stressful and in direct contrast to what hardworking people strive to attain.

  20. Folks! Calm Down! No one is seriously considering putting Police HQ at Disbrow.

    Please stop blogging about it unless you like seeing your name in print.

    I REPEAT — IT IS NOT BEING PUT IN DISBROW!!!

    Thank you.

  21. Its outrageous that the new buildings are being proposed in a residential neighborhood. The traffic and associated congestion will turn this quiet area into “downtown”.

  22. I am opposed to the construction of a new police/court facility in Disbrow Park as this would
    spoil a beautiful residential neighborhood that me & my family prize.
    We must keep the PD HQ downtown where it belongs!

  23. Is everybody going to continue to post here??? NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT PUTTING HQ AT DISBROW!!!!!!

    Please…start another topic.

  24. Please do not infer that this option to build a police station in this beautiful residential area makes sense. I have always appreciated the great town of Rye for it landmarks and beautiful preservations. It is one of the few areas close to New York City that has not been affected or tainted by political agendas that flagrantly disregard the welfare and quality of life of its’ residents. It is imperative you not start now.

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