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The Pratt Offensive: Accuses Sack of “Sneak Attack” During Televised Council Meeting – See the Video on MyRye.com

Pratt Offensive DSC07536 (PHOTO: George Pratt, on the offensive) Talk about a real sneak attack… Councilman George Pratt, not known for being shy, went on the offensive towards Councilman Joe Sack for Sack's comments on MyRye.com regarding the possibility of locating the future police/courthouse facility at Disbrow Park (Sack strongly opposes the idea). You can see the entire video (just below) on MyRye.com.

Pratt dismissed MyRye.com as "this little blog thing or whatever" saying until the fracas, he had never heard of the web site. Pratt said Sack's comments were misleading: "You don't owe me an apology but you owe her [Councilperson Catherine Parker] an apology. OK. Because what you did was wrong. OK. It was wrong. We are all grown ups. We get the opportunity every two weeks. You got a bone to pick. You want to pick a fight with me do it on public TV. Don't do it on a blog site."

The comment from Pratt is ironic because much of the initial fracas ensued exactly because the meeting on the police/courthouse facility was not televised, or apparently noticed to the public in any way. Sack volleyed saying "I will not apologize for letting people know" [about Disbrow Park as a possible location for the police/courthouse facility].

Sack Returns DSC07530(PHOTO: Joe Sack fires back) The engagement continued for a good 20-25 minutes with Pratt saying "…this is a sneak attack… [and MyRye.com is] an inappropriate forum" with Sack returning "what you maybe are is embarrassed"

In the end, Sack may have gotten his way with Mayor Steve Otis saying "I will guarantee there are more than enough votes that it [the police/courthouse facility] never happens at Disbrow."

As for Councilman Pratt's belittling comments about MyRye.com, we think the web site and community of readers is an excellent forum for debating the issues. We welcome his comments… And your comments… Leave one below.

The video of Pratt, Sack, Otis and others follows in three parts:

27 COMMENTS

  1. The MYRYE website has become another excellent way for Rye residents to become informed. Pratt is simply out of touch if he his telling the truth that he has never heard of it.

    Several members of the Rye City Council continue to say that no one from the public came to the October 15, 2008 meeting in question. This is a joke. No one from the public came because the meeting was not noticed to the public. The fact that the City Council then had this meeting in private in the Mayors Conference Room so it could not be televised, I believe further shows that they did not want the public there.

  2. My Rye provides a tremendous service to rye residents. A combination citizen rights (freedom of information) and modern content distribution (a blog). Not all of us have the time watch an obscure cable channel and hours of city council footage. This smacks of back room politics.

  3. This kind of Behavior goes to show
    the INCOMPITENCE of some of our Council Members.Disbrow Park is a place where CHILDREN have been gathering for many years.That’s what a Park is for.How DANGEROUS would it be if we had EMERGENCY VEHICLES dispensing from that location to go on an Emergency Call during a Little League Game,
    etc.You would think w/all the Safety issues in RYE that we wouldn’t have to worry about someone thinking of an idea as STUPID as this.

  4. It just so happens the October 27, 2008 Rye City Council meeting wasn’t noticed using the taxpayer funded City of Rye e-mil notification system or posted on the City of Rye website as is done for other City Council meetings. The Rye City Council then conducted the Rye City Council meeting in private in the Mayors Conference Room and out of view of the public and away from the City of Rye taxpayer funded television cameras.

    Coincidence?

    In my opinion this Confidential Memorandum further indicates that there was subterfuge afoot by the City of Rye with regard to keeping the public away from the October 27, 2008 Rye City Council meeting.

    To:O. Paul Shew, City Manager

    From:Christian K. Miller, AICP, City Planner

    cc:Scott Pickup, Assistant City Manager
    William R. Connors, Police Commissioner

    Date:October 17, 2008

    Subject:Police/Court Study Process – October Consultant Meetings

    Now that JCJ Architecture has been retained, we are eager to begin the process. Most immediately we would like the consultant to get City Council input before the annual budget process begins on November 5. To that end, please confirm the Council’s availability for a one-day/evening session with the City Council on Monday, October 27, 2008. I propose the following stakeholders and preliminary meeting schedule:

    StakeholderTime
    Office of Court Administration & Court Staff:1:00 PM
    City Management/City Hall Staff2:00 PM
    Police Department Staff:2:30 PM
    PBA:After 4:00 PM
    City Council & City JudgesEvening Meeting (7:00 PM)

    Some Council members suggested at last night’s meeting that the public be involved in the process. This can be tricky since the universe of participants is almost limitless and there is no real known appropriate community organization, other than maybe the City Council itself, which are the publics’ elected representatives. If a broader voice is desired I recommend setting up a website similar to the one I created for the CBD Plan . The website could explain the various alternatives, include other background information and provide an opportunity for public comment. All responses would be recorded and provided to the Council and consultant for their use and information.

  5. Me thinkst it is a good idea not to tell the public anything. Let the government act without transparency. Sounds like George Pratt wants another 4 years of George Bush.

  6. It really is a shame how non transparent Rye government has become. It is hard for me to fathom that Otis actually ran on an open government platform.

    Otis and the Rye City Council appear to believe that the secret to open government is at the beach because their heads are buried in the sand.

    Otis should fire Shew and then resign. It would be the two best things he has ever done for the City of Rye.

  7. Although there was an at least 25 minute verbal battle between Otis, Pratt and Sack at the November 5, 2008 Rye City Council meeting over whether or not to put the Police Station at DPW, City Clerk Nosedarse was able to summarize this battle with one sentence.

    Nosedarse also left out the part about the October 27, 2008 “secret” meeting not being properly noticed.

    16. New Business

    Councilman Pratt questioned comments posted by Councilman Sack on the blog Myrye.com relative to the recent work session held with the consultants the City has hired to evaluate the best location for a Police/Court facility. A spirited discussion followed regarding the appropriateness of possible locations for the facility that had been mentioned at the work session and referred to in post-meeting blog entries by Councilman Sack and Mayor Otis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZLVekfrP0Q&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJMPeGiKig&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhWZroZjCJk&feature=related

  8. With Rye City Council meetings that are not properly noticed having the desired effect of making them secret, coupled with endless executive sessions where it appears most if not all Rye business is conducted, was Otis actually predicting his own future in this editorial? Otis actually had the audacity to accuse someone else of diverting the publics attention and using politics of distraction.

    Published: October 27, 1991 NY Times

    To the Editor:

    Peggy Noonan’s “Bum Ride” (Op-Ed, Oct. 15), while not valuable as regards the Clarence Thomas confirmation, was very revealing as to Republican plans for division and distraction in 1992.

    By now we should be familiar with the false distinctions. Pejorative labels stand in place of facts. The only difference between being the voice of “the real” (normal, regular Americans) and “the abstract” is which side you are on. The article offers no arguments, only classifications meant to distract.

    In 1992 we can expect more misuse of class, race and ideology to divert the public’s attention from the record of the Administration. Republicans will even try to convince the middle class and black Americans that they have done better in recent years when in reality they have lost ground. Will facts intervene? We have the question for 1992. Will the politics of distraction continue to work?

    For our kinder, gentler nation, what is “real” is that we have had an Administration that has been indifferent to working people, the environment, drug abuse and a whole host of domestic issues that are important to “regular Americans.” The growing legions of long-term unemployed are not an abstraction; they are real. What is abstract is the effort that is being used to divert our country’s attention from the serious problems we face.

    STEVEN OTIS Rye, N.Y., Oct. 17, 1991

  9. Hopefully the New Year brings us an election cycle that cleans house in Rye Government including getting rid of Otis, Shew, Plunkett and Connors.

  10. A classic but sad tale of no transparency in Rye government, the intentional act of keeping residents from commenting in public and secret meetings being conducted by the Rye City Council.

  11. Hey, Secret Meetings!

    Gosh, dusting off this old piece of news no doubt has made your throat parched – how about joining me for an e-drink on the Yelp article – I’ll buy you some Thunderbird if you’ll shut up about this non-issue. Waddya say?

  12. While I strongly disagree with you that secret meetings by the Rye City Council is a non-issue, I will gladly join you for an e-drink. I prefer a swig or two of Blackberry Brandy.

  13. Scooter,

    Notice how Joe Sack has never explained why he needed to use myrye.com to provide transparency for Rye citizens. Why wasn’t the regularly scheduled council meetings good enough? Sack still hasn’t provided a good reason. Maybe Jay Sears could tell us why.

  14. Another secret meeting by the Rye City Council and sure enough another violation of the New York State Open Meetings law.

    The City Council has to detail what kind of personnel matter they intend to discuss in Executive Session. They also cannot cloak anything they want to keep secret as Attorney/Client privilege.

    After violating the NYS Open Meetings Law by not allowing the public to comment on Agenda Items at Tuesdays “Special” Council Meeting, they have simply not listed any agenda items other than the Executive Session.

    Otis is doing everything he can to keep everything about the Shew coverup away from the public. An investigation needs to be done before Otis buries all the evidence into Attorney Client secrecy.

    CITY OF RYE
    NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

    The City Council has called a Special Meeting for Monday, March 23, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room.

    It is expected that the Council will adjourn into Executive Session at 8:01 p.m. to discuss personnel matters and attorney client matters.

    AGENDA

    1. The City Council will convene into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter and attorney client matters.

  15. http://www.lohud.com/article/2009910220393

    Here is an example of the difference between a Police Chief and a Police Commissioner.

    Of course, Sleepy Hollow officials are not living in Oz land like Otis is.

    In Sleepy Hollow when the Police Chief screws up he gets sent home on Administrative Leave and is held accountable for his actions.

    In Rye when the Police Commissioner screws up, which has happened too many times to count, Otis, Shew, Novak and Culross reward him by allowing him to collect his full salary and his full pension at the same time. They do this by signing a waiver saying Connors is the only one qualified to do the job.

    WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP.

    Connors has destroyed the Rye Police Department, the morale is in the gutter and he has placed the lives of the fine Rye cops and the citizens in harms way many times with his stupidity.

    Connors is clueless. He probably can’t help that. However, Otis, Culross, Shew and Novak hiring this idiot and allowing him to stay makes them the real villains and they need to get the boot.

    These are just my opinions and my observations.

  16. Don’t you love ‘The Wry Record’s’ ability to ferret out those true Rye City Hall gems?

    This from a MyRye post in this very string just one short year ago…

    Confidential Memorandum Regarding the October 27, 2008 Rye City Council meeting.

    To: O. Paul Shew, City Manager
    From: Christian K. Miller, AICP, City Planner
    cc: Scott Pickup, Assistant City Manager
    William R. Connors, Police Commissioner

    Date: October 17, 2008

    Subject: Police/Court Study Process – October Consultant Meetings

    “Now that JCJ Architecture has been retained, we are eager to begin the process. Most immediately we would like the consultant to get City Council input before the annual budget process begins on November 5. To that end….”

    “Some Council members suggested at last night’s meeting that the public be involved in the process. This can be tricky since the universe of participants is almost limitless and there is no real known appropriate community organization, other than maybe the City Council itself, which are the publics’ elected representatives. If a broader voice is desired I recommend setting up a website similar to the one I created for the CBD Plan . The website could explain the various alternatives, include other background information and provide an opportunity for public comment. All responses would be recorded and provided to the Council and consultant for their use and information.”

    I bet Mr. Miller here meant well. And he had a ripe turkey for a boss at the time. But determining public interaction “appropriateness” is a very sensitive issue in local government. The “organizational culture” that gave wings to a memo like this is not one to be embraced. And I’m not talking about the honest Mr. Miller or the late “fabulous till fired” O. Paul Shew.

  17. Charmian:

    Me Me Otis and friends (Culross, Shew, Connors and Novak do not listen to the residents while ignoring their very real concerns and appeals. Case in point is the dangerous traffic and pedestrian safety issues around the Rye High School and Middle School.

    Now that a woman lost her life this afternoon in front of the Rye High School, maybe they will. Unfortunately for this woman, it is too late.

    Fortunately, it is not too late to vote Mi Mi Otis out before someone else is seriously hurt or killed on his watch.

  18. Welcome Charmian Neary!

    It’s finally SLIME TIME! Now we’re getting at this embattled administration’s prime time campaign for truth twisting and personal attacks. This is really great!

    And something I’ve been thinking now is becoming clear – you must be desperate.

    You are very clearly now the wrong leader for a tried, over taxed Rye electorate and you have picked more useless wrongheaded fights to feed these massive legal fees to your “counselor” than we locals can take. Your answer yesterday to The Journal News on that question about that crazy building purchase you shoved thru was really deeply embarrassing.

    I always love you positioning yourself as the DEFENDER OF RYE – when in fact you are the ultimate government passive aggressor with patronage running everywhere and broken promises askew. You’re simply not going to get away with it anymore because laws and facts are stubborn things – and claims of “fairness” always come from the mouths of tyrants.

    You abuse our wetland treasures, our cops, our citizens of all income levels, people in frail health, our neighboring towns and villages, dredging companies, fired City employees and on and on and always, always you’re defending “fairness” and truth and puppies and mother’s love.

    The jig is up pal. A quick and quiet relocation to Harrison or Albany is recommended.

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Pratt Offensive DSC07536 (PHOTO: George Pratt, on the offensive) Talk about a real sneak attack… Councilman George Pratt, not known for being shy, went on the offensive towards Councilman Joe Sack for Sack's comments on MyRye.com regarding the possibility of locating the future police/courthouse facility at Disbrow Park (Sack strongly opposes the idea). You can see the entire video (just below) on MyRye.com.

Pratt dismissed MyRye.com as "this little blog thing or whatever" saying until the fracas, he had never heard of the web site. Pratt said Sack's comments were misleading: "You don't owe me an apology but you owe her [Councilperson Catherine Parker] an apology. OK. Because what you did was wrong. OK. It was wrong. We are all grown ups. We get the opportunity every two weeks. You got a bone to pick. You want to pick a fight with me do it on public TV. Don't do it on a blog site."

The comment from Pratt is ironic because much of the initial fracas ensued exactly because the meeting on the police/courthouse facility was not televised, or apparently noticed to the public in any way. Sack volleyed saying "I will not apologize for letting people know" [about Disbrow Park as a possible location for the police/courthouse facility].

Sack Returns DSC07530(PHOTO: Joe Sack fires back) The engagement continued for a good 20-25 minutes with Pratt saying "…this is a sneak attack… [and MyRye.com is] an inappropriate forum" with Sack returning "what you maybe are is embarrassed"

In the end, Sack may have gotten his way with Mayor Steve Otis saying "I will guarantee there are more than enough votes that it [the police/courthouse facility] never happens at Disbrow."

As for Councilman Pratt's belittling comments about MyRye.com, we think the web site and community of readers is an excellent forum for debating the issues. We welcome his comments… And your comments… Leave one below.

The video of Pratt, Sack, Otis and others follows in three parts: