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Home Government Rye Mayor Otis Releases Statement Regarding "Shew-Gate" and City Naturalist Comments

Rye Mayor Otis Releases Statement Regarding “Shew-Gate” and City Naturalist Comments

The City of Rye and Mayor Steve Otis just released (around 11:30am today) the following statement in regards to the Schubert – Shew affair and the comments made by the former Rye City Naturalist.

The statement follows in its entirety:

"City of Rye

For Release – Immediate

Contact: Mayor Otis

Schedule for City Council Agenda – Statement by Mayor Otis

The Schubert matter will be discussed as a listed agenda item at the regular City Council meeting of February 25th.

The City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, February 18 with the intention of immediately going into executive session to discuss a personnel matter with the Corporation Counsel. The focus of that meeting will not be the Schubert matter.

The City Council takes the statements made by the former City Naturalist very seriously. Until these statements were made to the press last week, the City Council had no knowledge of the reported existence of the City Naturalist's different view on this issue. The City Council is now reviewing the full written file on the case, which it received on Friday night. After that review the City Council will determine what next steps are appropriate in their review of the case. This will be discussed publically at the February 25th meeting.

In addition to comments and update on the case by the City Council at the meeting on the 25th, I intend to ask the City Council, at that meeting, to authorize the hiring by the City of an outside engineering firm to review the hydrology issues at the Schubert site. It is my hope that the results of this review will provide the basis for a resolution of the matter and discussion between the parties regarding any warranted corrective action.




  1. Thank you for posting Mayor Otis’s press release and thank you to the Mayor, as well.

    I hope many of us will be able to attend the February 25th meeting, along with Mr. Schubert.

  2. Bucky,
    Did you type the response before or after My rye received the press release?
    “Fair and reasonable approach” You must be kidding. Maybe you missed the council meeting last week where Mayor Otis would not let Vinnie Tamburro ( Rye’s building inspector involved in the July 2007 inspection of Hen Island ) comment about the Hen Island inspection. If everything was on the up and up. Why not let him speak? Could it be because the mayor was afraid of what he might say? I am sure he has been briefed by now. Up till this point Vinnie has not lied about anything, publicly he has just been silent. Let’s see what position he takes publicly about the Hen Island cover-up. I am betting he will not speak or will tell the truth. I have faith in Vinnie hopefully he will not be intimidated as Chantal was for two years. Take a look at the below link and you tell me if you think it is fair and reasonable.

    Ray Tartaglione

  3. Mayor Otis is violating the NYS Open Meetings Law. The City of Rye cannot simply state they are going into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. They have to say a personnel matter concerning whoever it is.

    Otis wrote:

    “The City Council is now reviewing the full written file on the case, which it received on Friday night.”

    Now you have the full written file Otis? What was Shew and Plunkett giving you and telling you prior to Friday night?

    Are Shew and Plunkett going to be allowed to attend the Executive Session? Might they be the subjects of the investigation?

    Shew has made the entire Rye City Council look like a bunch of lying idiots not that they needed any help.

  4. Where was the Otis press release when the Rye PBA had an overwhelming Vote of No Confidence in Shew and the Rye Professional Firefighters had a very strong rebuke of Shew?

    What about when Commerce Bank stated Shew committed Fraud?

    What about Shew living in Massachusetts?

    You were given all the details Otis. Were these complaints not considered serious by you or is it that you just got caught with your hand in the cookie jar with the Mr. Schubert issue and now you have to cover your own butt?

    It sounds like Otis has already determined that Shew will keep his job and the Rye taxpayers will have to pay for Shew’s lies and discrimination.

    If Plunkett and any of his flunketts had knowledge of Chantal’s “different view” then they should not be involved with any of the discussions or investigation.

  5. It amazes me when cowards write accusations & do not have the courage to put their name behind it[garnet graduate].Mr.Chittenden has taken his personal time to uncover the coverups in the City of Rye for the good of us all.I do not see anyone else w/Mr.Chittenden’s knowledge of the facts & laws stepping up & taking a stand for all of the Tax Payers of Rye. What you should be doing is thanking him & standing behind him-not smearing him!In regards to Mr.Chittenden’s work status you should only speak of such allegations w/proof as he has in all of the facts he has opened us all to. What goes on behind closed doors & in open public in the City of Rye is a joke Mr.Garnet Graduate & Mr.Chittenden should be HIGHLY COMMENDED for his efforts to Right the Sinking Ship of Rye!!!

  6. Thank you Wylie for your rational approach. We have a lot of noise comming in about other issues. The concearn is about the forrest ave issue and it seems Mayor otis is going to address it in a calm and rational mannor.

  7. Well, let’s hope that things will be dealt with properly, at last.

    I’m planning on attending on 2/25, as I am sure are many, barring any unforeseen events.

    Many thanks to MyRye and the other websites and newspapers for covering this story – and for everyone who has been involved in bringing reality to the light.

    I hope Mr. Schubert will benefit from the outcome and that we can celebrate with him for his tenacity!! He’s an inspiration.

  8. I am glad to see Rye Graduate must have made it through medical school. Your mother must have been so proud. Judging by your medical diagnosis, you may have been better served going to law school to learn about defamation.

  9. Bucky,

    De-nial is not a river in Egypt. The same environmental code enforcement avoidance that the city of Rye placed on the Schubert residence is the same environmental code enforcement avoidance taking place on Hen Island today. I hope you understand the magnitude of what the city of Rye subjected Mr. Schubert to during his quest to right the cities wrong. He could have died after some of his experiences in front of the city council. Maybe you should look at some of the old council meetings where the mayor looked at and treated Mr. Schubert like he was a crazy old man, or when Mrs. Parker told him he shouldn’t sully his own reputation in the community, and she thought he was on the verge of doing that. Let’s not forget the most memorable one with Mr. Plunkett whose temper tantrum has created outrage throughout the legal and political community of Westchester County. Bob Schubert’s fight for his wetlands garden was refuted with attempts to diminish his persistence by trying to discourage, embarrass, intimidate and finally, after all else failed, an attempt was made to commit him to a psychiatric institution with the hopes of taking him out of the picture either physically or mentally. I believe the later was not an accident. Bob was building up too much support from respectable citizens in the community. The mayor was understandably concerned. You reference noise about other issues in your post; this is not noise my friend, look at the pictures and the videos of the building, health and safety codes that Otis and the city council are allowing to exist on Hen Island . http://healtheharbor.com/ They tower above the Schubert scandal. This website was designed to enable the citizens of Rye and Westchester County to see what exists on Hen Island without leaving their bedrooms. The mayor and the council have viewed the website frequently, along with the building and legal departments from the city. Do you think they thought they were looking at cartoons? It’s all there and it will be a repeat performance at some point in the near future. Once again, the mayor and the city council will claim they knew nothing.

    Here is some more “noise about other issues” for your viewing pleasure.


  11. Thanks Mr. Amico. That post is clearly from the heart.

    Like the Bob Schubert matter, everyone is aware of your terrible personal loss and your constructive practical suggestions for preventing another similar loss in the future. In prior decades, under different administrations, your suggestions would appear reasonable and feasible to implement.

    The administration would take public comments, consider the merits, and probably try putting them into effect. And if they, over time, didn’t work for some reason then they would be discontinued.

    That’s the Rye I remember.

    That’s the Rye I want back.

  12. Dear Ted C:

    In case you have been wondering about the development and implementation of potential pedestrian and traffic safety improvments in the Midland Avenue corridor, the City of Rye and the Rye City Schools District have been actively pursuing 10 potential suggestions that were outlined in the TRC Engineers report from May 2007. The City Traffic and Transportation Committee has also been evaluating sight distance improvements and potential intersection improvements in this areas as well. I hope that you will join the effort to implement positive changes in this area.

    Scott Pickup
    City of Rye

  13. tedc,
    Not so fast, maybe you should read this and view the photo before you pat Mr. Pickup on the back.

    Mr. Pickup,
    I am happy to hear that the city is finally addressing Jim Amico’s issues with Rye to make Midland Ave a safer place. Unfourtanly Jarrid’s life was lost and the Amico’s suffer on a daily basis as a result of that terrible accident. A fate I wish no one would ever have to experience. Why has it taken so long for the city of Rye to address this situation? As we sit here today, you state the City is “actively pursuing 10 potential suggestions”. This tragedy happened in 2006, how many vehicles traveled Midland Avenue between 2006 and now. How many children have also used Midland Ave. since that fatal day in 2006? How long does this process take? I feel the city should have reacted immediately to Mr. Amico’s request. Here we are three years later and still hearing more Rhetoric. How much longer can the city of Rye procrastinate on this and many other safety issues in Rye? Below is a link to another potential accident waiting to happen that I have brought to the attention of the City of Rye.
    The shed in the above photo is located in the center of the picture, rear of the brown lattice doors and is within just 25 feet of the swings. Not 10 feet from the shed are eight, 100 lb. propane tanks tied to a tree, with two more tanks located nearby, for a total of at least 10 tanks no more than eight steps from the play set.That is at least one thousand pounds of liquid propane stored where children play on a regular basis. Can you respond to this picture that is still in effect today on Hen Island, two years after I have brought it to your attention? Do we have to lose another life and then wait for the city to “actively pursuing 10 potential suggestions”
    When questioned by the Sound Shore Review in 2007 your response was;
    “Assistant City Manager Scott Pickup said, “The City feels that the Island has complied with everything that has been asked of it by the City’s building department based on recent inspections over this summer.” (Ref: Rye Sound Shore Review September 21st, 2007)” http://healtheharbor.com/codes/cityofrye.html
    Maybe you can re-evaluate your position with regard to building and safety code avoidance on Hen Island.

    Ray Tartaglione

  14. Here’s a few further thoughts –

    One of the unpleasant side effects of the current crisis of confidence at City Hall over enforcement of environmental laws is that it creates negative headlines far beyond our boundaries about the city.

    Sweeping foul things under a rug only leads to the emanation of increasingly noxious odors over time. The Schubert matter, the Hen Island matter, and other matters – these things need to be resolved transparently and immediately and Rye has to be restored to a community of law, respectful of property owners’ rights and environmentally grounded.

    One thought I’ve had in recent days is that with all the championing of progressive environmentalism by this administration – especially the Mayor himself – you would think that something like these issues couldn’t possibly be true. But the site pictures and the council meeting videos don’t lie. And all of our politically appointed citizen watchdogs including Planning and CCAC have been silent.

    I lifted a full pile of newspaper and a full pile of metal and plastic into the back of my Jeep for the trip down my driveway Monday night for recycling pick up the following morning. My back complained when I straightened up from organizing them (along with my neatly tied cardboard stacks) at the Forest Avenue curb. I thought that this is a good thing I do to better the earth and future generations. And so I wonder what rocks this current council is willing to lift to bring transparency here.

    A simple municipal scalp hunting exercise will do nothing to restore trust and bring honest resolution. That will just lead to more noxious odors – and more bad headlines. Get all the facts out in public view on our own little “Watergate” right now.

  15. Heads need to roll Ted C. It needs to be shown that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and anyone who corrupts our good City with lies, coverups and deceit will be shown the door.

  16. THAK YOU, Ted C.,Ray Tartaglione,
    Tim Chittenden,and all of my supporters for your kind & heartfelt words. With all do respect Mr.Pickup I have been chasing the City from every angle,written hundreds of emails,stood before the County Legislators,been to numerous meetings,
    attended a TASC meeting,etc.for the past 3 years. Not until I blew up the city’s theory of “WE CAN’T IT IS A COUNTY OWNED ROAD” & other lame excuses did I ever receive a single response. Not until C.Detlef’s info blew up in their face did Mr.Schubert get an ounce of respect.That is a hell of a pattern. What I would like to know is;why have I not been informed of this new information that has been in exsistence since May 2007? Why have I not been included IN ANY & ALL conversat ions pertaining to my complaints of concern? Why have I been allowed to continue to live & write in anger everyday thinking nothing is getting done? WHY?WHY?WHY? WHAT AM I CHOP LIVER? I have spent countless hours away from my family and dedicated it to this cause. The people running this City including the heads of the RPD have not shown my family one ounce of RESPECT/COMPASSION for the TRAGEDY we have to endure for the rest of our Natural Lives! And for those of you who do not know my family history in Rye- My family spans over 4 generations here.My Father served this City in the RFD for over 30 years. You would think that accounts for something! IT USE TO!!! I AM SICK & TIRED OF HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS CRAP EVERY DAMN DAY! WE,THE AMICOS,IF ITS OKAY WITH YOU PEOPLE,WOULD LIKE TO MOURN IN PEACE!!!! SEE YOU ON THE 25TH!!

  17. I’m very sad to read the background you’ve posted here, Mr. Amico. I do know of the tragedy your family has experienced with the loss of your beloved son Jarrrid, but can never know depth of your family’s incredible loss. However, I did not know about your battle to get the powers that be to do something substantial to control the speed with which many drive on Midland Avenue, or any of the other dangerous issues surrounding the street, etc. I commend you for your fight.

    When this discussion thread started out, I thought it was about the Schubert debacle, but I see that it has brought to light a number of extremely important issues that have to be addressed – properly.

  18. Thank You Mr.Walden,
    Support from the community is always welcomed.The simple fact that you had no knowledge of my battle with the powers to be is the exact problem we need to eliminate. First & foremost there should not be anything for you to know because there is not suppose to be a battle.I am not in any way shape or form trying to remove the spotlight from Mr.Schubert in these threads. I do not want this to turn into my fight. My day is just around the corner behind Mr.Schubert.I’m just shedding more light onto the corruption in City Hall.There is a “VERY SAD TREND” going on here.
    Hen Island,Shubert,Amico,RPD,Shew,
    all of these subjects are major & are ignored or filled w/corruption. I hope that when the winds calm down a bit we can all unite & take back what was taken from us-“THE CITY of RYE”
    AGAIN I THANK YOU for your kind words.

  19. Mr. Amico’s issue is but one of the ‘other matters’ that need airing in our city.

    Despite the feelings of our some of our fellow authors here, I believe we will find an honorable agent of reform in Mr. Pickup some day soon.

    But only if his elected overseers encourage the truth to emerge – which is unlikely until some additional top level housecleaning is complete.

  20. ”Around the world, water supplies face relentless threats from industrial waste, agricultural pollution and poor sewage treatment. The battle to protect water purity must be fought not just by national governments but also in every town and village on the planet.

    Even in the U.S., which has some of the toughest environmental laws, safeguarding rivers and reservoirs is a constant struggle. While many companies obey the rules, others still try to use waterways as dumpsites. American environmental-enforcement officials have been bombed, shot, run over and sued while trying to perform their duties.

    But the most demoralizing blows invariably come from their employers: the Governor or commissioner who wants to shield a political contributor or recruit polluters to the state by shutting down environmental enforcement.”
    “Environmental injustice is morally equivalent to any other form of racism — it has immediate health impacts and in the longer-term destroys the cultures and vitality of our highest risk communities. Above all else, pollution is a human rights violation. We need to make sure that our laws, our enforcement and all of our institutions recognize, understand and eliminate environmental racism.

    The solution to environmental racism remains the same: Better, stronger, environmental enforcement that protects every community and every citizen from pollution.”

    — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
    From the website healtheharbor

  21. The aforementioned quote by QUOTEGAL was taken from HEALtheHARBOR.com and written by Bobby Kennedy Jr. about Ron Gatto. Mr. Kennedy is one of the lead environmental attorneys and authorities on environmental law in the country. Mr. Kennedy supports our cause has given us his personal permission to use his picture and his quote for our website. Ron Gatto was present at the Hen Island inspection in July of 2007. Mr. Gatto is the lead investigator from the Westchester County Environmental unit. In July of 07 Mr. Gatto along with the Westchester County health department and the city of Rye building department wanted to close Hen Island for their many serious violations. Presently his hands are tied and lips are sealed again. We at HEAL the Harbor believe Mayor Otis is involved in the origin of this cover-up.


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