Rye city council minutes, penned by City Clerk Dawn Nodarse, have been published for the January 28, 2009 meeting. Here are the highlights. Mayor Otis and all the council members except George Pratt were in attendance.
- 37 Secret Minutes. Council met in exec session from 7:35pm – 8:12pm to discuss "real estate matters. No decisions were made."
- A salute to those who have left us. Mayor Otis recognized the passing of Ted Downing, a former member of the Finance Committee and husband of former City Council Member Bonnie Downing; Chet Coddington, who had been very active with the Rye Nature Center and environmental causes; and John McGillicuddy, a giant in the banking industry who ran the venerable "Manny – Hanny".
- Schubert Pre-Shewgate. From the minutes: "The Mayor reiterated that responses to Mr. Schubert have been given in the past and the facts do not change; the City is not the forum for his remedy, it is with his neighbor. Councilman Ball said that in the past Mr. Schubert has referenced his attorney and asked what his attorney had recommended he do? Mr. Schubert said the attorney told him it would be easy to sue his neighbor but he wants to go after the City."
- Carey: I Want the Password Too. City Manager Shew was authorized to spend $1,200 for access to the Westchester County Clerk’s Public Viewer for Land and Legal Records. Former Mayor and Judge John Carey said he believes that since the service is available to the City free of charge it should also be available to residents of the City by the City putting a link on the website. Shew reported he asked the county and they said no way no how.
- 50Gs for Salt. The council transferred $50,000 from contingency to Public Works to purchase salt for storm coverage for the remainder of the winter season: "Councilwoman Gamache asked how many inches of snow the $50,000 would cover. Assistant City Manager Pickup said the amount of salt used depends on the type of storm. Storms where the snow thaws and then freezes utilize more salt." Nice volley with the snow talk Mr. Pickup!
- Recession Task Force. The task force, since it will be made up of city department heads, will meet during the workday. City Manager Shew concurred with others that receiving written suggestions from council members in advance is helpful. Councilman Cunningham asked for a report by March 31st regarding suggestions.
- More Metering. Councilman Sack asked about the status of the idea of extending the parking meter hours to increase revenue. He proposed setting an agenda item for the next meeting to allow merchants to come in and talk about the idea. Councilwoman Parker said she met with the Merchants Association and they will create a letter from their Board that will go to the restaurants in order to get their feedback. Councilman Ball said that if the Council is considering going forward with this idea it would be helpful if they could receive another copy of Commissioner Connors memorandum on the subject, which gave his perspective on the economics. Maybe we can securitize future meter revenue for eternity, sell these securities to the Chinese government and pay for anything we want. Wait, er, that does not seem to work so well.
- Playland Party Pooper? Councilwoman Parker said that the County has decided to change the Playland admission policy to “pay one price” and she had concerns on how that would affect Rye residents who enjoy walking through the park. The City Manager has scheduled a meeting with Dan McBride of the County regarding this topic.