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Schubert Waterworks, Trying on a New Shew—Items on the Agenda for City Council Tonight, Wednesday – March 25, 2009

The city council agenda is out for tonight, Wednesday, March 25, 2009. The “Forest Avenue Report” (hydrologist study of the Schubert property) is available and is one of a number of hot topics. This could be a long night…

See you at 8pm in the Council Room at Rye City Hall or on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 39. We'll also see you on the Internet (next day) at http://rye.peg.tv.
Let's check the batting order and highlights from the 20 agenda items.

  • Open Mic. Never dull. Residents may be heard who have matters to discuss that do not appear on the agenda.
  • Schubert Waterworks. Hydrological report by the FPM Group on Schubert’s 980 Forest Avenue.
  • Bridge to Nowhere. Presentation by Berger, Lehman Associates, P.C., regarding the Central Avenue Bridge replacement project.
  • Bring Lots of Quarters. Consideration to set a public hearing to amend local law Chapter 191, Vehicles and Traffic, of the Rye City Code, Section 191-38, to extend the hours of meter operation from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The Recession. Update on the Recession Task Force from Council members Mack Cunningham and Paula Gamache.
  • White Rocks? Discussion of obstructions in the right of way.
  • Authorize, Stat. Authorization for City Manager to enter into an Agreement for Emergency Medical Transport with the Village of Port Chester, the Village of Rye Brook and Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc.
  • New Shew. Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign an employment agreement with Francis (Frank) J. Culross to serve as Acting City Manager.

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be held on tax day, Wednesday, April 15, 2009.


  1. “Hence, in my opinion Mr. Gates did not divert any
    storm water from his property and all his runoff water eventually enters Mr. Schubert’s pond.”

    The down and dirty from the hydrologist report. Apparently, Mr. Schubert is mistaken in his allegations.

    Now what???

  2. A LONG NIGHT INDEED! If I were in Mr. Schubert’s position I would hire my own HY LIE A GIST. This report did nothing but try to devert blame from a possible law suit against the City. FACT; There was nothing wrong until the Gates work was performed. FACT; The Pond dried up “IMMEDIATELY” after the Gates work was complete. FACT; The $3,500 Nerd Scientist hired was suppose to have NO CONNECTION. FACT; We always knew the solutions. FACT; The $3,500 Nerd was hired to determine where the water went. FACT; The $3,500 Nerd did not do the job he was paid to do. FACT; WE STILL DO NOT KNOW WHERE THE WATER WENT!!!! FACT; This is the only result the City was after- Not Determine Where the Water Went!
    Mr.Schubert… hire your own specialist and then we will all know the real truth!!!

  3. I think No-Show Jow owes the city an apology along with Bob Schubert and his lackeys. The Mayor and Council should be commended. Mr. Shubert needs only to put a pump in his yard to pump water into his pond. We don’t need another hydology report. No-Show Joe should resign over the stress he’s put Rye thru.

  4. Mr. Shubert are you really an environmentalist? Have you seen the pictures of your pond? It’s a disgrace. Total raping of the natural flow of water in a wetlands. It’s a disgrace. The price of oil raised $10 a barrel because the amount of oil-based PVC pipe in your yard. Is that the NATURAL FLOW of water in your mind? Your pond is a SHAM. That’s AWARD WINNING? FACT: Your pond was a 150 gallon puddle that you turned into a blood sucking monster and now the hydrologist says you need to DREDGE the pond frequently or it’ll fill up! Dredging in a wetland? How environmentally friendly! Give it a rest Mr. Shubert. Those pictures make me want to puke.

    Here we go again IGNORING “THE FACTS! When a Doctor tells you something life altering you get a second opinion. Mr.Schubert should of had a second opinion in place last night & then we all would of seen who deserved apoligies! How in the world is this J.Sacks burden? This didn’t just start yesterday! Did you just arrive from fantasy land?

  6. Mr. Schubert lost some of my sympathy last night. Councilman Ball’s smack down after Mr. Schubert wanted to know why the study only looked at the Gates property was well deserved. Does anyone out there really think that the council is dumb enough, with all the attention this case has received, to put out a tainted report. Does anyone think the hydroligist would risk his reputation by submitting the same? Enough is enough. Solutions were offered last night. Move forward with those. The city has much bigger problems to deal with.

  7. Maybe the city should hire a City Un-naturalist because if that shit hole aka Mr. Shubert’s Pond is the best the City Naturalist can come up with, we don’t need a City Naturalist. Who was the City Naturalist when Mr. Shubert was given permission to change his 150 gallon puddle into that gargantuan swamp all complete with plastic pipe stick out of every orifice in the ground? Where’s the fence that should be required to keep children from drowning? If this is what the City “Naturalist” claims is natural and not a complete raping of the ecosystem then A-Rod is completely natural too.

  8. How could it be that Mr. Floatie is behind this ecological disaster aka Mr. Shubert’s Pond? Are they really environmentalists or just another right wing terrorist organization?

  9. Just for kicks, I dunno, little problems like blind brook flooding which put hundreds of homes in harms way for one. Those folks would love to have Mr. Schuberts problem.

  10. The people of Indian Village do have the same problem as Mr. Schubert. A dysfunctional, petty, and non responsive City Council, City Management and Corporation Counsel.

    Did anyone really think this hydrologist was going to say anything but the Gates work had no effect on the pond?

    The hydrologist was also openly disrespectful to the Rye residents who questioned him and the Rye City Council never intervened.

    Now that Otis and the Gates have their report bought and paid for with no input from Mr. Schubert or Chantal, will the Gates allow Mr. Schubert to conduct his own study?

  11. Enough Already,
    I dunno….DUH….I dunno it has only been an issue since the turn of time. What makes you think the City is interested? According to them Rye doesn’t have “Problems”! Evedent by their IGNORANCE! So, how was your vacation in Fantasy Land? Last time I checked…uh I Dunno- Sensible Intelligent people spending that kind of money for a home in a Flood Zone should do their homework!

  12. Unreal. The city wastes $15 grand to hire an expert to find out some facts from an objective third party. The expert goes into the sewers, digs holes and puts together hydrology surveys to get to the truth. The expert then tells the city that the Gates drywell had nothing to do with the lack of water.
    The conspiracy crowd immediately rejects the inconvenient truth.
    If I were to drag a skid-row bum out to look at the pond and pay him $50 bucks to say the Gates construction caused the lack of water, these people would then be screaming that they have their “proof” of cover-up and corruption.
    Thanks for the laughs – keep ’em coming!

  13. Has anyone noticed that the city manager lost his job over this. Has anyone noticed that the former naturalist came out of the woodwork 3 years later and made accusations against the city manager and other employees “hiding” info. The city of Rye doesn’t owe Mr. Schubert anything but I am sure we the taxpayers will be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for his pond because the city council is listening to the Schubert fan club who make noise. It is an outrage that someone lost his job over this and nobody is saying anything about this.


  15. Hy, ponds dry up too. That also has been happening since the begining of time. So let me get this straight: One tiny, cosmetic pond on one piece of property should get the lions share of the attention instead of a issue that puts hundreds of homes as well as the business district in harms way? If that’s the case you are right, everyone in Indian Village and the merchants on Purchase St should pack up and take off. That will do wonders for the property values on that hill you must live on.

  16. Enough Already>You won’t have to worry about floods pushing the merchants out the greedy landlords are doing a good job of that on their own! Yes,ponds dry up…so it was a just a fluke that after 15 years this pond dried up 3 days after the work was performed on the gates property? Nice Fantasy! I didn’t say the City shouldn’t pay attention to other important matters I said they are not interested.
    Laura> It is an Outrage if you or anyone else thinks that Shew lost his job over just this. I’m sure we can all agree this helped do him in but it WAS NOT the just cause. Get a Grip of the Facts Under the Shew!

  17. obviously something took place to change that pond BUT solutions were offered last night but it seems no one on here wants to talk about them. Which leads me to believe that many of you aren’t really interested in fixing the problem, but would rather drag out this issue (at the expense of other more important matters) to advance your own personal vendattas.

  18. Does Anyone See a Pattern Here?

    Just Ignore Them and They’ll Go Away …
    If We Admit Mistakes We Admit Liability …
    Deny. Deny. Deny.
    We’ll Look into This and Have Our Staff Get Back to You …
    That’s Not on Our Agenda this Evening …
    It’s not Our Problem …
    This Is a Dispute Between Neighbors …

    If you look very closely at a yard or two of printed fabric you’ll see that the pattern repeats itself. This “repeat” can occur every couple of inches, or every 3 feet. It varies. But it always reoccurs. Once you know what to look for, the pattern is easy to see.

    Much like the obvious pattern of mistakes, missteps, malfeasance, dubious judgements, stonewalling and cover-ups that is becoming more apparent with each passing day in the city of Rye.

    Unresolved building, environmental, health and safety code questions on Hen Island;
    •Three years (and counting) of foot dragging on Bob Schubert’s wetlands garden. The “outside,” “no connections,” “impartial,” hydrologist the city finally hired to investigate is one they’ve used before on the Beaver Creek issue;
    •Ordering the Westchester County Mental Health Department to determine the sanity of a sane resident for demanding a fair investigation;
    •Three years of inaction on the attempt (by parents of a child who was killed) to prevent more fatalities on Midland Avenue by means of a simple traffic control device (i.e. stop sign, blinking light, crosswalk etc.). City officials instructed police not to observe traffic patterns there but to prove there was no need for traffic amendment;
    •The questionable suspension of Officer Chittenden from the Rye police force for whistle-blowing on conditions there. At that time president of the Rye Police Association, Chittenden was doing his duty to protect his fellow officers. Proving Chittenden right, conditions were acknowledged by the chairman of the New York State Commission of Correction on April 17, 2008;
    •The failure to investigate (one year and counting) allegations made by the Rye Police Association of incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the Police Commissioner and the city manager;
    •Failure to respond (10 months and counting) to complaints by the Rye Professional Firefighters’ Association about Paul Shew’s poor management;
    •Several legal misadventures without positive outcomes resulting only in thousands of dollars in legal fees to the city attorney and his confederates;
    •The “change of understanding” in Rye city’s law regarding signs that led to Rye police telling at least one resident to remove an “Obama for President” sign from his front lawn or pay a fine of $250. This incident so egregious that the New York Civil Liberties Union charged the city with violating Constitutional First Amendment rights! The pattern of ineptitude, disrespect and non-cooperation marks this Rye city administration as a repeat offender. This is a governing body seemingly disdainful of the very people it is supposed to serve and protect.

    Although some Rye city council members have done their best to buck the trend, Mayor Steven Otis, the council and management as a whole have let residents down.

    This November, concerned city voters should make sure that this city council history does not repeat itself.

    But November is seven months away. In the meantime, Rye city residents will have to establish a pattern of their own:
    Continue to ask questions — and demand answers.
    Stand up for their rights and those of their neighbors. And no longer take, at face value, this council’s or this Mayor’s word on anything.

  19. NOT!!! The pond should have been corrected immediately instead of 3 some odd years later. Then Mr.Schubert could of fought till his heart was content. I agree with all the remedies & further agree they should be done & should have along time ago. I do support Mr.Schubert because I believe in & follow the facts and I do not want to see this dragged out. He should hire his own people to find out “WHERE THE WATER WENT”. After All that was the main purpose of hiring this yo yo. And then come back @ the city if his reports tell a different story. In the mean time the pond should be brought back to its beauty. What is in place now & the past 3 years is not welcomed.

  20. I attended the City Council meeting and listened to Kevin Phillips’ presentation. He opened by saying that his charge was simple–to find out where the water went. Well…after a large expense and hours of discussion, that question was never answered. Mr. Phillips or another (independent) hydrologist should be able to find out why a pond that was full all the time for 15 years suddenly dried up in 3 days. The reason this issue matters is because the City of Rye wrote its wetlands policy and Mr. Phillips himself admitted that a healthy Schubert’s pond is beneficial to the city of Rye. The City of Rye would not only be rectifying the mismanagement of the issue over a three year period, but would in fact be enforcing its own ordinance by fixing the pond. Discovering the cause is critical because most of this community is affected by water and we MUST know how and why this occured in order for future projects/development to be monitored. The City of Rye must get to the bottom of this or there will be a lack of confidence on the part of the citizens. Some of us have become very skeptical of our local government and are profoundly disappointed in this entire affair.

  21. Yes, please forward to the City Council! I don’t think they got the message yet that they’ve been conducting a conspiracy for the past three years.
    Thanks to some amazing detective work, Mr. JackA has uncovered the truth. He determined that the COUNCIL has been stealing Schubert’s pondwater! They sold it to Mr. Floatie, who used it in his giant toilet located behind the Bowman Dam. Mr. Floatie needed it to replace the water that was accidentally flushed down to Indian Village in that big storm.
    The council then used part of the proceeds to pay off the hydrologist to doctor up reports that proved the water wasn’t put down some drywell by Mr. Water-Gates, and they set aside the rest of the money for the eventual purchase of Hen Island at fire sale prices, which will be converted into a luxury retirement home for council members, city managers and police commissioners once they force the police into a contract that pays minimum wage and no benefits.

  22. Laura Brekenridge – There’s a reason no one’s saying much about Shew getting the boot for a reason: he did not lose his job over Bob Schubert’s pond,he was asked to spend more time with his family for general mismanagement. We taxpayers wouldn’t have to be out of pocket much had appropriate protocol had been followed from the beginning.

    Even if your misperceptions were accurate, costs certainly wouldn’t come anywhere near what we’re shelling out and will continue to shell out for PTO vanity projects such as building Milton School a second gym. Or vanity driven middle and high school electives.

    As for the Schubert “fan club”, support for this comes from people who believe there is a valuable grievance that could happen to anyone who gets in the way of the Rye’s real estate and development berserker. The McMansion-dwelling, entitlement oriented, younger people who have moved into Rye suffer under the delusion that they’re the only ones who deserve to live here for way too long. Instead of crying “outrage” where there is none, this crowd would benefit from listening to their neighbors and recognizing that rights belong to all citizens – not just a convenient few.

  23. rats – please correct the sentence: There’s a reason no one’s saying much about Shew getting the boot:….where’s the edit option on this blog?

    Also – for the webmaster – it would be helpful to have a response option.

  24. Illegal Construction Activities in Dutchess County
    Net EPA Fines for Two Companies

    (New York, N.Y. – March 26, 2009) Wetlands are valuable resources that can’t be altered or filled for convenience sake, a lesson that two land owners in Dutchess County learned recently. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Cogi, LLC and Quaker Hills, LLC to settle violations of wetlands rules under the federal Clean Water Act related to the illegal development of wetlands on their land in Pawling, N.Y. The companies filled and disrupted part of a large tract of wetlands, which help supply New York City’s drinking water. In the settlement, the two companies will pay a $50,000 fine, and create two acres of new wetlands and a new stream.

    Wetlands help filter out contaminants, and even small sections are important, particularly in this case.

  25. I will forward my comments to the City Council today. Incidentally, Mr. Shew was not relieved of his duties because of the Schubert issue; Councilman Ball stated that fact, as well. Misinformed comments do not add to this discussion and are divisive. The “Schubert fan club” is a group of citizens who care out our City and want to support someone who is standing up for what is right. Mr. Schubert’s pond is a benefit to the City (as stated by the hydrologist himself!). If you are so opinionated (Laura) you should attend the meetings and participate in the local democratic process, just as the other dedicated citizens are doing. Overdevelopment is obviously a contributing factor to so many of the water problems and we should be working together as a community to figure it out. I commend Carolina Johnson for all her hard work and success with the Indian Village flooding. She is patiently working through the red tape. Mr. Schubert’s “fan club” is simply supporting his efforts to do what is right within a system that has blocked all of his efforts.

  26. Speakout1,
    A nice refresher. It’s good to see someone other than the rest of us regulars here,write with some COMMON SENSE! For the life of me, I do not understand how anyone can argue with the obvious facts behind this entire issue & other issues in Rye. As I’m sure you are well aware of I have been screaming about the Safety issues our children & all the Residents of Rye are faced with on a daily basis. I see huge problems & projects getting settled around here…..Leaf Blower Ban, Beck Ave. Bungalows, BPR Diet, etc.etc. But when what seems like a simple fix to a problem is presented we get 3 years of EMBARRASSMENT!!!

  27. Speakout –

    The fact that Schubert’ pond benefits the city doesn’t mean the city should have to pay to maintain it. Firstly, it’s private property, it’s Schubert’s, and he stands directly to gain – or lose, if he doesn’t maintain it in such a way as to minimize the impact of mosquitoes.

    Secondly, if we overlook the problem of private property, the perceived benefit to the city should be compared directly to the actual cost of acheiving that benefit – and the benefit does not outweigh the cost.

    And this sets a very bad precedent. If the city is going to solve his problem, why can’t I get them to cut down the trees in my yard, since the city benefits by having less chance of a downed tree disrupting power or blocking the road? Why can’t the city keep my lawn cut to reduce the chance of rodents and pests burrowing in it, possibily carrying Lyme disease or rabies? Aren’t those benefits to the city as well?
    Don’t waste your time sending your comments to the council – they’ve been heard and already rejected. That doesn’t mean the council is covering up anything, it doesn’t mean they’re ignoring anyone – it means they don’t agree with the logic and reasoning, and they’ve decided to do what’s best for all of Rye, not just what’s best for some rich retiree who can afford to fill his pond with Evian water.


  29. Scooter-
    I will still send my comments to the City Council despite your opinion that it won’t matter. I thought a democratically elected body would encourage comments from its citizens or am I living in the wrong place? My questions are completely valid! In fact, you are misinterpreting what I said. The City’s responsibility to fix the pond is due would not set a precedent about working on private property. A determination must be made to find out whether the problem is due to the fact that changes to the water in that watershed were due to some construction that was approved without a permit. This is why the City paid a hydrologist. Since he couldn’t answer that question unequivocably, then the City has to continue to seek an answer to WHERE DID THE WATER GO? No resolution will be adequate until that question is answered. The answer goes beyond Mr. Schubert and affects City wetlands policies in general. Now do you see my point?

  30. No, I don’t see your point. We have a fundamental difference in opinion as to where private property begins and ends and where public responsibility begins and ends.
    Bob believes his problem stems from construction on his neighbor’s property, construction that was deemed to not need a permit. The city has told him repeatedly that his dispute is with the neighbor.
    Now it turns out an expert tells us that his neighbor’s construction was not the reason he lost “his” water. Obviously it was something else that caused the water to stop. The answer isn’t clear, but what is clear is that it is NOT the city’s problem.
    Why is it that the city must find “his” water? Why do we taxpayers need to fund this ridiculus quest? If he wants to find it, he should put on a miners cap and start shoveling. I hear Joe Sack wants to help him out.

    And Evian Please… I guess you think a good government is one where any complaint is promptly answered and addressed to the full and complete satisfaction of the individual, regardless of others. What planet are you on? Can you cite any example of such a government in the history of mankind? I’d love to hear it…

  31. Scooter, “I guess you think a good government is one where any complaint is promptly answered and addressed to the full and complete satisfaction of the individual, regardless of others.”
    On the contrary…. I think a good Government is one that listens to the complaints of its Tax Payers,Promptly Answers with Respect & Complete Truth,and addressed with complete satisfaction in REGARDS TO ALL!!!!
    And I keep asking myself that same question “what planet are you on” – Been confused for quite some time now!
    Smoke on That for a While!!!

  32. The point is, not everyone’s problems can be addressed by government, and government is tasked with making the decisions that will do the best job of satisfying the most people with the limited resources available at any one time.
    The refusal of several people on this blog to understand this basic concept of the way the world works leads them to believe that the system is somehow broken or corrupt.
    It isn’t. Our duly-elected officials have discussed and decided on this matter. So much time was wasted by Schubert reciting the same old arguments and going over the same old ground, proving that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Now the city’s paid $5K for expert advice which proves Bob’s whole argument is wrong.
    Yet now you and others are saying the city somehow owes Bob “his” water back. What’s next? Will we have to pay for his landscaping too?

  33. This is such a sign of our times: hire a consultant to solve a problem and pay the clown anyway even if he didn’t accomplish the task.

    At issue is not Bob Schubert’s pond, at issue is following rules and regulation so that development is kept in balance, and the quality of life for the community is not degraded.

    How come some monstrosity gets put up practically overnight, while others – obviously not on the “in track” – have to petition everyone in their neighborhood to change the footprint of a garage built during the Coolidge administration?

  34. Incidentally, our duly elected officials never discussed this problem thoroughly when it was first broached by Mr. Schubert: the issue was stonewalled.

    Don’t mistake the outcome (missing water) for the core issue. The city government didn’t do its job. Find why the rules weren’t followed when the construction first took place, and you’ll find out why the stonewalling began. And you might end up with a brand spanking new city council and mayor.

  35. The entitlement crowd is at it again, and with no shame at all. But that’s not surprising. Predators and their offspring operate at a compassion deficit. Mocking a family that is asking for a simple safety measure to prevent other tragedies from occurring.

    There are enough people in this town who are not content to let it be run by cronies or a hedge fund trading Boss Hogg. And in case you haven’t noticed, there is a national turn towards populism.

    When wealthy families quietly petition and network “their kind” to get safety regulations – such as the traffic cop at the high school on weekday mornings – no one mocks them. No one makes snarky comments or points out the hypocrisy of this same crowd whose teenagers imagine they have a “right” to block traffic, muck up parking, pollute the air by driving mummy’s SUV to school in a town where the farthest walking distance is two and a half miles.

    Ignore this trash – they’re the emodiment of dead ideas and souls. A few stop signs or sleeping policemen on Midland would benefit the community enormously. Use the PTO listserves to network. It took just one parent (one of those Junior League types) to grandstand and take over the RHS and RMS listserves to get that crosswalk cop in the mornings.

    Maybe you can siphon off some money from the personal GPS systems purchased for the middle school orienteering elective for a simple stop sign.

    And may I apologize for the creeps out there – they know not what they do. They’re quite limited, really.

    Posted by: Mulberry | March 27, 2009 at 04:23 PM

  36. “Mr. Phillips himself admitted that a healthy Schubert’s pond is beneficial to the city of Rye.”

    He also implied later on that the Shubert supporters were off their rockers.

  37. I’m a Cry resident and have a pond 2.5 feet deep. I don’t have a fence around it even though everyone can see how full my pond has been the last 15 years. I guess all the adults in this town think children can’t see also. Anyway, I feel that every drop of rain that falls in Westchester should be funneled into my pond because my pond is the best pond in the world. I offered a neighbor of mine an easement to dump his water in my yard and he refused. I can’t believe his decision and now I’m gonna throw a tantrum. Every drop of water on this planet is rightfully mine! Mine I say!

  38. Is there anyway Crye could change the name of Hen Island to a more appropriate animal? I vote for Scapegoat Island. Because you see, Scapegoat Island is being blamed for all the mosquitoes in Crye. I have a feeling if the Hydrologist for the Shubert Swamp went to Scapegoat Island he would find a huge sucking sound coming from behind the only outhouse in Westchester. That sucking sound is from a gigantic pump connected directly to the Shubert pond. It’s Scapegoat Island’s fault why the pond has dried up.

  39. Everyone in Crye is corrupt and evil. The situation is like the Shubert Swamp fiasco. In the Shubert fiasco within matter of days the water disappeared. Same with sweet old Rye. It became Crye within a matter of days and seemed to coincide with the arrival of Mr. Floatie. Do we need to hire a plumber to find out where the corruption and evil is coming from?

  40. Mr. Floatie,

    Answer some questions.

    1. When was the last time Hen Island recieved and oil delivery?

    2. Is Iron Oxide environmentally unfriendly?

    3. What is the ratio of salt marsh mosquitoes to fresh water mosquitoes in Milton Harbor?

  41. Steal the Harbor,
    No one used the word corrupt here. Beg to differ….. Sweet old Rye has definitely changed but it didn’t happen in a matter of days. And you definitely do not need a plumber we all know exactly where the corruption & evil lurkes!!!

  42. This editorial from former City Clerk Morison was in the Rye Record today.

    Why doesn’t former City Clerk Morison just have the new City Clerk Nodarse change the minutes of the Council meeting to reflect Shew wasn’t fired???

    Maybe Nodarse can even sign a sworn affidavit that Shew wasn’t really fired. It wouldn’t be the first time Nodarse signed a sworn affidavit which contained untruths. She signed one saying no records existed for Morison’s retirement party. Oops, records did exist. In fact, she created the records.

    I hope the lifetime medical insurance that Morison got from Shew and Otis after only five years of service comes with an eyeglass plan. It seems to me that she is not seeing things very clearly.

    Dear Editor,

    Because the Council denied the opportunity for any public comment during the special meeting called to fire the City Manager, I feel it is important to say, for the record, that I am not only disappointed but distressed by the Council’s action, and by the way in which it was done. While it is the Council’s prerogative to fire the Manager, to do so in such a public, humiliating fashion, is embarrassing to me as a citizen of Rye. Why choose a path almost guaranteed to ruin a man’s career?

    Prior to the hastily called special meeting, I wrote a letter to the Council requesting that they delay their decision until all facts (and the strong support for the Manager) were known. The letter, which was not allowed to be entered into the public record, stated my belief (shared by City Staff in a letter also not entered into the public record), that Paul Shew is a selfless, competent and non-political manager — a behind-the-scenes leader always willing to give credit to others, including the Council. Whatever he did he did for the good of Rye as a whole, irregardless of politics.

    Trying to solve the thorny issues of a few vocal discontented citizens was something the whole staff worked on tirelessly and selflessly. This is what the Mayor/Manager form of government is supposed to do. The Council’s action, taken before allowing the public to know all sides of the story (most only know what they read in the press), has deprived Rye of an experienced and good City Manager at a truly challenging time.

    I hope the full facts, especially concerning recent events, will at some point be revealed to the citizens of Rye. Perhaps they will see that it is Mr. Shew who is owed an apology.

    Susan A. Morison
    Former City Clerk

  43. Ok here we go…….

    From Chapter 195 of the City of Rye Code

    No regulated activity shall be conducted in a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer without a written permit from the Planning Commission and full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. All activities that are not permitted as of right or by permit shall be prohibited. The City Planner, City Engineer and City Building Inspector shall, in the course of reviewing any application before them, advise the applicant of the existence of this chapter and refer information regarding such applications to the City Naturalist.

    VIOLATED – Surface water control permit was never referred to the Naturalist and to make it worse the City engineer knew there was a wetland on the property.

    Regulated activities. Except as specified in § 195-4D, the following are regulated activities when within a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer and may be granted a permit upon written application to the Planning Commission:
    (1) Placement or construction of any structure.

    VIOLATED – A new drywell was installed….even if it was to support a french drain (doubt it) it is a new structure.

    Regulated activities. Except as specified in § 195-4D, the following are regulated activities when within a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer and may be granted a permit upon written application to the Planning Commission:
    (3) Any form of dumping, filling or depositing of material either directly or indirectly

    VIOLATED – Fill was placed in the wetland on the property and regrading was done.

    Regulated activities. Except as specified in § 195-4D, the following are regulated activities when within a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer and may be granted a permit upon written application to the Planning Commission:
    (6) Alteration or modification of natural features and contours.

    VIOLATED – Again fill was placed in the wetland and the area was regraded – changing the contours.

    Regulated activities. Except as specified in § 195-4D, the following are regulated activities when within a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer and may be granted a permit upon written application to the Planning Commission:
    (7)Alteration or modification of natural drainage patterns

    VIOLATED – again fill was placed in the wetland on the property and the area was regraded (changes surface water patters – small or not it does it). Also the insallation of a drywell changes the preexisting drainage patterns.

    Regulated activities. Except as specified in § 195-4D, the following are regulated activities when within a wetland, watercourse or wetland/watercourse buffer and may be granted a permit upon written application to the Planning Commission:
    (14) Any other activity that may impair the natural function(s) of a wetland as described in § 195-1 of this chapter. –
    (A)Protecting water resources by providing sources of surface water, recharging groundwater and aquifers, serving as chemical and biological oxidation basins and/or functioning as settling basins for naturally occurring sedimentation.
    (b) Controlling flooding and stormwater runoff by storing or regulating natural flows.

    VIOLATED – Like it or not 3 Magnolia has a wetland on it (they knew about the water when they purchased the property) That wetland provides surface water to Schuberts pond and recharges ground water. It also filters pollutants The wetland on Magnolia stores water and regulates the flow to Schuberts pond. Although now those functions have been dramatically reduced since the construction.

    No regulated activity shall be conducted without issuance of a written permit from the Planning Commission.

    VIOLATED – all of the above regulated activities were done yet there was no review or permit from the Planning commission – Even if you are restoring a wetland Doing good) you need a permit….Right TED!

    Standards for permit decisions.
    (1) In granting, denying or conditioning any permit, the Planning Commission shall evaluate wetland functions and the role of the wetland in the hydrologic and ecological system and shall determine the impact of the proposed activity upon public health and safety, rare and endangered species, water quality and additional wetland functions listed in § 195-1 of this chapter. Impacts and losses shall be avoided to the maximum extent practicable or, if they cannot be avoided, they shall be minimized to the maximum extent practicable. In this determination, it shall consider the following factors and shall issue written findings with respect to those factors which are applicable:

    (a) The impact of the proposed activity and existing and reasonably anticipated similar activities upon neighboring land uses and wetland functions as set forth in § 195-1 of this chapter, including but not limited to the following:
    [1] The filling in of a wetland or other modification of natural topographic contours.

    [5] Reductions in wetland water supply.

    [6] Interference with wetland water circulation.

    [8] Influx of toxic chemicals and/or heavy metals.

    [10] Destruction of natural aesthetic values.

    VIOLATED – All would have been considered if the project went through the correct process. And…we would not be where we are today.

    The Planning Commission in the review of any application may refer such application to such engineering, planning, legal, technical or environmental consultant or other professionals, hereinafter referred to as “consultant or consultants,” as it deems reasonably necessary to enable it to review such application as required by law, provided that the required expertise is not available from city staff, and subject to the following: The applicant shall pay the consultant’s fee upon receipt of the consultant’s detailed statement for the services provided. The statement will be forwarded to the applicant by the City Planner.

    OH MY – The applicant would have payed for the hydrologist.

    So…..There is a wetland on 3 magnolia. The project violated all of the above. This is not about asking City Government to solve our personal problems on our property. It is about asking City Government to do their job TO PROTECT OUR PROPERTY RIGHTS and rights as a citizen of Rye.

    I think Susie Q needs to put the crack pipe down and wipe that Mr.Floatie stuff off her nose.
    “The Council’s action taken has deprived Rye of an experienced and good City Manager at a truly challenging time.” What rock has this woman been hiding under? How much was she paid to say this? BTW SUSIE….TIMES WOULDN’T BE SO GOD DAMN CHALLENGING IF MAYOR OTIS & THE CLAN WOULD STOP HIRING IDIOTS SUCH AS YOURSELF & SHEW!!! GO BACK INTO RETIREMENT UNDER YOUR ROCK WHERE YOU BELONG…YOU ARE OF NO HELP!!!

  45. Below is from Letter to the Editor, Rye Record,
    Dated March 27, 2009.

    Dear Editor,
    I don’t know if many Rye residents are aware that during two recent Rye City Council meetings, two grown men came completely covered in a costume, one as a “floatie” and another as a “jackass”, and sat at the front of the room, one carrying an offensive placard. It is a surprise to me that neither the Mayor nor the Council members seem to be offended by their costumed presence.
    I find it disrespectful to the government officials and the people who attend these meetings. It is also offensive and embarrassing to members of the Rye community. The meetings allow for an individual to approach the podium and express his or her opinions, as many people have done. The assumption is that these men are protesting something, but why not use the podium to make their point like everyone else.
    I understand the issue of freedom of expression etc., but is this really necessary? Is no one on the Council offended by it? It is also embarrassing to the City of Rye, for as people have become more aware of their presence at City Council meetings, Rye is becoming the target of jokes and innuendos.
    I hope that someone sees fit to ask these men to reconsider how they demonstrate their protest in the Rye City Council meetings.
    Stephanie Elliman

    Dear Ms.Elliman,
    My name is Ray Tartaglione. I am responsible for the presence of Mr. Floatie and Jack A. at the council meetings. First, let me apologize if the presence of these two characters offended you. Second, I sincerely ask you
    to read this letter in its entirety while I explain that Mr. Floatie and Jack A. are there
    to draw attention to serious issues; to reinforce (with gentle humor) the message that there’s nothing funny about elected officials flouting or ignoring public safety.

    I am one of 34 homeowners on Hen Island, just off Milton Point in Rye. The city of Rye has never required Hen Island to adhere to any of its laws regarding health,
    safety or environment. As a result, Hen Island is allowed to pollute the waters of Long Island Sound and endanger lives:

    • The city of Rye allows Hen Island home owners to maintain sewage pits in a two foot water table less than 10 feet from the shoreline.

    •Cottages on Hen Island collect water from their roofs for domestic use. Tests have
    shown this water to be contaminated with bird feces and e coli.

    •Electrical and plumbing systems have been installed without any permits or approvals from the city of Rye.

    •Hen Island residents store over 15,000 pounds of propane. Homeowners tie bunches of torpedo-sized tanks to trees within a few yards of homes and play areas! In the “No Name” storm of 1992 many of these tanks broke loose and washed into Milton Harbor. Those not recovered remain a potential menace to navigation.

    •Hen Island is home to the largest mosquito infestation in Westchester County. This also affects the Greenhaven and Milton Point communities. Rye city has refused to enforce local laws requiring mosquito control.
    As you can see, many of these situations have the potential to become life-threatening. After complaining to the city of Rye Building Department, city manager, Mayor and council, I received the answer that the city has inspected Hen Island and has found no violations!

    I can assure you the city’s position involves one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of Rye. This cover-up starts with our CEO (Chief Elected Official) and filters down to some of our paid employees.

    Ms. Elliman, you asked why the presence of Mr. Floatie and Jack A. was necessary at council meetings; what they were protesting. I hope you begin to understand.

    Mr. Floatie is an advocate for clean water and community health. Child-friendly and non-confrontational, he is there to promote that message. Jack A. serves as a reminder to local officials of how the public must perceive their stubborn refusal to give these matters the attention they deserve.

    You can learn more at our website HEALtheHARBOR.com. But you are welcome to see these conditions first-hand. Send me an e-mail (from the contact section on the
    website) and I’ll be happy to give you, or anyone, a personal tour.

    Councilmen Joe Sack and Mack Cunningham have expressed interest in coming to Hen Island to see for themselves. This, in itself, is a monumental step.

    I hope it is the first step in removing Mr. Floatie and Jack A. from the public eye. However, they will be regulars at all the public functions and city council
    meetings until the city addresses the issues facing us today on Hen Island. Hopefully that will happen before the national media embraces Mr. Floatie and Jack A. …
    In closing, I would like to share a story that occurred before the council meeting of March 25th. As Mr. Floatie, Jack A. and I were were going in, a family asked if Floatie and Jack would pose with them for a photo. The parents told me the children prefer watching the council meetings with Mr. Floatie and Jack A. more than any other show on TV. In fact, they had come that evening to see our two mascots in person. The mother thanked me not only for protecting our waters but also for getting her children involved in local politics at such a young age. Like him or hate him, Mr. Floatie raises the right questions. We encourage everyone
    to embrace Mr. Floatie as the true environmentalist he is. Please join our cause. Heal The Harbor is dedicated to rectifying environmental, health and building code violations on Rye’s Hen Island in Rye. Come to the council meetings and let your words be heard. With your help, someday soon, we may be able to retire Mr. Floatie and Jack A.

    Thank you, Ray Tartaglione HEALtheHARBOR.com “Exposing Environmental Injustice One Harbor at a Time”

  46. This is what Susie said:”I feel it is important to say, for the record, that I am not only disappointed but distressed by the Council’s action, and by the way in which it was done”.
    This is what she meant:”I hope the full facts, especially concerning recent events, will at some point be revealed to the citizens of Rye.”

  47. Ray…..
    Along with all your other unfounded allegations, please provide some FACTUAL based information on your statement:
    “Hen Island is home to the largest mosquito infestation in Westchester County. This also affects the Greenhaven and Milton Point communities.”
    Why Not

  48. “Whatever he did he did for the good of Rye as a whole, irregardless of politics.” I guess she means the policy of do nothing and sweep it under the rug. No confidence from police and similarly written statement from the firefighters, the Shubert fiasco not to mention failing to follow directions of the council. Paying Frank Culross to negotiate contracts with the bargaining units. I could list more but why bother, he’s gone and good riddance.

  49. “read the investigation from Westchester County Environmental Inspector Gatto.”

    That inspection report states:

    “ESU will re-evualute this case and turn it over to the Westchester County Health Department for their final disposition. This investigation by ESU does not over-ride any decisions and/ or recommendations that are submitted by the Health
    Department concerning this complaint.
    6/24/200S-After reviewing case this date, ESU has determined that the final disposition will be determined by the health department. No further investigation by the ESU. Case Closed.
    Director Ronald A. Gatto
    Director of Environmental Security Unit
    Westchester County Police department

    The final disposition by Westchester County Health Department, also posted on your website, states that there are no violations.

    The investigation report only proves that there are existing systems that predate sanitary and septic filings and inspections.

    The Westchester County Health Department made the final determination in accardance with the proper protocol. Just because you disagree with the determination doesn’t make them liars or corrupt.

  50. Gatto’s final written remarks were as per his instructions from his superiors after he was removed from the case. Look at the date of his final remarks. The case was kept open in an effort so we would not be allowed to obtain the reports before the judge made his decision. (You cannot FOIL an active case) Do you really think it takes a year to conduct an investigation of Hen Island? Here is an inter office-mail from Meyerson to his boss Josh Lipsman that tells the true story and proves that the health Department is lying, corrupt and trying to cover-up the Hen Island investigation as Rye would prefer.


    Trust me it’s a cover-up, but it’s all out in the open now. There are more people looking at this than what meets the eye. The ones involved will be squealing like me and my friends as soon as the first one is questioned, which will not be long. The Schubert cover-up was nothing compared to this one. I hope you are not involved.


  51. Pigdog –

    Thanks for the shout out in the long list of Chapter 195 sections and violations. You’ve done a good job at showing our readers what a real Wetlands and Watercourses examination might entail. My own permit process required close to 18 months of examination, multiple planning commission meetings and my retaining of an environmental consultant, law firm and subsurface engineer. And of course this process included the generation of a full core drilling profile of the sub surface topography of my property so that subsurface groundwater flow directions could be identified.

    Given that the Gates’s property has most publicly been identified as a surface and groundwater concentration field and wetland, it would be quite particular if such an examination were not to be conducted. I was curious as to how a hydrologist could claim the surface water flows would – with any certainty – approximate subsurface groundwater flows without the creation of a similar core drilling based subsurface profile. That would be like predicting that the entire bottom of the ocean floor is either flat or that it sloped in a particular way without actually sounding its depths. If my retained professionals could have successfully made a similar ‘scientific’ claim so that my expense of drilling could have been avoided I would have been grateful. They did try but the subsurface profile was required of me. I still have the core samples.

    Additionally, the Schubert hydrologist could not even produce the actual “as built” drawing of the Gates drainage construction for public review. This is the one that shows the pipe diameters installed and includes the curious reference of water going “to future.” He put up an ancient property drainage map instead and then made various assertions about what was there and not there.

    It appears likely that Mr. and Mrs. Gates saved a lot of time and money when the City Engineer in his sole discretion circumvented the existing city CCAC and Planning Commission wetland permit process. I can assure readers that this is not standard operating procedure in the City of Rye. And it looks like the former City Naturalist agrees in this regard.

  52. NTouch –

    Sounds like a schmuck, thinks like a schmuck, acts like a schmuck… hey NTouch, you’re a f***ing schmuck!


  54. I cannot believe that Otis is now using the City of Rye’s Aaa bond rating as an excuse to not investigate the Schubert coverup.


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