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City Council Candidate Wants To Sell You a Bridge

Most writers and city officials have their email boxes stuffed with missives from former Rye cop, outspoken critic of Rye government and city council candidate Tim Chittenden. This writer has over 100 such emails, although they are usually copies of FOIL requests (freedom of information requests for government documents) and seem to have died down since Chittenden announced his candidacy.

The departure of City Manager Shew must have put Chittenden in a writing mood. We are in a sharing mood, so here is Chittenden's latest rant, including an offer to sell you the (currently non-existent) Central Avenue bridge.

(source: Tim Chittenden)

"Once again Rye has an interim City Manager. We have had 6 City Managers in the last 9 years. Culross, Bradbury, Novak, Culross, Shew and now Culross once again. This type of instability at the top of our government is very disturbing. Why have there been so many departures? I believe it is because of Otis. Rye is a strong City Manager government, yet Otis insists on micromanaging Rye which has undermined their ability to run the City of Rye.

Who knows how much $$$$$ Shew walked away with on top of the $1,000 a day we now have to pay Culross and the $150,000 a year we pay for his assistant.

We have an assistant City Manager making $150,000 a year who perhaps didn't make the cut to be City Manager once Shew got fired/suspended/retired. Rye does not need a $150,000 Assistant City Manager. I believe Otis allowed this position to grow to where it is today to cover for Shew basically being a no show.

We have an acting City Comptroller. Don't worry because we have the former Comptroller, Mike Genito, still working for the City of Rye as a consultant. Doing what you ask? Amazingly, he is being paid to help Rye with the recession task force. I have an idea. How about not hiring Genito as a consultant and having the person making $1,000 a day do this. That would help with the recession. That and eliminating the $150,000 Assistant City Manager position would really help with the recession. 

We have a Police Commissioner serving under the dark cloud of an overwhelming Vote of No Confidence. When will this be addressed by Otis and the Rye City Council? Morale is at an all time low, lawsuits against the Rye Police Department have increased, serious labor and safety issues still exist and none of this is addressed. How could this be possible?

We have three Police Lieutenants who all work Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a ridiculous, reckless and costly misuse of manpower.

Currently all three shifts of the Rye Police Department work the exact same hours. 8-4, 4-12 and 12-8. The Rye PBA asked numerous times to have one officer from each shift to work staggered shifts 7-3, 3-11 and 11-7. This would allow for a Police Officer on the road at all times instead of everyone starting and finishing at the same time. This officer could do traffic around Rye Middle School and Rye High School from 7:00 am.m. to 8:00 a.m. or respond to an emergency if need be. Does anyone want a resident of Greenhaven to, God forbid, have a heart attack at 7:50 a.m. when no Police Officers are on the road?  Also, if there is an arrest or incident between 7a.m.-8a.m. or 3 p.m.-4 p.m. or 11 p.m.-12 a.m. the staggered shift officer could handle the paperwork eliminating overtime. Connors, Shew, Otis, Pickup and the Rye City Council have all refused to implement the staggered shifts. Why are they endangering peoples lives and costing the Rye taxpayers needless overtime money?

We have what I believe could be three lame duck Councilmen and a lame duck Mayor. This could lead to very important issues being ignored or pushed back to suit their own political timing and agendas.

We have former Mayor and Supreme Court Judge John Carey, current City Councilman Joe Sack and former City Councilman Seitz and others asking for an investigation into the Shew/Schubert matters. To date Mayor Otis has refused to do so. I believe this has brought into question the motives of Otis in not wanting to publicly answer any and all questions. Does Otis have something to hide?

I don't see how anything constructive is going to get done in the City of Rye under these conditions.

Did anyone read the Rye Sound Shore Review? The Rye City Council and the Rye City School Board think everything is hunky dory as far as traffic around our schools. It must be true if they said it, right? Has anyone seen the nightmare on Boston Post Road at Parsons Street every morning? Cars traveling northbound enter the yellow striped area or the southbound lane of traffic to get around the traffic waiting to make a right turn onto Parsons Street. The cars making a left turn onto Boston Post Road from Parsons Street are placed in harms way by these vehicles traveling illegally. Add to this the kids who get dropped off in the middle of Boston Post Road by their parents who get impatient waiting to make a left onto Parsons Street because of the cars traveling northbound in the southbound lane and there is going to be a serious accident at this location. Connors, Shew, Otis, Pickup and the Rye City Council have all been made aware of this dangerous condition. Why have they ignored this and why are they placing kids and others in harms way?

If anyone believes that everything is O.K. in Rye I have a bridge to sell you. It's on Central Avenue. It's not actually built yet, but one of these days when the City of Rye files the correct paperwork, in the correct manner, with the Rye taxpayers once again paying for their mistakes, it will be there. Maybe 2010 or 2011. Maybe not.

Otis has said my proposal to save Rye taxpayers $20,000,000 by consolidating the Harrison and Rye Police Headquarters is not real. That's the problem with Otis. He doesn't know what reality is any more. To so easily push aside a very real proposal saving a very real $20,000,000 for Rye taxpayers is just one of the reasons Otis has over stayed his welcome in Rye.

Otis probably also doesn't like my idea to getting rid of Plunkett and his legal fees by hiring a full time Corporation Counsel to save the City of Rye taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The way it is now Plunkett is paid a very nice salary and also gets health insurance benefits. Plunkett advises the Rye City Council on legal issues and then the City Council will sometimes hire him to file and defend the lawsuits he advised them on. I believe this is a conflict. A full time Corporation Counsel would not be allowed to do this and therefore would have no monetary incentive when giving legal advice to the Rye City Council. I believe this will dramatically cut down our legal fees every year.

Rye is no longer an open and transparent government. Too much of Rye's business is done behind closed doors or without proper notice to the public. Otis, Plunkett and the Rye City Council have created ways to conceal records rather than finding ways to provide them. The spirit of the Freedom of Information Law and the Open Meetings Law do not exist in Rye. I would like to bring Rye into a compliant, open and transparent government. This can be done very easily. The Rye City Council simply has to advise the City Manager of this and he or she would then be accountable to make this happen. It is that simple. Department Heads would also be held accountable instead of Otis, Plunkett and the Rye City Council spending countless hours looking for ways to cover for them.

When elected to the Rye City Council in addition to the above proposals, I will lobby to hire a City Manager who is local, who does not need a $150,000 a year assistant, is accountable for their actions and will let him or her run Rye the way they are supposed to run Rye, as a strong City Manager government. 

Hopefully Otis doesn't run or loses the election which I believe will make these tasks much easier.

Tim Chittenden
Rye City Council Candidate"


  1. He can’t do any worse than what we have now! He would be awesome sitting along side Mayor Doug French.

  2. I have no words other than God bless Tim Chittenden. As far as I am concerned November can’t come fast enough.

  3. The word “rant” may be a descriptive bridge too far Jay but all taxpayers benefit when alternative ideas, suppressed facts and authentic critical voices can be heard.

    Thank You for making MyRye increasingly relevant to an increasingly restive citizenry.

  4. May 6, 2009

    Dear Rye City Council:

    In reading your March 17, 2009 resolution, Acting City Manager Frank Culross would only serve in that role until the Removal Process involving Shew was resolved. According to Mr. Culross, effective May 1, 2009, Shew no longer works for the City of Rye.

    This sounds to me like the Removal Process has been resolved. Who is our Acting City Manager now and under what authority is this person the Acting City Manager?

    Thank you.

    Timothy Chittenden
    Rye City Council Candidate

    4. Resolution to appoint Acting City Manager.

    Councilman Pratt made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Parker to adopt the following


    WHEREAS, O. Paul Shew has been suspended as City Manager and as a result is unable to exercise his powers as City Manager during his absence;

    WHEREAS, the City Charter does not empower any other person to act in his absence;

    WHEREAS, there is a necessity that an Acting City Manager be designated pending the Removal Process; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that based upon the need of the City to have an Acting City Manager during Mr. Shew’s absence and that the City Charter does not grant the power to designate an Acting City Manager to any person other than the City Manager, the City Council hereby as a matter of necessity designates Frank J. Culross as Acting City Manager effective March 18, 2009 only until such time as the Removal Process involving Mr. Shew is resolved.


    AYES: Mayor Otis, Councilmembers Ball, Cunningham, Gamache and Parker

    NAYS: None

    ABSENT: Councilman Sack

  5. Hey Tim, here’s an idea for your campaign – how to solve the “nightmare” on Parsons Street. Why not have parents drop their overweight and spoiled brats on the Boston Post Road by the football field? The little fatties could then burn a few calories hoofing it a whole 200 yards while their mothers could then freely speed their suburbans into town to sip on their lattes and chais while they complain about everything from their nannies to their nail colors.
    This will free up your fellow cops from doing actual work in enforcing rules of the road. What do you think?

  6. Scooter,
    I do agree with your “spoiled brats” observation. I also agree with the cops needing to do “actual work”. I do wonder since Mr.Chittenden has pointed out the violations and dangers that occur everyday in the yellow zones on BPR why the RPD doesn’t go out there and enforce the situation??? What I don’t agree with is your remarks on the kids!!
    Totally uncalled for and insensitive.

  7. If you think I’m insensitive, wait’ll they get out in the real world. Coddling youth now guarantees their future failure.

  8. OPM:

    The sad reality is that almost every day there are no Police Officers on the road from about 7:50 a.m. to about 8:10 a.m. The reason for this is Connors refuses to deploy manpower at these times. As reckless as this may sound to you or any other parent, Shew, Pickup and the Rye City Council refuse to do anything about it. This is outrageous!!

    This threat to public safety could be easily resolved with the implementation of staggered shifts. Staggered shifts would also save the taxpayers thousands of dollars in overtime costs.

    In my opinion, allowing this threat to public safety and the waste of taxpayer funds to continue is reckless mismanagement and misfeasance by Connors, Shew, Pickup and the Rye City Council.

    It is time for Connors and Pickup to go. It is also time to elect a new Mayor and three new City Council members.

    Tim Chittenden
    Rye City Council candidate

  9. Tim –

    Aside from firing the Police Commissioner, Assistant City Manager and micro-managing the police schedule, exactly what else do you plan to do on the council if you win? What’s your plan if the 3 out of the 4 current council members win re-election, and it’s you, Cunningham, Otis, Ball, Gamache, Parker and Sack?

  10. Scooter:

    As a Rye City Council member I could not fire anyone. That is the job of the City Manager. However, I do hope they are gone before then.

    I am merely pointing out a dangerous situation concerning the police schedule. I don’t think you would call it micromanaging if God forbid, someone’s family member needed assistance at the times that no Police Officers are on the road.

    I don’t plan on micromanaging anything. I would advocate hiring a competent, full time City Manager to properly run Rye. A City Manager who is local, knows the community, knows the needs of the community and actually comes to work. A City manager who doesn’t need an $150,000 a year assistant. A City manager who holds his or her department heads accountable.

    Rye is a strong City Manager government. I would advocate that our City Manager be allowed to run the City of Rye. The City Council sets policy and it is the City Manager’s job to see to it that he or she follows through and accomplishes these goals and policies.

    If my colleagues agree on this type of City Manager, we could then focus on matters facing our City and finding solutions to fix them.

    My plan is to work hand in hand with whoever I serve with on the Rye City Council. I believe that Shew may have tied the hands of the current City Council to the point where they had to mask his incompetence and other short comings. Shew is gone. I will advocate accountability and open government If Andy, Mack and Steve do decide to run again and win, I believe that with a competent, accountable, strong City Manager, we can accomplish many things openly and transparently.

    If whoever I serve with on the Rye City Council has a problem with a strong, competent and accountable City Manager, open government and transparency across the board, they will have to answer to the public, not me.

    Tim Chittenden
    Rye City Council candidate

  11. So you want a competent City Manager who currently lives in Rye or the area who will be willing to be paid less than $150,000. Shew had 30+ years experience as a city manager, but you think he didn’t qualify. Pickup also doesn’t qualify, because you want him fired before you start. Now let’s assume there is an individual out there somewhere who’s willing to put their reputation on the line to be City Manager for less than $150,000, even though odds are that they won’t be staying long, if history is any guide.
    You’re now claiming that you will argue that the City Manager be “allowed to run the city”. Does that mean you’ll stop questioning every action taken by the Manager, and that you’ll actually support him or her in contract negotiations with the police union to minimize any increase in pay and benefits as much as possible? What about frivolous lawsuits – will your position change there as well?

  12. Scooter,

    and it’s you, Cunningham, Otis, Ball, Gamache, Parker and Sack?

    So this means you plan to run again?

  13. Wry Rye/Tim C:
    where does a person start about your credibility.

    1) You haven’t worked in 6 years.
    Collecting $90,000+ tax free per year in wage & vacation pay over a suspicious injury claim.

    3) Doesn’t pay his bills- att:
    Law Firms

    4) you are currently a PBA rep-
    not retired not former policeman.

    5) your of suggestion of merging Rye PD with
    the bloated,disfunctional Harrison PD serves only the respective PBA interests not the taxpayers.

  14. I’m curious… if mergeing the 2 PD’s saves us 20 mil. as Mr.Chittenden has stated how does this not serve in the best interest of the tax payers? Where are the facts to back up your claim of his suspicious injury?
    Shew may have had time in but it sure as hell didn’t show with experience. How in the world can all the money we waste on the City Manager position be a good thing? We have been spending 400,000 for that position…. Shew,Pickup,Curloss!

  15. NTOUCH –

    If you start with the assumption that Rye MUST build a new police station to the tune of $20m, and then suggest that this could be avoided by merging the Rye PD with the Harrison PD, then the taxpayer “saves” $20m. But the assumption is faulty – there is no clear reason why a new police facility is absolutely essential. The only winners in Tim’s argument are members of the union – they’ll either grow in size, or get a great new facility, paid on the taxpayer’s dime.

    “Suspicious injury” – Tim’s had quite a success actively running a fence-building company.

  16. Scooter,
    There has been w/out a doubt many mistakes made along the way when speaking of the Police Head Quarters & the 2 new FD’s. We needed 2 taj mahal fd’s like a whole in the head. Rye has definitely dropped the ball here.
    I’m not sure what all the focus is about on running a biz while injured. I am self employed & have conducted biz injured on several occassions. Only difference is I am not attached to any union. You seem to be under the assumption that this can not be done.

  17. NTOUCH –

    I disagree with your assessment about the need for 2 “new” firehouses. Both were renovations/refurbishments, and were very helpful in keeping the volunteer fire department adequately staffed. I’d rather provide a volunteer organization with an updated building if it meant I wouldn’t have to hire any more professionals. The cost of one additional firefighter just about equals the cost of a renovated firehouse. Plus, the new firehouses helped keep every property owner’s insurance rates down. So the renovations made sense.
    As to running a business while injured, I’m not saying it can’t be done – I’ve gone to work with a cast on my foot – so let me spell out the problem: what kind of an injury allowed Tim to claim he was too sick to work for the Police Department (even for a desk job), but left him healthy enough to swing hammers and dig holes, while he claimed to be home sick?

  18. Just peeking in on this; any one who knows Mr. Chittenden’s fence business KNOWS that he has never done labor.

    How disgraceful that a public servant injured while on the job has to answer to this insane speculation. When you or your family need a policeman, maybe you’ll gain some respect for the position.

  19. Baseless Claims –
    What do you mean by “Insane speculation”?

    I have always respected police officers who perform to their abilities. What’s disgraceful is Tim’s abuse of laws meant to protect police and fire department employees who are truly disabled and no longer able to participate actively in the police force. Tim could man a desk or perform a clerical role. What exactly is his injury, and why isn’t he active?
    If I or my family ever need a policeman, I’d want anyone but Tim showing up. He’d likely slap a lawsuit on me for making him work.

  20. Barack –

    Before you try to “fix” Rye, please fix Detroit. If you need help, we’d love to give you Tim Chittenden. Let us know where to send him.

  21. News Flash
    Rye PD had Ray Tartaglione’s Fecal decaled crap car towed yesterday. About time we rid our streets of such distasteful nonsense.

  22. Linus,
    News Flash!!
    Ray Tartaglione’s fecal decaled crap car was parked in front of the Square House tonight during the City Council meeting. If you are interested in viewing the fecal decaled crap car you will find it for the next few days on Milton Road two blocks south of City Hall. You will rid the streets such distasteful nonsense as soon as the City council rids Hen Island of the polluting sewage systems and the bird feces infected water collected from rooftops for domestic use.

  23. Mr. Tartaglione:
    Please tell the readers how you gather “bird feces infected water” from YOUR rooftop on Hen Island…And, while your at it, please post any reports from the Westchester County Dept. of Health, which outline polluting sewage systems…..
    And, I find it somewhat ironic your car had to be towed by the Rye Police….Don’t you own a TOWING company in White Plains???
    High and Dry in Rye

  24. High and dry
    Interesting answer to Ray..does he bathe and wash his teeth in bird infected feces?
    Says everyone else does..emm think it might be a case of projection.

    Ray’s junk car is back on the street…RYE PD has their job cut out for them.

  25. Linus,
    You hit the nail on the head. I have to brush my teeth with bottled water. I don’t think you have to use bottled water, if you brush your teeth.

    High and Dry,
    As per your request ;
    Here is a e-mail from Westchester County Deputy Health Commissioner Meyerson to his boss Health Commissioner Josh Lispman telling him of the illegal and unapproved sewage systems on Hen Island.


    In response to your comment about my towing service. We do impound vehicles for the White Plains Police, The Scarsdale Police, The MTA Police and The Westchester County Police Departments. When we impound vehicles for any of the aforementioned Police departments they impound it because it was involved in a crime, violated a City ordinance or violated a Vehicle and Traffic law. In Rye they improperly impounded the Floatie Mobile because an ex-councilman doesn’t like the decals and is tired of being constantly reminded that his city protects polluters.

  26. Oh Ray now it is a city councilman (un-named) who is at fault and you are doing nothing wrong.
    Everybody is wrong..Health Dept..
    city council…zoning board..building dept..Judges..
    the people of Hen Island…the
    Get a life will ya!!!!

  27. Does that poop mobile have a catalytic converter or is the President of HealtheHarbor.com also the President of destroytheatmosphere.com?

  28. I wonder if that poop mobile has over the shoulder seat bealts along with a catalytic converter? How about anti-lock brakes? Air bags? The poop mobile is a portable coffin for those exposed to it’s hazards. The President of HealtheHarbor will risk the life of an innocent person in order for him to prove a trivial point? How ironic. I guess the poop mobile has all it’s life threatening hazards grandfathered.

  29. Check out the boat Mr. Floatie drives in one of the videos on HTH. Notice the engine. It’s at least 10-15 years old. It’s a gas spewing, oil pukeing 2 cycle
    engine. It spews oil and gas into the sound every second it’s running. They are BANNED by the EPA. 2 cycle engines are not allowed to be sold anymore. Here’s HealTheHarbor using an old 2 cycle engine trying to make people aware of pollution problems in Milton Harbor. Looks like Mr. Floatie doesn’t even have his own house in order. As another poster once said on this blog “You can’t make this shit up”

  30. Yawn Ray
    See my site..blah..blah
    see everybody wrong
    I am righteous everybody evil
    SEE MY site…
    On day you may have to account for your misbehavior and with that you will have either an epiphany or apoplexy
    I pray you have the former.

  31. Did you also notice that Mr. Flotie is speeding through the five mile per hour channel.

    He should get a summons for that too.

  32. The dual system, City Council/City Manager is virtually obsolete. Most communities choose one or the other. Tim Chittenden makes sense; a strong City Manager is needed.

  33. Scooter,

    LOL, “volunteer fire department adequately staffed” you must be joking. First off to call a fire house staffed would require the people in the building to be fire fighters. Not a bunch of pretenders who hang out in the fire house bars and drink till they are of no use.

    I guess your not very good with math. What did they spend on the two fd’s? 10 million? For what a ballroom. It’s not like they rent it out for WEDDINGS. Not to mention the millions that the volunteers piss away on unneeded equipment and lets not forget the booze cruises and inspection dinner. What does the city pay for that bash?I think if you added it all up it would pay for the whole staff at the fd for many years.

    “Plus, the new firehouses helped keep every property owner’s insurance rates down.” This is the funniest. I guess you don’t know a thing about ISO ratings. What’s our ISO rating a 4 that’s like your kid getting a D on his report card. The only reason we get a 4 is we have professional fire fighters responding in the equipment and we have excellent fire hydrants. The buildings were already there so how did they affect our insurance rates? They didn’t.

  34. Ex-captain –

    Sounds like you’re against volunteer firefighters, and the answer to our problems is more paid professionals. These “professionals” sneer at the volunteers, yet all the professionals do is to drive the fire trucks to fires. And you say that the only reason we have a 4 ISO rating is because of the professionals and our “excellent fire hydrants”. So what happens when a fire starts – the professionals drive the trucks over to the fire, the fire realizes a union guy is driving the rig, then takes a look at the nearest hydrant and puts itself out? Sounds a little far-fetched.
    And at a total annual cost approaching $150Kper head, how many more paid firefighters do you think we need?

  35. Scooter,

    I guess you’ve never seen our fire dept. in action. The professionals end up driving the rig and going in on the hose line. The few vollies that show up, usually don’t have the training or just aren’t willing to go into a burning building. Your a council member, why don’t you check for yourself and see how many non exempt members you have. You know the ones that go to calls not the ones that are still members because they have 20 yrs in and don’t have to respond. That is why they asked the council for four more professionals. Even they are embarrassed that they have to scream for mutual aid every time they have a fire no matter how small.

    And yes we rate a 4 because of just that. That is why the city paid for a study that the council swept aside. Have to give the vollies time to increase there #’s. Well they did a good job lowered the age requirement so now you have 19 year olds hanging out in the vollie bars. Why don’t you ask the cops how many times they pulled these kids over speeding with there blue lights on. But anything to save a buck right Scooter.

  36. Do we need more paid fireman behind locked doors watching big screen TV’s in plush leather chairs?? They do need to rest after all the sidework they have. Of course we do! Come on you Xman, give it a break, sounds like your in need of some love.

  37. When all you have for volunteers is children and people drinking at a bar. You bet your ass you need more. That is why they asked for more men. Can’t do it themselves.


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