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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Home Government Council Meeting TV Broadcast Policy Clarified

Council Meeting TV Broadcast Policy Clarified

Recently there have been a couple important steps forward in regards to transparency in Rye City government. Council meetings are now posted on the Internet (next day) and the "Friday Packets" – the source and background material that was for all essential purposes used to be only available to council members – is now posted online.

All this is a big step forward.

Rye City Council Meeting on the Web But this week, after a special meeting addressing the Bird House preservation was not broadcast, former Rye City council candidate Tim Chittenden asked the city to clarify its policy around what does and does not get broadcast.

Nicole Levitsky over at Rye TV told MyRye.com "We tape all regularly scheduled meetings. As far as the special workshop, I had checked with the City Manager and was told that it was not necessary to tape it." We also checked with City Manager Frank Culross who confirmed all regular meetings are taped and told us "If the City Council were to request  that a special meeting or workshop be broadcast on RCTV, we would attempt to accommodate depending on staff availability."

In the continued spirit of transparency, we hope the Rye City council will request all special council meetings be broadcast. It seems as if city staff and RCTV are ready to deliver the goods.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.


  1. More Importantly…why did Mr.Chittenden have to ask this question in the first place??? Why was the City Council not willing to televise these “SPECIAL” meetings without a request from a resident?
    Why all the secrecy??? If politicians are acting in the best interest of their people and everything is on the up & up transparency should be 1,000%!!!

  2. I would like to see the planning and zoning board meetings also be televised. That would allow interested residents to be aware of projects being conducted in their neighborhood.

    There is presently an application in front of the Planning Board for the approval of an illegal forty foot wall built on Hen Island. This wall was constructed along the Shores of the Long Island Sound without any permits or approvals from any agency in Rye, the DEC, or the Army Corps of Engineers. The Conservation Commission has suggested that the illegal wall be taken down and I understand there is a good possibility that might happen. There are many questions surrounding the structural integrity and reasons the wall was built in the first place. (See the below link) The CCAC stated in their report “pre-construction conditions do not warrant its installation”. Kudos, to Christian Miller, the entire planning board and the Conservation Commission for finally holding Hen Island to the same standards as the rest of Rye.


  3. Ray…..are there no pressing issues in your home town of Purchase, NY…Interesting ecological matters you can involve yourself in?…Is there no Town Council or Town Board to sue there..Are there no elderly people who may need the assistance of your attorney firm…The firm you used in your lawsuit against the City of Rye and the same firm you used against Kuder Island..the same firm the Schubert’s now have access to….Really…Are there no ecological concerns in White Plains, where you do business….I’m not sure the residents of Rye care to contribute more money to the defense of their City Council or their city in endless lawsuits…Have we not seen the BIG picture?..Is it not Hen Island you want to make your feifdom?..Is it RYE??!!….OMG..High and Dry in Rye

  4. It is nice to see Culross confirming that Otis and the Rye City Council did not want the Bird property workshop televised.

    Where is the report of the Police/Court feasibility study that was started a year ago by JCJ Architects? Did the preliminary reports have something in there that Otis and the City Council didn’t want us to see? The taxpayers paid $25,000 for this study. Where is the report?

    Ironically, the last time we heard anything about the Police/Court feasibility study was when Otis and the City Council had another secret, untelevised meeting in November. Details of that secret meeting were leaked and there was a battle waged right here on My Rye over who said what. If the meeting had been public and or televised, there would not have been a battle over who said what.

    I guess this is what Otis considers open and transparent.

  5. Here is one that was untelevised that they missed;


    It is titled
    Mayor Otis’s Scape Goat Gets Fired

    Rye Mayor Steven Otis and members of the Rye City Council have thrown the first of their companions in the rudderless lifeboat overboard. City manager Paul Shew is the first but may not be the last council constituent to be jettisoned …

    The reason for the firing, according to the council, was Shews, failure to communicate with the council and the mayor on projects.

    But many who have followed the debate over Bob Schuberts wetlands garden, as well as the city councils other environmental missteps (e.g. Hen Island), believe otherwise. Shews highly questionable decision to sic the Westchester County Department of Mental Health on Schubert is more likely the real cause for his being deep-sixed.

    Shew claims he called the psychiatric crisis center because he was, concerned about Schuberts mental health. So concerned that he did not return a single one of Mr. Schuberts phone calls to him the week before. Mr. Shew, who apparently thought he had the ability to determine another persons sanity and who then misused his authority by taking formal action against Bob Schubert, will now have ample time rethink his behavior.

    Other council members may want to rethink theirs as well. Since 2006, Mr. Schubert has been standing up for his rights and asking that his wetlands issue be properly looked into. At a Rye city council meeting this February one female members response to Schuberts well-founded requests was the feckless admonition that, you shouldnt sully your reputation! Reputations are, indeed, on the line here, but Bob Schuberts is not among them.

    This is indicative not only of this particular council members slender grasp of the issue but also of the councils attitude as a whole to whats important to the community. Are they oblivious or obstructionist? But bigger questions loom.

    Can Shew have acted alone in this instance? Is it possible that any city manager anywhere would be allowed to make such a drastic unilateral decision? On the Schubert issue and many others, what, if any, support or encouragement did Shew get from the mayor, the city attorney, other council members?

    To borrow from John Donne: No man (or city manager) is an island entire of itself. As city manager, Shew must have worked in concert with the Mayor, Rye city council, and Rye city attorney to conduct the citys business. In time, some of them may learn — as Mr. Shew has — what its like to be cast away …


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