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Friday, December 9, 2022
Home Government Rye People: City Council Candidate Suzanna S.Keith

Rye People: City Council Candidate Suzanna S.Keith

With the November 3rd elections just around the corner, it’s time for MyRye.com to introduce you to the candidates looking for your vote. This is your city and your election, so tell us what you think of the candidates and of our coverage. Leave your comments below.

Today we introduce you to city council candidate Suzanna S.Keith.

Your Name: Suzanna S.Keith

Position You’d Like To Have: Rye City Council Member

Suzanna keith rye ny

Your Day Job:Owner, SKconcepts Rye, NY. With 21 years of marketing experience, Suzanna has built her own consulting business focusing on new product launches and development of consumer brands ranging in size from $5 million to $500 million. Her expertise is researching consumer insights and building on these insights to drive long-term strategic direction in all aspects of brand management, from analyzing the financials to initiating manufacturing production to developing the consumer and trade advertising.  Running a small business, has given Suzanna flexibility to work on making Rye a better place while nurturing and caring for her family.

If MyRye.com asked your co-workers for one word to describe you, what one word would they use?


Candidate closing statement at The Osborn Debate (October 19, 2009):

Your Political Affiliation:


Why are you running for elected office?

After careful analysis, I have decided to seek the office of Rye City Council Member because I am committed to making life in Rye sustainable for all our citizens.   Many of our neighbors currently struggle to afford to live in Rye. It is imperative that we keep life here affordable for everyone, from young families to empty-nesters, to seniors, by lowering the tax burden on our citizens while at the same time maintaining a good quality of life.

City elections are coming up this fall. What should we know about the elections this fall? Who else on the ticket are you supporting?

I am running on the Change For Rye Ticket with Doug French for Mayor, Peter Jovanovich, Richard Fillipi and myself for City Council.  

What are the three most important issues facing Rye over the next five years? 

1. Control Spending/Freeze Taxes Growing frustration exists that the cost to live in Rye is far outpacing the basic services people expect in return.

2. Restore Management Discipline  The constant turnover in City Managers and other key City staff has damaged our government’s ability to efficiently plan and act.

3. Prioritize Infrastructure Improvements  Our streets are decaying and many sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are unsafe. Much of Rye remains in constant danger of flooding. We need long term plans.

Rye sustained $80 million in damage in the April 15, 2007 flood.  Is Rye prepared for the next “100 Year” flood? What are the most important things we need to do to prepare, how much will they cost and how should Rye pay for them?

Rye needs to be better prepared for the next 100 year flood.

1. Need a big picture plan including further analysis of other upstream ponds, protection of wetlands and responses of neighboring communities

2. Install a Sluicegate at Bowman Dam: cost listed in CIP on city website and to be funded by the county

3. Resizing of other ponds of Bowman Dam: Cost listed in CIP, a combination of state, county and city funds and other funding sources to be analyzed

Teachers in Rye public schools have been operating without a contract for over two years due to a stalemate between Rye’s Board of Education and the Rye Teacher’s Association. What specifically should be done to resolve this stalemate, if anything?

This issue is the business of the  Board of Education.

Grade Rye’s handling of the following issues over the last two years on an A, B, C, D or F scale

Flooding and flood mitigation (Bowman Avenue dam, Elm Place Wall, Central Avenue Bridge, etc.) – B

Need a long term plan and need to repair the Central Ave Bridge ASAP

Fiscal responsibility including taxes, budgeting and labor relations (Overall budget, taxes, litigation) – C

Cut spending and freeze taxes

Public works including condition of sidewalks and roads and snow, leaf, garbage and recycling removal – B

Improve and prioritize

Safety including policing, fire and traffic – B 

Need a long term plan on improving pedestrian safety

Schools including quality and labor relations  NA 

Board of Education handles

Public recreation including parks and recreational programs – A

Doug French as Head of the Rye Rec Commission has done an outstanding job

What are your three greatest contributions to Rye?

1. Leading the Twig Organization out of bankruptcy to become a new entity The Twig Inc., which has now purchased Rye, Rye Brook, PortChester EMS two new ambulances

2. Handling tough budget issues and introducing the Wellness Committee, Earth Week, Wellness Week, No Idling Week, Walk to School Week, Traffic Safety Pledge and Traffic School, and 5-Year Strategic Plan as Co-President of Midland PTO

3. Serving on the Rye Playland Commission and volunteering with the Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye

What are the three best reasons to live in Rye?

1.  The quality of Life

2. The caring neighbors

3.  The great schools

Where can we find you on a Saturday morning?

At the children’s sports games

Suzanna keith family photo

What are your three favorite restaurants in Rye that deliver?

1.  Piazza Pizza, love all the pizza

2.  Sunrise Pizza, love the chicken pizza, Alex and his team are super nice and drive to get take out

3 Longfords ice cream is a must for the children

What is your favorite restaurant in Rye for a family meal?

We love everything at Water Moon

Where do you live in Rye?

4 Cope Circle

How else are you involved in the community?

• Co-President, Midland PTO, 2007-2009 – Introduced the Wellness Committee, Earth Week, Wellness Week, No Idling Week, Walk to School Week, Traffic Safety Pledge and Traffic School, and 5-Year Strategic Plan

• Playland Commission, 2002-2006
• Rye Republican Party, past District leader and Volunteer, 1999-current
• Lobbied NY State Legislature on “domestic violence issues” for New York Junior League, 1997
• Intern, Congressman James Quillen (R-TN), Washington DC,  1986
• Intern, James Sasser (D-TN), Washington, DC, 1986 

Not for Profit
• Founding Member of The Environmental Advocacy Group of Rye, 2007-2009 
o Event Chair, Downtown Recycling Awareness Event, October 2009
• Chairwoman, The Twig Organization of New York United Hospital, 2004-2005
o Led organization in forming The Twig Inc., and served as President, 2005-2006
• Ex-Officio Trustee of United Hospital, as 1st Vice Chair of the Twig Organization, 2002-2004
• Co-President, 37th Twig, 2000-2002
• Co-President, Rye Newcomers, 2000-2001 and Board member, 1998-2001
• Fundraising Manager, Board of Mangers of the New York Junior League, 1997-1999
• Outstanding Volunteer, the New York Junior League, 2000
• Resurrection Church Volunteer and member, 1997-current 
• Supporter and friend of The Rye Arts Center, The Rye Free Reading Room, The Rye Nature Center, Rye Recreation, The Rye Historical Society, Rye Youth Council, Open Door, SUNY Purchase Arts Center, Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester EMS, and The Carver Center

Tell us your contact information:

Your web site: http://www.changeforrye.com

Your phone: 914-915-753
Your email address: skconcepts@hotmail.com
Your Twitter account: on our changeforrye.com
Your Facebook account: Change for Rye

Thanks, Suzanna!


  1. This is a serious question, and not designed to “disagree” with Suzanna or others who say this. I truly am looking for the logic (that I must be missing).

    I keep hearing how expensive it is to live in Rye and how every day it gets harder and harder for some residents to stay here. Okay, I know it is expensive, but what drives this? Of course housing prices (are to me) the #1 reason. That being said, isn’t that a good thing? Doesn’t high housing costs mean we are doing something right? Our neighborhood is desirable? I don’t believe any candidate will advocate implementing a plan to reduce the value of our homes.

    Then there is the cost of shopping in Rye. It’s not so much Rye, but the entire area. Again, supply & demand, the greatest metropolis in the world (yes – the world!). Again, not sure what any candidate would/could do to lower the cost of goods in the area.

    Now the good part – property taxes. This is what all the hoopla is about. The very one thing that all of the candidates will have us believe they can control. “It is the taxes that are keeping hard-working families from staying in Rye!” In Money Magazine’s “The Best Places To Live” they indicate that the “average property taxes” as of 2006 was $10,563. Two things: assuming a 20% increase since 2006, lets call this amount $13,000. Secondly, probably way too low, but this was the only amount I could find (please feel free to update this amount).

    From what I have been hearing, property taxes make up 17% of your tax bill. So assuming an average tax liability of $20,000, that means that only $3,400 can be controlled by the candidates. If one party proposes a 6% increase and the other wants to have zero increase, that is a difference of $204.

    Do you see where I am confused as to why it is the property taxes that are driving our neighbors out of Rye. You can speak of prior mismanagement, but face it – no slate is going to decrease RE taxes by thousands of dollars (isn’t salaries/benefits the biggest component? And those are never going down).

    All I am trying to do here is really try to figure out what I am missing in this argument. And please don’t accuse me of being one of the candidates, a Hen Island resident or a hydrologist!!!

  2. Average Citizen – you are most likely all three – a political office holding hydrologist from Hen Island – with a working outhouse!
    But seriously – the points above are logical and well ordered. My belief is that there is no component of our taxes in Rye – city, county or school – which cannot be cut. All can and should be cut – not just capped. Our present elected “managers” have been asked to do this and they have failed. They have excuses and excuses and excuses. But they hide bombshell spending secrets until exposed.
    Rye City spending examples include Mr. Culross’s REAL take-home pay courtesy of The Journal News – or the FOIL data that Tim Chittenden fights every day to get out of City Hall which many times indicate over-the-top “special” contracts and massive totally unnecessary litigation expenses. Nobody vested in making these decisions wants the true costs revealed to the taxpayers – they just call you partisan or crazy (or both) in an attempt to diminish you and your demands for public data in the eyes of the public.
    At the School board, spending on the Osborn Home litigation is now totally WACKO and thus they had to hide it from the voters in their “Special Budget and Election Issue” dated “Spring 2009” and sent to every Rye household. I’ve got it right here. Tell me, where’s the disclosure of the millions of our dollars feeding this tax certiorari ambush mess? Thanks for the transparency folks.
    And at the county – well – Mr. Spano has us in the lead NATIONWIDE for county level taxes. But there’s a problem. I think a community on Long Island or in California is very very close to getting ahead of us and taking away our top taxes in the nation honor. This is not something good spenders can take lying down. In November we need to let Andy know we’re ready willing and able to go for BROKE.


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