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Home Government The Osborn Debates: Jovanovich's Golden Tongue

The Osborn Debates: Jovanovich’s Golden Tongue

The Osborn Retirement Community held a candidates forum Monday evening October 19th with Rye mayoral and city council candidates. The Osborn held a well run event organized by their civic committee that began with 30 minutes for candidates to meet the voting public.

The Osborn Great Debate 10-19-2009 015 

The crowd must have numbered 70 or maybe 80, besting the audience at last week's League of Women Voter's debate (about 50 by our estimates). With eight candidates up on stage it was a bit of a lightning round. Things moved along nicely and the audio system was excellent.

MyRye.com will be posting video of the candidate closing statements of the debate. You can also check out MyRye.com's Osborn debate photo album.

The "witty comment award" goes to Peter Jovanovich who besides selling a lot of books in his career clearly read a lot of them as well. Who knows if he can govern, but these comments bring some light on some fairly dry issues and for that, we are thankful. Our three Jovanovich favorites:

  1. On Rye City and its real estate dealings: "We are like a southern family. We are land rich and income poor."
  2. On Rye parking issues: "Mark Twain says about the weather everyone likes to talk about it but no one does anything about it – just like the parking issue in Rye."
  3. On Rye's legal and litigation bills: "The combatants may have forgotten why were are fighting."

On a more serious note, Theall Road got a lot of play given it serves as the entrance to The Osborn. Mayor Steve Otis said the road repair cost an additional $700,000 because of the 5-6 year delay cause by opponents who are now supporting Doug French. After Otis hailed Rye's AAA bond rating Doug French cautioned Moody's last rating review was in 2005.

Council candidate Keith suggested "we can rank our capital improvement plan" and on budget issues Andy Ball said "It is about securing outside money." Myles Lavelle on cutting city services: "I don't think cutting services is the way to go." Doug French said he though city staff "morale has never been lower."

Ball defended city staff saying we have a "very talented and hard working city staff… they deliver for us." After Jovanovich criticized salary and benefit raises, Ball suggested the comment was overblown, pointing out raises last year for staff totaled $19,000. Joe Murphy on the opposition: "They are going to fold a tent on us and we are not going to have a city."

A spirited debate for sure. MyRye.com will post the videos of the closing statements shortly.

What did you think of the debate? Leave a comment below.


  1. What I most liked about tonight’s debate …

    1. Each candidate really does seem to want to make Rye a better place – they just differ in what that means.
    2. The focus on spending reductions by some of the candidates really is on the smallest slice of the proverbial pie. It doesn’t mean that City spending needs to be controlled. It just means that while the RCSD had a smaller % increase than the City last year, really controlling property tax growth means focusing on school spending.
    3. Everyone seems to want to have the Osborn home litigation resolved, but there’s varied memory about the issue (Peter’s quote about memory applies to more than this one) , what the City and District have previously done to try to settle, how the litigation has been drawn out needlessly, and what is really at stake in terms of cost to all Rye tax payers.

    Nice photos.

  2. After Jovanovich criticized salary and benefit raises, Ball suggested the comment was overblown, pointing out raises last year for staff totaled $19,000.

    Are you kidding me????

    Otis, Ball and the rest of our City Council gave Shew a $19,000 raise in just one day in 2008. It must have been for all the commuting Shew had to do back and forth from Massachusetts. Needing a car, gas, insurance and tolls are very expensive. Oh I’m sorry, we paid for all of that too.

    Me Me Otis has proven time again that he does not possess the good judgement needed to run Rye in a smart, open, transparent and safe way.

    Perhaps when Me Me Otis loses the election, Otis can become Suzy Oppenheimer’s husbands driver. He apparently may need one.

    I believe when someone becomes dizzy, passes out or has seizures while driving and causes an accident the Doctor is mandated to make a report to the NYSDMV. Many times, like when Rye Police Lt. Verille had seizures, NYSDMV revokes the license of the driver.


    Look how fast Me Me Otis was able to respond to something that involved a political friend and about someone who happened to be his boss’s husband.

  3. The article says he got dizzy, hit a telephone pole and then drove down an embankment. It didn’t say anything about his vision being bad. Perhaps you should contact the NYSDMV about this before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.


    I’ll bet Suzy’s husband has driven this road thousands of times and he crashes at 10:00 in the morning. All of a sudden he drives off the Boston Post Road into a telephone pole?

    Thank God Susy’s husband didn’t kill somebody. Otis may have had to repaint the lines again on Boston Post Road.

    Was DMV notified by his doctor or by the Police Department or by Me Me Otis about this episode of Susie’s husband falling ill while driving?


  4. Hi Jay,

    I have not had a chance to read My Rye as often as I’d like recently, and I’ve had even less opportunity to post.
    Thank you again for providing this forum. While I do have something to say about this upcoming election and this blog, I want to confine my remarks right now to something I see as a possible misquote in the above story.
    I don’t think Andy Ball said “raises last year for staff totaled $19,000”. Of course they didn’t. I seem to recall that issue and that raise (2%?) was for a handful of City employees not in a union.
    I keep an eye on raises pretty carefully because my husband works for Citibank and I know the kind of raises they’re not giving.
    However, it never seemed fair to me that people who work side by side are compensated differently due to their “bargaining unit” rather than their effort.
    So, if a small group received a total of $19,000 I think that’s only fair.
    Maybe you can clarify this but I’m pretty sure that’s not what Andy said. Andy’s a smart guy and he tends to be careful with his words as well as his facts.

  5. So tonight was the Candidate Forum Q & A on Environmental Issues held @ The Rye Free Reading Room.

    One small problem, there was no representation from the Democratic Ticket. There excuse according to the people hosting this event said they were not aware of this Date and they ALL had prior committments.

    Now I do not doubt that possibly Mayor Otis was not available which would only mean that he would not allow the others to speak without his presence!

    They all were notified of this date back in August.
    How very convienant for ALL of them to all of a sudden be tied up on the same night.

    THIS STUNT was not only a complete slap in the face to their opponents but completely and outlandishly RUDE to the people sponsoring this event!!!





  6. Dear Chamain:

    If the video of this event had been televised, as promised by Me Me Otis, there would be no dispute as to what Ball said or didn’t say.

    Why hasn’t Me Me Otis put this event and the other political forums on RCTV yet? Is he afraid it puts him in a bad light and he doesn’t want the voters to see it?

    This is probably just another abuse of power by Me Me Otis who says he wants open and transparent government but doesn’t really mean it.

    Can someone please pass me the some cheese and another glass of wine?

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