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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Home Government The Last Word: Team Otis

The Last Word: Team Otis

MyRye.com asked each city council and mayoral candidate for their "last word" – what they'd each like to say the voters of Rye before each of you head to the polls this Tuesday, November 3rd. We'll be running these "last words" Saturday, Sunday, and some may run Monday.

This "last word" comes from "Team Otis":

Leadership for Rye
Steve Otis
Andy Ball
Myles Lavelle
Joe Murphy

Team Otis Candidates Like all municipalities, our city now faces unprecedented challenges: the desire to maintain quality services amid declining revenue, the need to attend to our aging infrastructure, and the urgency of controlling taxes. Effectively addressing these conflicting dynamics will take experience, balanced judgment, and an understanding of how Rye works.

Each of us has a long record of leadership in community activities and each of us has demonstrated an ability to work successfully with organizations and individuals to get things done. With two incumbents and two new faces, our ticket has shown that we possess the knowledge and experience Rye needs in these challenging times.
We began our campaign with a decision to send a positive message and to stress the importance of this experience and past volunteer service in Rye as valuable credentials for successful service on the City Council.

We are very pleased with the momentum our campaign has gained. We worked hard to win the Independence Party primary. The feedback from voters has been positive. We demonstrated our knowledge and expertise at every debate and campaign interview session.

This week the Journal News endorsed the only two incumbents in the race, Mayor Otis and Councilman Ball. This followed an hour-long joint interview with both tickets. The Journal News, in making their endorsements, were certainly not signing on to the central premise of the other ticket’s campaign that everything is wrong in Rye.

We also stressed a nonpartisan theme given the fact that our three Council candidates consist of one democrat, one republican, and one independent. They are running on a ticket led by our Mayor, one of the most respected and knowledgeable elected officials in Westchester.  We are running on the belief that merit-based, nonpartisan decision-making results in better decisions than partisan bloc voting.

Our priorities are to maintain Rye’s strong financial standing, control taxes, and maintain quality services. We accurately documented the financial, tax, and debt profile of the City in contrast to broad misrepresentations of the opposing ticket.

In summary here: the City of Rye municipal government has one of the lowest property taxes in Westchester County, a coveted Moody’s Aaa bond rating, low debt levels, and represents only 16% of your total property tax bill. In response to elastic revenue loss because of the economy, the City reduced 2008 spending by almost $1 million, adopted a 2009 budget that was $1.4 million less than 2008 and cut an additional $800,000 in 2009. Continued discipline will require the wise judgment that our candidates offer.

In addition, Rye’s ability to secure outside funding has been a huge success story. Mayor Otis has led the effort to bring in over $20 million in public and private funding for Rye projects. In these tough economic times, we are in need of those skills and the Mayor’s unique knowledge on how government works at every level.

On many issues the opposing ticket proposes good ideas but neglects to tell you the City already does them. We have a flood plan, prioritize capital projects, review budget indicators throughout the year, achieve savings in collective bargaining, and already do many of the other “new ideas” the opposing ticket claims as their own.

In every debate and interview, many of which are available online, our candidates demonstrated superior knowledge of the issues, facts, and complexities of matters before the City. We hope voters will watch the LWV debates before making their decision. They can be found online at http://origin.peg.tv/pegtv_player?affiliate=T00371and on RCTV at:

City Council Candidates
10/29 – 7am, 11am
10/30 – 7am, 4pm
10/31 – 3am, 9:30am, and 3:30pm

Candidates for Mayor
10/29 – 7pm
10/30 – 8:30am, 1pm
10/31 – 5am, 7am, 1pm
11/1  – 2am

Since we are writing here for myrye, it is appropriate to raise the issue of how three of the opposing ticket’s staunchest supporters occupy your site with criticism of City litigation costs when those individuals, Messrs. Carroll, Chittenden, and Tartaglione, all have been involved in litigation brought against the City.  They never seem to highlight their own self-interest. The opposing ticket, while working closely with these litigants, offers a campaign plank criticizing City litigation costs.

We believe the City should protect taxpayers by defending frivolous litigation claims and note that litigation costs are under budget for 2009. We have asked our opponents during debates which lawsuits against Rye they think the City should not defend. All municipalities are challenged by individuals seeking a litigation payday from taxpayers. We will protect the taxpayer.

We also have demonstrated a superior understanding of how to address the complicated issue of flood mitigation. Without investing in the engineering studies on flood mitigation and repair projects, we would never be able to win the millions of dollars in outside funds to pay for these projects.

Rye is one of only four communities to win county flood mitigation funding this year. Twelve communities applied. Our opponents criticize the consultant and litigation costs directly linked to winning funds and protecting Rye against the actions of neighboring communities that would increase flooding on Blind Brook or Beaver Swamp Brook. Which brook will our opponents decide against protecting?

Our campaign has been to countless community events, train stations, gone door to door, and shared our vision for Rye’s future through ads and mailings. We are ready for the challenges ahead and offer our understanding of Rye, proven experience as volunteers and leaders in the community, and success in our prior community service as the best credentials for the City Council.

(Editors Note: MyRye.com requested each candidate submit their own "Last Word" statement. Team Otis chose to submit a combined statement from all four candidates on their slate.)

Can't Decide?

If you missed them, read MyRye.com's profiles of city council candidates Andy Ball, Richard Filippi, Peter Jovanovich, Suzanna Keith, Myles Lavelle and Joe Murphy. And also read our profiles of mayoral candidates Doug French and Steve Otis.


  1. I guess we should have expected this defense. What choice does one have when he creates his own monsters! You made your bed, you lay in it!!!
    Team Otis says;
    “the need to attend to our aging infrastructure, and the urgency”

    Can you please address the reason we have an aging infrastructure?
    There is a stretch of sidewalk on Midland Ave. that has been in need of repair/replacement for OVER 15 YEARS!
    This NEGLECT exists is all over Rye!!!

    “We demonstrated our knowledge and expertise at every debate and campaign interview session”.

    Every debate,Team Otis? We seem to remember no representation from your ticket @ the EAGR Environmental Debate! Isn’t this Steve’s speciality?

    We also remember Team Otis getting called out on presenting incorrect facts when asked about 1037 BPR/CVS during the LoHud Interview. When corrected by Mr.Jovanvich from the French Team, Steve sat there with his jaw in his lap, NICE KNOWLEDGE!

    “In addition, Rye’s ability to secure outside funding has been a huge success story. Mayor Otis has led the effort to bring in over $20 million in public and private funding for Rye projects”.

    Of Course, without doubt, this is a very good thing for Rye.
    Has anyone ever stopped to think why we NEED outside funding? Where is all of our money?
    What if we didn’t secure outside funding? Would we still be able to complete these projects?
    Why does Steve think he is the only one capable of doing this? Surely there are other municipalities that receive grants, does Steve Otis work for them also since he is the ONLY ONE CAPABLE?
    How conceded to think he is the best and how insulting to his opponet!!!

    “The opposing ticket, while working closely with these litigants”.

    Why on earth would you think such a thing? There are plenty of residents in Rye that are supporting the French Team. Does this mean we are all working closely with your opposing ticket?

    No one is working side by side with anyone here. Its called supporting! They are voting against you, so are a hell of a lot of other Residents, after all this is an election!

    I guess we should look up the owner of that plane you hired to fly over the kids why they played the biggest Rye Football Game of the year and accuse him of “working closely with the French team’s opposing ticket”!


  2. Dear Mayor Otis,
    For the record; I have never worked closely with Mr. French or any of his candidates. I have spoken openly and publicly objecting to the re-election of a Mayor who allows health, safety and environmental laws to continue unenforced in the city of Rye. That might be you sir!!
    You seem to state frequently that “I have my own agenda” but you fail to state what that agenda might be. Maybe you can tell us what your agenda is for Hen Island.
    In response to your statement that I never seem to highlight my own self-interest I would like to offer the below for highlighting;

  3. Dear Steve Otis:

    Your post as it relates to me is misleading, a misrepresentation of the facts, self serving and deceitful. I am not working closely with any ticket.
    In fact, I am definitely voting for Andy and Myles who are on YOUR ticket. Both of these gentlemen and their families have served Rye with distinction and honor for a long time and I believe deserve to be re-elected and elected respectively.

    You on the other hand, do not.

    I have not made up my mind on a third Council candidate although I feel Joe Murphy deserves it for everything he has done for Rye. Joe would bring a credible and knowledgeable voice to the City Council.

    Doug French’s running mates have all done a great job campaigning while credibly getting the issues out there to be debated. They know the issues and regardless of who wins this election, I believe some of the changes they are advocating for should be implemented because change is needed.

    I believe Peter, Richard and Suzanna would all make excellent members of the Rye City Council.

    I am of the opinion that Rye taxpayers cannot afford another four years of your meddling, your micromanaging of yet another City Manager, your coverups and your political patronage.

    The only one running this year that I would NOT vote for is you Steve. I helped you and supported you all the way back to when you were a losing City Council candidate, up to and including when you were elected twice as Mayor.

    Your actions, inactions, poor judgement, unresponsiveness and your refusal to hold administrators accountable these past four years has made it very easy for me to longer support you.

    Good Luck to all of the other candidates.

  4. Ted,
    I believe your arguments would have much more impact if you refrained from including in them personal attacks / snide references to gender, employment, family relationships, etc. In particular, your post re Steve on this thread makes it seem like you don’t have objective facts on which to base your arguments against re-electing the incumbents. Stick to facts. Stick to well reasoned opinions. But leave the personal stuff out of it. We are all neighbors. Regardless of whom we support, I believe we all want what’s best for the City of Rye.

  5. Ted Ted Ted…real men?…are you for real?

    All you “real men” are speaking your mind,
    on your own,
    independently —
    manly men that you are-

    but I must be a flack, a puppet, a mouthpiece for the Mayor?
    I don’t think so. Its a new century, Ted…1974 is long gone. It appears as if I’m as capable of — no, more capable of — giving my own point of view as all of you…together.

    You all go into a feeding frenzy whenever I post. Why is that?

    Now about the mayor hiding behind my…skirt.

    What is Doug French hiding behind? Your skirt?

    Your…rubber garments…

    Your patent leather size 12 pumps you special ordered from that discreet little shop in the West Village?

    Stop the personal stuff, Ted. And leave the sexist crap at home. I realize you’re all twisted because I exposed you and your cohorts who front for Doug French as litigious malcontents with an interest in sticking it to the taxpayers here in Rye.


    But references to my skirt aren’t necessary.

    I wonder how voters in Rye will react to the fact that Mr. Floatie is working for Doug French? And Doug welcomes his support? And his cash?

    Doug talks about the atmosphere at council meetings. His goon squad creates the very atmosphere of which Doug speaks so balefully.

    Convenient…but more than a little disingenuous of Doug.

    Oh, and that twist lie hide repeat thing?… eww… what ever you do in the privacy of your home is fine…but spare me the details.

  6. Charmian,

    Your post just proved how desperate Otis has become and has completed all of your true colors.

    How much will you be putting your house on the martket for Wednesday morning?

    Your defense lined with insults is exactly what Bob Zahm is referring to.
    Do you have a receipt that shows Ray donated to Doug French’s campaign? And if he did, SO WHAT!
    Why do you care? Is this what you consider fronting for Doug French? Why are you convinced Mr.Floatie is working for Doug French?
    You repeatedly refer to Ted,Tim,Ray as Doug’s goon squad,WHY?

    They are only consistently showing what they have been showing us the last 4 years….
    This doesn’t mean they were bought by Doug French!

    Since you are on the subject of convenient,funny how in the last two weeks you have thrusted yourself into the equation! Taking every opportunity you can to suggest that Ted,Tim,Ray are working for Doug French,referring to them as Doug’s Goon Squad.

    You do this because you and Otis think that the Residents of Rye are against them and hope to steal some last minute votes!

    Out of all the supporters for either side there is no one more evident of working for someone THAN YOU FOR OTIS!!!

    If Mr.Floatie sent Mayor Otis a nice fat check, would he return it? How much did you donate to Steve?

    Today is your last chance Charmian, what other false accusations will you and Otis be posting on MyRye?

    Halloween is over Charmian, you can remove the mask now!

  7. Charmian,
    This is my interpretation of the Republican’s campaign motto.

    “Give me your angry, your goons, your huddled asses, your postal workers, your mentally unstable,
    your demented. your jackasses, your human waste, your liars, your extortionists, your irresponsible,
    your citizens who fail to do their own due diligence, your environmental terrorists. The wretched refuse of
    Blind Brook and the Mamaroneck sewage treatment plant. Send these, the hopeless and attention starved to me.
    I lift my lamp besides the emboldened whore.”

  8. Charmian,

    I heard your boss had coffee with Mr.Floatie at the Rye Train Station this morning. The word is Otis takes his java w/TWO LUMPS!

    We are all curious, will you still be employed by Steve Otis after he loses the Election?

    Kissing Floatie,

    What Due Diligence has Steve Otis done as a RESIDENT!!!

    What Due Diligence has his employee Charmian Neary done as a RESIDENT!

    Yes, we all agree that Steve Otis is a Environmental Terrorist. Thank You for your support on this subject!

    Can’t wait to see how fast ALL of Steve Otis’s employees disappear from MyRye after the election.

    Robert Zahm,
    “We are all neighbors. Regardless of whom we support, I believe we all want what’s best for the City of Rye”.

    I would love to believe in this theory, for now I will just hope until after the election.

    If Otis is Re-Elected, you can flush this theory down the toilet!

  9. Word on the street is that The Sound Shore News had robust poll participation and pretty good controls over its polling data and when all the votes were in, Doug French and his slate had topped Team Otis by over 300 votes.

    But unlike with MyRye where Mr. Otis was satisfied with the results, the unfavorable counts at The Sound Shore News sent Mr. Otis scrambling into Mr. Sturman’s office to demand the results be spiked as inaccurate. He got his way. We feel for Mr. Sturman, Otis can be like a spoiled brat.

    Sturman though, like any abused proprietor, may have gotten the last and better laugh.
    In that week’s cover photos, Doug French and Suzanna Keith are shown smiling on Purchase Street with kids and balloons.
    Otis meanwhile sits alone in a folding chair in front of a memorial monument that looks curiously like – a grave.

  10. Charmian,
    Your nose is going to grow if you keep spreading your lies. Here is the real deal.

    Interestingly enough, I did offer to help the French team with financial donations but guess what? They refused to have anything to do with me, any company associated with me, Mr. Floatie or HEALtheHARBOR.com. That’s right, they said thanks but no thanks. I guess that makes them a little smarter than the average bear.

    At first I didn’t understand why but now I think they made a very smart decision. I am not sure how French is going to deal with the Hen Island controversy when he wins but unlike Mayor Otis, I know he will deal with it and it will not involve any politics, on a local level or from Albany. Mr. Floatie is here because Otis made a political football out of Hen Island instead of enforcing the laws. After two years of saying there were no problems found, he threw me a bone and thought I would go away before the election. That is why he wrote the violations on Hen Island in the spring of 2009. Truth is, if he wrote all the violations I would have gone away.

    When Otis is out, any actions taken by his predecessor will not be a result of outside influences or donations made by me or anyone affiliated with me. It is just one more example of why French should be in the mayor’s seat. Here is to the French Team that is always one step ahead and truly has Rye’s best interest in mind! Let’s get rid of Mr. Floatie by getting rid of Otis!!!!


  11. Oh Ray!!!
    Here the carpetbagger turns a proper slap in the face into an act of lobbing virtue.
    Why do you underestimate the intelligence of people? You are complimenting Mr French for not taking your money. I would expect him to do that as any honorable candidate should not accept your money.
    I do not publicly support Mr. French or Mr. Otis.
    Each should be considered on the merits BY THE CITIZENS OF RYE.


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